Speaking recently Apollo Big Band Musical
Director - Les Bruce explained "my first introduction to the world of
big band came after I left university and was lucky enough to play 2nd
Alto in the Ron Young Orchestra, based in Basingstoke. It was with Ron's
big band and their lead alto John Pinnell that I learnt what a lead
alto role and sound was all about. John became my mentor and inspired me
to develop my own sound and learn how to lead a big band from the
front. I will always be grateful to John for the confidence he gave me
to just give it a go.
So here I am a few years on, having set up my own band The Les Bruce Big
Band and I've played with many other big bands and great musicians in
the south and west. I was first introduced to the Apollo Big Band by
their then MD, Mike Lock, and was impressed by their determination to be
the very best. It was therefore a great privilege to be asked to take
over as MD of Apollo in 2012.
For some, ‘big band’ conjures up images of dust, cobwebs and
badly-played Glenn Miller. If you are thinking these thoughts now, I'd
ask you to listen to "Introducing The Apollo Big Band" on our website
and more importantly, come along and listen at one of our many gigs or
rehearsals. The range and complexity of styles that a big band format is
capable of playing will truly astound you.
I look forward to meeting you soon."