17 piece Swing & Jazz orchestra. Established 18 Jan 2001. Based in Stockcross, Berkshire, UK
Les Bruce: Musical Director
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.