High Voltage Big Band is a 31 piece brass & percussion ensemble based in Billericay, Essex. The band consists of 23 brass players, a 5 piece rhythm section, 2 vocalists and a conductor. The band was formed in June 2011 as a group of friends from a drum corps and marching band background and is a totally self-funding, non-profit organization. Now in our 5th year, we are going from strength to strength as a unit. The band is open to anyone who would like to join, where we have vacancies, regardless of experience or ability. We also teach music theory and technique and our rehearsals are open to anybody, even those who haven’t played before and wish to learn.
The band also has a second, smaller ensemble MegaBlast! with up to 12 brass players and 2 or 3 percussionists. This ensemble is used where there is not enough space for the big band to perform or where the performance requirement is different from the big band. 2016 will see the launch of a third ensemble Essex Herald Fanfare Team, providing fanfares and flourishes for civic occasions.
The big band has an extensive repertoire of music of over 90 charts from swing, jazz & blues to modernday rock & pop music. We cater for all types of musical tastes and ages and are keen to keep developing our repertoire and exploring new genres.
In The Community
High Voltage have performed at a number of local fundraising events since formation including the St George's Day event at Wat Tyler 2 years running plus the annual St Luke’s Hospice summer fete in Basildon for the past 4 years. Early in 2015, the band were able to be help in a school fundraising event at the William de Ferrers school, in South Woodham Ferrers, by offering to step in and perform at short notice with our smaller MegaBlast! ensemble. Over 150 students were up, dancing and clapping along to our performance of pop songs including hits by the likes of Bruno Mars, Avicii, Daft Punk &Pharrell Williams and finished with a rousing, arm waving rendition of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline. The band also took part in the Civic Reception at Emmanuel Church to round off the Billericay Community Weekend event including learning 14 hymnsspecifically for this event. Most recently, the band helped a local young art student in her studies by performing a custom writtenpiece of music that reflected her art work. This performance was filmed and then shown at her exhibition alongside her artwork in front of her tutors. She received a first for this piece and has already appointed the band to perform again which will help her towards gaining her art degree next year. Later in the year, the band hopes to take part in the Billericay Remembrance Day & Christmas events.
In 2012, High Voltage had the huge privilege to perform at The Towngate Theatre with the West-End musical star Phil Cavill in our production One Man Standing (...and 25 seated!). Phil was the longest running Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and also appeared in Miss Saigon amongst other productions. Theband and Phil performed one set each and then combined on-stage for the encore of Feeling Good. In 2013, High Voltage showcased local youth talent at The Towngate Theatre in our production entitled ‘Expression! (A celebration of music and dance in Essex). A number of local youth groups were given the chance to perform on stage in front of an audience of over 300. These included Wickford Majorettes, Kings School of Dance, Spotlight Dance School, Thurrock Marching Brass, Hornchurch Drum & Trumpet Corps and Essex Marching Corps. High Voltage then performed a set before welcoming the whole cast back on stage for a rousing finale! 2014 saw the band's latest production at the Towngate Theatre called Bond & Beyond! Kicking off with acouple of James Bond themes the band went on to complete 2 full sets of music for the first time. The band's main production in 2015 is called "Swingin' – Live at The Old Regent Ballroom" and sees a change of venue to Stanford le Hope. With a vintage club feel to The Old Regent Ballroom, it will set the scene for a fabulous night of swing, jazz & blues.
Tickets are now available for this event. Each year in December, the band also stages its Festive Brass series of concerts at various venues around Essex. Each concert also features guest performers which have included local bands, singers, dancers & most recently the Exaltation Gospel Choir.