Joining the Band
CUBB is open to every student in Cambridge, whether studying at Cambridge University, Anglia Ruskin, or elsewhere, and there are no auditions! The only requirement is that you play a brass band instrument: soprano cornet, cornet, trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, or percussion. We have many instruments to lend, and do so for free to band members, so do get in touch if this would be of help. The band owns a variety of tuned and untuned percussion, and percussionists are always welcome.
If you are interested in joining us, you can contact our Chair or Musical Director for details or just turn up to a rehearsal. The best time to join the band is the start of the year, but the start of most terms is just as good since we tend to begin mostly new repertoire each term. The exception is that we usually begin working on our UniBrass set before Christmas since the contest often occurs early in Lent term, and thus begin new music partway through Lent rather than at the beginning of term. Don't feel you have to wait until a new term to join though - any rehearsal is a great time to start!
Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will have to limit numbers at rehearsals, so you will have to register interest before turning up to a rehearsal. Please fill in this form to join our mailing list and stay up to date.
In order to fund band activities we do ask regular members to pay a small membership fee of £15 per year, or £10 if it’s your first year in the band, which gives you the right to vote at our AGM. However don’t let that put you off - you can come along to a rehearsal and give it a try without committing to anything!
Where to Find Us
Rehearsals usually take place on Thursday evenings in the Lee Hall at Wolfson College (Cambridge map). It's best to use the Selwyn Gardens entrance to the college, accessed off Grange Road, as indicated on the map shown here. This is a 15-25 minute walk from most central colleges. There is a card activated gate at the college entrance, so you will probably have to wait at the gate for a band member or passerby with a card to open it, and once inside the hall is immediately on your left.
Rehearsals and Events
Rehearsals occur every Thursday evening during term, from 8pm until 10pm. The following is a rough outline of the main musical and social events in a typical year:
- FoCUBB pub crawl
- Darwin College Oktoberfest
- Joint concert with Waterbeach Brass Band
- Music and Madeira
- Christmas carolling and MCR Christmas dinners
- Pancakes and Brassed Off
- Annual Dinner
- Wolfson College Garden Party
- Trinity May Ball opening fanfare
The main concert of Michaelmas is our joint performance with Waterbeach Brass, with whom the band has strong ties. Oktoberfest earlier in the term is a smaller group event, and is always one of the most fun gigs of the year. Christmas is a busy time for the band, with busking around the town centre, Christmas dinners, and Wolfson's Music and Madeira event, at which we play a mix of Christmas music and our usual repertoire.
The start of Lent term is focused on preparations for UniBrass, the national university brass band contest, and once that has passed the next big event is our annual tour at the start of the Easter holiday. We also usually fit in Brassity, a friendly contest and masterclass with Oxford University Brass Band.
Near the start of Easter term is Annual Dinner, on the early May bank holiday weekend, a fun day of picnicking and punting followed by a formal dinner. To bring the year to a close we typically play at a number of May Week events - in particular the Wolfson College Garden Party, which is our main concert of the term. We also usually have a small group play the fanfare to open Trinity May Ball, and the band plays for the local fete at St Mark's Church.