Frequently asked questions:


Q: Why is this band being started?

We (the members of the Skyliners Big Band) love playing Big Band Music and want it to be an ongoing pastime for the residents of Barrie. In order to ensure that this happens, we want to create an appreciation of Big Band music among our younger community members and provide ongoing opportunities for them to perform outside of the school environment.


Q: Who can join the band?

The band is typically open to musicians under the age of 20. Age exceptions can be made depending on the situation. Specific for 2017/18, we’re looking for people who play trumpet, trombone, saxophone, bass guitar, and guitar, Special cases can and will be made for Clarinet, Flute, and French Horn players depending on ability. We have even had a violin and a cello in the past!


Q: I have never played in a big band. Should I still try out?

Absolutely. If you can play your instrument, are prepared to practice, and are willing to learn, please try out!


Q: I have never improvised. Will I be forced to ad lib?

Not if you really do not wish too. However improvisation is an integral part of big band music and all are encouraged to solo during rehearsals. The Musical Director and other involved people will help guide you by providing you with the musical knowledge needed to overcome obstacles. You are encouraged to challenge yourself!


Q: When are the tryouts?

Try outs can happen throughout the year. Contact the Musical Director for more information. Complete the web form in the Youth Band section of the Skyliners web site to start the process, or contact the musical director through email at: info@skylinersbigband.com.


Q: When does the band start rehearsing?

Rehearsals for the band will begin in September and carry on through the school year. We try to avoid your exam weeks.


Q: When and where are rehearsals?

Rehearsals for the 2017 - 2018 school year are held on Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm in the Eastview Collegiate music room


Q: Is there a cost?

Because there are expenses involved in running any band, there may be a band fee charge. We have had great support from the City of Barrie and other corporate sponsorships that have made it a no cost program 3 or the past 4 years. Any funds requested were used to defray the costs of rehearsal space, music and other expenses related to the running of the band. We anticipate no band fees for the 2017/18 school year.


Q: How do I sign up?

The easiest way would be to fill in the application form on this website. Once the application is received, you will be contacted and a time will be set.


Q: What should I practice to prepare?

Learn as many scales and related arpeggios as possible. Prepare a piece of music; an etude or solo piece that you can play to demonstrate your skills, Work on your sight reading skills. Practice soloing on your instrument. If you have any of the Jamey Aebersold books, the iRealB App , or Garage Band, use them to help you along. Sometimes, the tryout will involve coming a little early to a rehearsal so the musical director can hear you on your instrument. You may be invited to sit in that evening! Listen to the classic big band recordings of Count Basie, Woody Herman and many others.