top of page

Jazz from the

Royal Grammar School

Sunday 29th March 2020 at 3.00 pm 

The Amersham School

Stanley Hill





“What is jazz but having a good time making music with your friends?”


RGS High Wycombe has been known for its musical traditions for some decades, and to the forefront of that, since the early 1980s, has been its fine jazz tradition.  Bernard Trafford, recently retired Headmaster of RGS Newcastle, began his teaching career as assistant music teacher at RGS High Wycombe, setting up the Big Band, and establishing it well enough to make a LP record (remember those?). A few 12-inch discs still lurk in cupboards in the Music Department.


In recent decades, while the big band has continued to thrive, it has been joined by various smaller bands playing in a Trad Jazz (Dixieland) style, when seven or so musicians from the big band have got together to make a more flexible and manageable ensemble that can go out and “do gigs”, as they say!  The Trad Jazz Bands have normally focussed around one or two year groups, and have been the basis of many friendship groups over the years – after all, what is jazz but having a good time making music with your friends?


The Big Band has been fortunate indeed, since around 2005, to have the leadership of Mr Jay Craig, doyen of British  baritone saxes over the last 40 years, who has not only played with the greats (Sinatra, Buddy Rich) but also built up a huge collection of big band charts, and what he doesn’t know about the classic swing genre is not worth knowing. Jay Craig played in and directed the BBC Big Band before it was disbanded, was a member of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, and more recently has been a regular member of the John Wilson Orchestra.


The band are delighted to be performing in the Amersham Festival, and will be giving you a flavour of the RGS jazz sound that we have enjoyed for many years.


Tickets: £10 (adults), Students Free *








* Students and under 16’s free. Free student tickets must be pre-booked online. Under 16’s must be accompanied by a paying adult.


bottom of page