You might never have played folk music before, Celtic or otherwise, or you might have grown up with it, but either way you'll enjoy the CUCB. We are a very friendly, non-audition, non-commitment band - check out the rest of this page, and the FAQs we answered for you, to learn more about what we do.
The style of playing is more informal than some other genres (like orchestral music), and we have workshops throughout the year where you can learn about playing traditional music.
Naturally, a lot of our members play instruments typical of folk music, such as fiddle (violin), flute and guitar, but the band is certainly not limited to these, and almost anything is welcome - feel free to ask. (We have saxophones, cellos, trombones, recorders, accordions, banjos, and much much more - even a wind synthesiser!)
We rehearse every Thursday of term-time, usually from 8pm to 10pm. We are anticipating being able to continue rehearsals in Michaelmas 2020 that comply with social distancing guidelines. Currently, we are establishing the exact details of this, including the venue, so please sign up to the official list for up-to-date details ahead of each rehearsal.
We play for ceilidhs [kay-lees] throughout the year. These are fun social dances to traditional Scottish and Irish folk tunes. We provide the music and a caller to instruct the dancers, and the crowd goes wild.
Our gigs cover a variety of occasions such as: student ceilidhs, birthday parties, weddings and charity events. All the money earned goes in a big pot, and is spent on social events and our annual tour.
In each gig we have a line-up of up to ten people - you can volunteer to play in as many or as few as you want. It's easy and fun to play at a gig, so don't be afraid to sign up.
We get up to a lot more than just playing music in the Ceilidh Band. Each rehearsal is followed by an informal pub trip. Some people carry on the tunes with a session, whilst others just like to have a drink and a chat.
We have several socials each term, all of which are either free or subsidised by the band, including:
- Freshers' Formal
- Band dinners
- Ceilidh Band Sports Day
- Pub trips
- Ceilidh Band Ceilidhs, where we take turns to play and dance
- Black-tie Annual Dinner
- May Week Garden Party
Some of our money gets spent on our Annual Tour every September. Recent destinations include: Callander, the Lake District, and the Peak District.