MONMOUTH Big Band will be blowing into St Mary’s Church in Ross-on-Wye for a Spring show later this month.

The 16-strong band are now under the leadership of talented Herefordshire trumpeter Mike Prestage, who took over the reins from long-standing musical director Gareth Roberts last September.

Gareth’s final gig with the 16-strong band was a high-profile set at Brecon Jazz, where they accompanied US vocalist LaVon Hardison and received an upbeat review from the Jazz Mann.

Their music is described as “lively, upbeat and swinging... all of it sizzling with that quintessential vibrant sound”.  

They boast a repertoire of some 200 tunes, from scorching swing, to smooth Latin, ‘Strictly’-style dance tunes, well-known vocal numbers and classic jazz.

The band’s musical catalogue includes the classic repertoire of Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington and the Rat Pack groove through to contemporary numbers by the likes of Gordon Goodwin and former MD Gareth.

The Saturday, April 20, concert is being organised by the Friends of St Mary’s, and tickets £15 plus booking fee are available via, with the show set to start at 7.30pm.

A Friends spokesperson said: “Come and enjoy the concert or dance the night away in the splendid surroundings of the imaginatively lit St Mary's Church.”

The church also hosted their first free lunchtime concert last week, with more to follow on the first Wednesday of every month.

More than 70 people listened to Chase Baroque featuring Tim Cranmore, Jane Warren, Angie Cranmore and Peter Johnson last Wednesday (April 3), and organisers have plenty more lined up for their First Wednesday’s @ 1 series, where concert goers are invited to bring their lunch from 12.30pm before enjoying the music.

Upcoming are the Northwick Consort (May 1), the Northwick Baroque (June 5), organist Adrian Taylor (July 3), pianist Jill Crossland (August 7), Northwick Baroque with a different repertoire (September 4) and harpist Ruth Cartledge (October 2).

Each concert lasts about 50 minutes.

See and for more information.