Funk Band | St. Lawrence University Music

Funk Band

Two key ideas inspire the Funk Band: first, being part of a tight, hard-driving, horn-based band that gets people dancing is a powerful musical and social experience; and, second, making that experience happen demands commitment and a willingness to seek out opportunities to play.    Known by its participants as SLUFUNK, the band will begin its sixth semester in the Spring of 2014.   During that time it has ranged in size from 10-16 pieces, including: male and female vocalists, horns (trumpet, trombone, alto, tenor and baritone saxes), keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and percussion.  The band’s core repertoire remains the funk and soul music of the 60s-80s, but each semester’s incarnation of the band has developed its own set lists that draw on participants' interests and strengths, which have ranged from multipart vocal harmony to instrumental soul to ska to hip hop.  The band’s gigs have ranged from impromptu outdoor practices on sunny days to warming up for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at their Tenth Anniversary Concert; from playing at lunch in the sandwich shop of the student center to performing for the Senior Dinner Dance the night before commencement. This Fall the band played for the Athletic Department’s Spirit Fest, for Family Weekend, for a joint ODK/ACE/Music Dept. benefit for the Red Rose School in Kenya, and we continued our project of playing high energy soul and funk during the period intermissions at SLU Hockey games.  For the Spring, we will continue our Hockey gigs, and look for more opportunities to play.  

Many members of SLUFUNK have been long-term participants.  When openings occur, new members are recruited through an audition process of demonstrating basic skills (scales, reading from notation or chord charts) for the director, and then playing with returning band members, who will participate in decisions about new members.  This process will begin during the first week of the Spring semester.  Those interested in the group should be prepared for approx. three hours of weekly rehearsal/performance time, and should have flexibility in their schedule to allow playing the occasional weekend gig, such as the hockey game commitments. 

Contact Larry Boyette, director, for information about openings and auditions: