History of the Band

The Umbrella Big Band has been playing great music for dancing for almost half a century!

The band’s history can be traced back to the University of Cambridge Engineering Department Big Band, but over time the band moved out of the University, changed it’s name and settled in the village of Stapleford in the early 1980s. Our name came from the Stapleford Umbrella Association which provided support to various local groups. The band was officially The Stapleford Umbrella Association Big Band, but we are now usually known as The Umbrella Big Band.

Our repertoire has always been focused on music for dancing; plenty of the Ballroom and Latin variety but includes lots of classic Swing and Jazz charts from the likes of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as well as some pop numbers and more recent Big Band charts from the likes of Paul Anka and Michael Bublé.

Since we specialise in music for Ballroom and Latin dancing, many of our bookings are for balls and events for dance schools in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex, but we are very happy to put together a set-list of music for any Party, Wedding, 1940’s Event, Charity Event or concert.

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Here are a few photos of The Umbrella Big Band over the last 40 years….

The Umbrella Big Band early 1980’s

The Umbrella Big Band – Early 1980’s with pink music stands!

1987 – Stapleford Annual Charity Dance

1991 – Clare College May Ball

1992 – Cambridge College Ball

1997 – Jesus Green, Cambridge

2003 – Dancers Club Xmas Ball

2007 – Addenbrookes WRVS 1940s

2009 – Histon Royal British Legion

2015 – Hiams Ballroom Prickwillow

2016 – Flying Legends Duxford Airshow

2017 – Shuttleworth Airshow