• 06.28.2022
  • Reading time 4 min.

On the road with the TUM JazzBand in Sweden

“Lift-off for a new musical era”

Every two years music lovers flock to Uppsala, Sweden, for the STORK festival – an exciting celebration of student bands. This year the TUM JazzBand made the long journey to the Swedish university city. Now back in Munich, the group is scheduled to perform its annual concert in the Audimax on July 3rd.

FinMatthias Stadter (2nd from left) with the TUM JazzBand at the STORK Festival in Uppsala, Sweden. Johannes Menzel / STORK
Finally performing again after a long break due to the pandemic: Matthias Stadter (2nd from left) with the TUM JazzBand at the STORK Festival in Uppsala, Sweden.

Matthias Stadter, a TUM mechanical engineering graduate and trumpeter with the JazzBand, shared his impressions of the trip:

Annual concert of the TUM Jazzband on July 3 2022

The annual concert of the TUM Jazzband will take place in the TUM Audimax, Arcisstr. 21, 80333 Munich, on July 3 2022. The doors open at 6pm and the show will start at 7pm. Admission is free.

 

“It’s 1700 kilometers from Munich to Uppsala – with the Baltic Sea in between. That’s so remote that for many people in these parts, the name of Sweden’s fourth largest city is best known as a humorous cry of dismay when someone drops something. But Uppsala actually has a long history as one of the country’s most important centers of learning.

 

Festival after a two-year break

In April we immersed ourselves in the city’s vibrant university life for three days. The TUM JazzBand has 25 music-loving members from all Munich universities. We are frequently heard performing as a big band at university events such as Dies Academicus, student festivals and our own concerts.

In April 2022 we headed for Sweden to take part in STORK. This festival for student bands is held in Uppsala and Linköping in alternating years.

After a two-year pandemic-induced break, STORK was back in 2022 – with around 40 bands and 1000 participants coming together from all over Sweden to spend three days celebrating their music. And we wanted to be there, too. The trip was planned at lightning speed: a full week between Easter and the start of lectures, including two train journeys lasting an entire day and a stopover for rehearsals in Stockholm.

Train journey with obstacles

After a speedy start, a track closure in Schleswig slowed our progress to a crawl. And when we were shunted onto a siding to let the Danish royal family’s train pass us, an unscheduled overnight stay in Copenhagen was inevitable. We were also under time pressure because the pandemic had put an end to rehearsals. So our plan on arrival in Stockholm was to work hard to get the rust out. This would give us some hope of living up to the label “excellent big band” conferred on us by former TUM president Wolfgang A. Herrmann.

Promenadorquestern, the student association at the Royal Technical University, was a big help in arranging equipment and rehearsal spaces. Under Sweden’s self-governing student councils, university bands have a lot more freedom. The student representatives administer their own buildings on campus where they have space for cultural activities along with canteens and study rooms etc.

Jazz band with Uppsala Cathedral in the background Matthias Stadter / TUM JazzBand
Uppsala Cathedral in the background: The student music festival STORK 2022 with 40 bands and 1,000 participants.

40 bands from all over Sweden – and one from Munich

After a day and a half of intense rehearsals and a quick sightseeing tour, we made the short trip to Uppsala on Friday. The university dominates the city center. The cultural and social life is remarkably diverse – because instead of just one student council, Uppsala University has 13 “nations” named for historical Swedish regions.

In the past, students were assigned to these nations based on their place of origin, but today they are free to choose their affiliation. The festival was hosted by the biggest nation: Norrlands. What we experienced during those two days is beyond comparison with everyday life at a German university.

A special musical experience

After a two-year interruption imposed by the pandemic, Uppsala was our lift-off into a new musical era: four tightly grouped stages and short sets performed by a rapid succession of bands in colorful uniforms or overalls, sometimes accompanied by choreographed dance troupes. We only had our trademark blue caps from our past performances at TUM.

Because the Swedish bands are fond of exchanging souvenir pins and patches, the TUM cap became the hottest memento at STORK – probably in large part thanks to our music: it was a big hit, with an enthusiastic crowd cheering us on in our second set.

After returning to Munich, the memories of our experiences – including the successful outreach on behalf of TUM – kept us going well into the semester . We would like to express our gratitude to the Goethe-Institut, which made this trip possible with generous funding. And finally, a request to the TUMshop: please bring back the flat brim TUM caps – we can use them at next year’s festival!”

TUM JazzBand with singer Anne Märkle Johannes Menzel / STORK
At STORK 2022, the TUM JazzBand with singer Anne Märkle mainly performed modern and groovy arrangements.
Further information and links
  • At the beginning of every semester, the TUM JazzBand is always looking to recruit new musicians, in the winter semester 2022/23 especially on alto/tenor saxophone and drums. Students at all Munich colleges and universities are welcome.
  • And in the future, we can also expect guest appearances by Swedish bands that love travelling to Germany in the summer.
  • www.jazzband.tum.de

 

Technical University of Munich

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