A colleague and I started the Zühlke band project around three years ago. Before that, there were a few bands here and there that used to get together at short notice for events in Switzerland and would rehearse especially for these occasions. We wanted to start a regular event where Zühlke musicians could get together and play, so we started the Zühlke jam sessions. These usually take place once a month and are open to all employees. Zühlke made a rehearsal room available for us to use at the Swiss head office in Schlieren, Zurich. For specific events, such as the end of year party, we always find out who is available from our internal pool of musicians to play in the band.
Rocking the work-life balance
I’m the singer in the band, but the lineup is not set in stone. Normally we need a keyboard, drums and bass, and we’re always keen to grow. At the last concert during Zühlke Days (a group-wide Zühlke internal conference) in September, we also had a brass section made up of two saxophones and a trombone player, which was amazing.
As a Zühlke band we play about two Zühlke events a year in Switzerland. In between we regularly meet up in our spare time to play music together. Most of us also play in our own bands. I used to sing in another band and with a choir as well. For me, music is key to having a good work-life balance. Playing in the Zühlke band with my colleagues is a nice way to transition from work to home. In a way it’s a perfect fade-out of the workday.
Variety is key in the Zühlke Band
When it comes to organising and arranging the rehearsals and performances, I’m normally in charge. We decide what music to play for events together. It means everyone can contribute their thoughts and is encouraged to do so. At the moment, we usually play funk and funk rock cover songs. However, we’re all enthusiastic about trying out new things and enjoy experimenting.
The members of the Zühlke bands are employees across various departments and with different roles. When we meet up, we often play fairly freely and spontaneously, which means there is a lot of variety.
Come together- to achieve something
Apart from us, there are several Zühlke bands in Germany, and I think there’s at least one in the UK. Zühlke Days takes place every two years and a concert evening is always held, giving Zühlke bands the chance to perform on stage. This year we played in Stuttgart, where three other German bands also performed.
I think most of us are used to coming together as a team to achieve something because we do it as part of our daily work routine. In a project, it’s not unusual for new personalities to join or for you to work with a whole new team. Having a relaxed approach in these situations helps us to rehearse for a musical performance together and find the righty rhythm to our work-life balance.