Making Music is Teamwork: Meet The Splitz

Last month, Agilent’s site band The Splitz performed during lunchtime on a sunny California afternoon.

I know what you’re thinking... A biotech company with a band?!

Though a company band may seem a little outside the box, the creation of the The Splitz has proven to be a great decision. It brings together employees from all over the company, and the band’s performance add to the great atmosphere here at the site. Agilent encourages employees to pursue their passions, and the creation of The Splitz really sheds light on the support Agilent provides to its employees. Believe it or not, not every employee wants to dart home as soon as they’re off work! Many find joy in spending time with each other after work, just as they would with any other friend.

The Splitz includes employees from all areas of Agilent — from those who work in legal, HR, R&D support, engineers, managers, and scientists. The band features vocals, drums, bass, guitars, and the keyboard, and anyone is welcome to join.

The band was founded about five years ago by Tony, a manager from Santa Clara. He’s been with the company for over 12 years, and his inspiration came from a visit he made to the Ceder Creek site in Texas. He noticed the site had their own band that was filled with talented musicians from Austin. Although he had a background in music, he had never been in an actual band. Tony had his own music that he published on the internet, but had never actually performed. Despite this lack of experience, he was motivated to try and get the same type of group started back at his own Bay Area site.

Tony put out an ad for anyone interested in joining the band and around twenty people were immediately eager to become involved. The group petitioned to be a club and was approved by Agilent, which then provided the band with their set up and instruments. Initially, it was less structured and operated more like a club, where anyone could come play music and hangout. So many people were excited to get involved that, at one point, there were seven bass players! As we all know though, life get’s busy. Throughout the years, people came and went and the band worked its way into a solid group of people who met weekly.

That brings us to today.

Though the group only performs annually or semi-annually, they always get together Monday evenings after work for some time to jam out. They practice in the auditorium and anyone is welcome to come. Other employees often come to just to hangout after work and listen to some good music.

Everyone in the group has a different background, which makes for a great learning experience. While some had never performed before joining, members like Jackie have always loved performing. As the lead female vocalist, her strong presence lights up the audience and is a force to be reckoned with.

Prior to joining the band, she had sung mostly cabaret, and was interested in branching out. After the previous female singer ended up leaving due to a busy schedule, Jackie decided to join a rehearsal. It seemed like a good fit and the rest is history! She has been in the band a little over a year and a half.

When asked what her favorite part about being a part of the band, Jackie’s answer was simple:

“ To learn new things and collaborate… Making music is teamwork.”

Members bring in songs they’re interested in doing, and the group tests them out to see if they can make them work with the instruments they have. If a particular song is popular enough, the band continues to work on it and it often finds its way into a performance.

“Everyone has different tastes and they’re so eclectic but everyone’s open to trying anything” — Jackie

The group enjoys playing a diverse range of music and is always willing to try out new styles. They like to play around with classics, newer songs, the rock pop genre — basically anything.

Agilent’s positive work enviroment contributes greatly to their collaboration. According to Tony,

“Everyone has their own specialty, but it helps that we’re in a workplace because people are much more likely to compromise with each other. It gets people together.”

Agilent prides itself in giving their employees the freedom to pursue their passions. The core values of Agilent can be seen in our employees’ day to day lives. Hats off to The Splitz for their creativity and collaboration.

All photo credit is given to AJ Feurtado. Check out http://www.feurtography.com/ to learn more about “The Art Of Feurtography”

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