As a fifth generation trumpeter, I began playing the cornet in my local Salvation Army brass band aged six, under the tutelage of my grandfather, Ray Todd. It was here that I learnt the ropes of playing brass music, rehearsing every week with all of my friends and family - although we were more interested in playing football in the corridors than actually rehearsing at that point!
I didn’t really discover classical music until later on during my high school years, singing in the choirs and playing in the orchestras there. When I was about 16, I switched to the trumpet as my main instrumental focus, applying to music college a year later.
It was actually during an interview with the principal of one of these institutions that I was given the nudge to pursue a university undergraduate degree whilst I had the chance: I therefore began my studies in music at King’s College London, a decision I haven’t regretted one bit! After university, I took up postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music as a South Square Trust Scholar, spending two incredibly intense and enjoyable years there.
During my studies, I also performed and recorded as Principal Trumpet with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Beyond my classical work, I perform regularly with National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and I often work in the pit for various musical theatre productions.
Royal Academy of Music
King's College London
What do you think concerts of the future should look like?
For me, this is a question less about what concerts should look like visually, but more about how one should feel when present during a concert. A concert can take place in a myriad of settings and a plethora of music can be explored, however, it is our duty as performers to ensure that such occasions amount to a collective experience for both listener and performer. There can often be a perceived barrier between performers and the rest of the concert hall in traditional formats, and it is important that whatever the setting, we interact with our audience on a level playing field, rather than creating a voyeuristic atmosphere for the listeners.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us...
At school I played in a Klezmer Band, Moriah, whose album sold just one copy – to a customer in Mexico.