I am from Bromley, London, and began my musical journey when I started learning the piano aged seven. I took up the drum kit aged 11, and was then quickly ushered into playing orchestral percussion as a culmination of the two skills.
I recently graduated from the Royal College of Music (RCM) with a First Class degree, where my studies were generously supported by the Pete Handley Memorial Award. Some of my most treasured memories from my time at RCM include performing the world-premiere of a percussion duet with Dame Evelyn Glennie, and touring the country with the RCM’s flagship percussion ensemble, performing at the likes of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Eton College. I was also able to lead the percussion and timpani sections of the symphony orchestra, under the batons of Bernard Haitink, John Wilson and Nicholas Collon. My time at RCM was really full on; I was able to take part in an enormous range of opportunities that have left me feeling well-prepared for ‘life on the outside’!
As a freelancer, I have performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and London Sinfonietta. I have also taken part in the English National Opera Evolve scheme and the London Symphony Orchestra Academy, as well as being Principal Percussionist for both the Britten-Pears Orchestra and the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. The two weeks I spent last year with the Britten-Pears Orchestra were absolutely amazing: the orchestra takes residency in Aldeburgh and rehearses every day at Snape Maltings. The course was a perfect musical retreat, long days rehearsing amazing music with an incredible orchestra, followed by fish and chips on the beach, and an evening in a seaside pub.
I also really enjoy performing regularly with the American-style ensemble Box9 Drumline: the percussion unit of an American marching band, taken that bit further. We play in a variety of settings - from weddings and corporate events, to sporting events and millionaires’ birthday parties - with numbers ranging from 5 to 25, and with brass and amazing light shows. I have a lot of great memories with the group, and highlights include performing for the Rugby World Cup finals and semi-finals at Twickenham, for the NFL International Series at Wembley, and at Glastonbury Festival. The group have an amazing sense of camaraderie and we’re all excited to see where our work will take us in the future.
Royal College of Music
What do you love about classical music?
I’m always amazed by the massive variety there is in classical music. 13 year old me would never have believed that, now, after listening through a symphony on the train, I can think to myself ‘I fancy something completely different’, and then put on… more classical music. The range in styles, and emotions that they can evoke, under the classical music umbrella is crazy. I’ll find myself going from listening to some exciting John Adams work, to something incredibly solemn by Mahler. They’ll both leave me completely drained, but in totally different ways. Or I’ll listen to a huge, overwhelming Bach Mass, and then think - I want to listen to something more intimate - and be mesmerised by the Dutilleux string quartet.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
I took Accrington Stanley from the Fourth Division to Champions of Europe on FIFA '09… I don’t think I could even show you where Accrington is on a map!