My earliest, really profound musical experience was aged six when I attended a performance of Saint-Saëns’ ‘Organ’ Symphony. I had never been to a classical concert before and didn’t know what to expect. Before the piece started I noticed a very small, elderly man walk over to the organ console and remember thinking, “What’s he going to do then?” Then once the organ started playing I’m embarrassed to say I got very emotional. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and knew from then on that I wanted music to be a part of my life.
I was surrounded by music from a very young age as my dad played the drums in a band and my mum was a good amateur flautist. Whenever she wanted to practise she couldn’t find her flute because I would take it and sneak off to try and squeak out some notes in my room. Eventually I was bought a flute of my own for my ninth birthday and started having lessons in my hometown of Cardiff.
I started to progress through my County Music Service playing in various wind bands and orchestras and consequently meeting some amazing and inspirational teachers and musicians. Later on, I auditioned and was awarded a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales or ‘The Nash’ as it’s affectionately known. It was here that I was exposed to a fantastic level of orchestral playing and met Andrew Nicholson who was to be my teacher for the next two years. I had never before heard anyone make the flute sound as amazing as he did!
After some time I was introduced to the late, great Eva Stewart who was the Principal Piccolo in BBC National Orchestra of Wales and truly one of the most inspirational and motivational people I have met. Under her tutelage I was offered a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where I studied with Philippa Davies, Sarah Newbold, Christopher Green and Gareth Davies. Each teacher brought a unique quality to my lessons there.
Since graduating college I have been fortunate enough to play with some of the world’s leading orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra (where I had the pleasure of working with my former teacher Gareth Davies; this was the most valuable of lessons).
In my free time I love walking, exploring National Trust properties and eating every type of exciting food possible!
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
What’s your most memorable moment as a musician?
Doing a workshop with a wind quartet at a SEN hospital while still quite young. The feedback we received was really moving.
What’s on your playlist right now?
Louis Cole, Rufus Wainwright, Ben Folds, Tower of Power and always some Emmanuel Pahud...