When I was seven, I was finally able to join my school’s band. The music teacher let all of us try each instrument before we chose what we wanted to play, but I knew already that I was going to play the trumpet. Why? Because I knew it was the loudest, and I wanted to play loud. I have since learned that nobody else really likes when you play loud, but in secret, I still like playing loud.
When I entered high school I joined the marching band. It was in this group that I really began to realise how special making music is from the perspective of both the performer and the audience. Putting on a show and feeling the electricity in the air as you hit the last note of a performance or competition. This led to the thought of pursuing music as a career path, which led to joining all the local youth and community bands and orchestras, which then led to shipping off to Manchester for my undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
While in Manchester, I played in just about every type of group you could find the trumpet (or cornet) in. From brass bands, to wind bands, orchestras, big bands, new music ensembles, you name it. This diversity allowed me to really grow as a musician. At the RNCM I studied with Tracey Redfern, Murray Greig, and Rhys Owens.
Recently, I completed my Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music. At the Academy I performed in masterclasses with Reinhold Friedrich, Jeroen Berwaerts, James Thompson, and many other giants of trumpet playing. I developed an interest in historically informed performance and began learning the natural trumpet and the cornett. Additionally, I formed the Ibex Brass Collective, and award-winning brass 10-piece that are currently Chamber Music Fellows of the Royal Academy of Music. Mark David, Paul Beniston, Will O’Sullivan, and Bob Farley were all my teachers at the Royal Academy of Music.
Royal Academy of Music
Royal Northern College of Music
What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?
It’s way too hard to pick just one! Can I put my “essential listening list” instead?
Mahler Symphony No. 2 – Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic (1988, Deutsche Grammaphon)
Strauss Eine Alpensinfonie – Seiji Ozawa, Vienna Philharmonic (1996, Philips)
Marsalis Swing Syphony – David Robertson, St. Louis Symphony/Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (2019, Blue Engine Records)
Beethoven The Symphonies (yes, all of them) – John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (2010, Archiv Produktion)
What’s your most memorable moment as a musician?
One time during my undergrad, I played a concerto that I had to dress in drag for. Oh, and I used a severed dolls head as a mute. Oh, and it was in a bathtub filled with icy cold water.