Having come from a musical family, I have been fully immersed in music from a young age. I started my musical life by playing the violin at age 5. After discovering that this was not the instrument for me, I decided to try the saxophone in a wider opportunities class run by the Lancashire music service. I very much enjoyed the sax but still felt it wasn’t for me and was then luckily given the chance to try out the bassoon, and loved it from the beginning. I occupied most of my spare time with wind bands and orchestras run by my local music centres and then went on to attend the Junior Royal Northern College of Music, studying with Steve Magee.
After going through a time of indecision about whether music was what I wanted to do as a career, I started applying for music conservatoires all over the country. I was accepted at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) as an ABRSM scholar and after thoroughly enjoying my undergraduate degree, decided to stay on for a one-year postgraduate degree, which I completed in July 2019. During my time at RAM, I studied the bassoon with John Orford, Robin O’neill and Jonathan Davies, and contrabassoon with David Chatterton, Fraser Gordon and Simon Estell.
Whilst studying at RAM, I quickly became a founding member of the Abingdon Wind Quintet. As a group we have had many amazing opportunities, including playing at the Wigmore Hall in their ‘For crying out loud’ concert series and performing for Princess Anne. My most memorable moment was when we went to France for a week long residency staying with David Wilson-Johnson. This week was full of amazing opportunities to perform and bond even more as a group.
As a dog-lover who has never had a dog, I have loved living with my sister, her fiancé and their dog Ringo, as I get to take him on lots of walks and play with him, all while pretending he is my own.
Royal Academy of Music
What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?
I can never decide what my favourite piece of music is because there is so much music to choose from. At the minute I have been listening to Schubert Octet in F major, Stravinsky Octet and Britten Young Persons Guide. I have also been listening to the How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack because it’s amazing.
How would you persuade someone who has never heard ‘classical music’ before to come with you to a concert?
Most of friends are musicians anyway but to encourage my non-musician friends I’d probably have to promise them a pint afterwards.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I really dislike trifle. I can’t get over the texture.
Sarah is a member of the 2020-2021 fellowship.