My musical story began as a boy with arms that were slightly too short. I was aged six when my older brother joined a marching band. Inevitably, I wanted to join in too and it was the trombone that captured my imagination. Alas, being too small to move the slide properly, I was instead given a drum to hit, and so my parents’ regrets began.
Side drum quickly progressed to drum kit, and then a brass band introduced me to the whole percussion family. Youth orchestras, jazz bands and percussion ensembles followed, leading to university where I studied…Geography and Town Planning.
I’d always known that a career as a professional musician probably wasn’t for me, but music brought so much to my life. It catalysed friendships and incredible opportunities, gave me confidence and widened my horizons. Whether a big band thumping out a Sinatra cover, a ska band getting a whole room dancing, or an orchestra unleashing a seismic explosion of energy, it has never particularly mattered to me which style. Instead, it is music’s weaving narratives, its ability to conjure the wildest kaleidoscope of emotions, and its power to transport you across time and space that has always captivated me.
After graduating, I spent a couple of years working freelance as a percussionist, music teacher and graphic designer with a variety of arts organisations. A brass band’s family concert became a multimedia adventure, visual construction instructions helped the pBone (the world’s first plastic trombone) become a reality, and I designed the launch materials for BSO Vibes, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s initiative to bring young audiences to the concert hall. It was here at BSO that I then took my first full-time orchestral job, helping to kickstart their digital presence as a member of their marketing team.
I joined Southbank Sinfonia in 2014, enticed by its potential as a test bed for what a modern orchestra could be. In performances, my role has evolved to include directing our #ConcertLab series and co-producing our pioneering Family Concerts, while also helping musicians unlock new approaches to talk about the music they’re performing. I’ve also led the orchestra’s marketing, producing everything from programmes to websites.
Away from work, I love walking and stumbling across the unexpected. It’s endlessly exciting to take a wander around London, a city of constant reinvention and surprise. Just like classical music, there’s always something new to spot.
What’s on your playlist right now?
The Adam Buxton Podcast, some classic ska tracks by the likes of The Skatalites and The Specials, most of our upcoming Southbank Sinfonia concerts to get me thinking about the year ahead, and a collection of Big Band tracks from the past few decades.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
I was one of the winners in the TfL competition to design London’s new Routemaster bus.