When it became apparent after a couple of weeks in my maths A Level class that my calling in life probably wasn’t going to be in accounting (or anything remotely mathematical) I decided to study music at university. Although I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, music had always been a huge part of my life while I was at school and I don’t think it would have felt right to have left it behind and gone on to something else. I ended up at the University of Surrey, which has quite a big emphasis on vocational training (across all subjects) so this probably helped nudge me towards eventually wanting to work in Arts Admin after university.
I was lucky enough to start an internship in the Junior Department at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance shortly after graduating in 2013 which gave me a wealth of experience across all sorts of areas such as concert management and running auditions, but not least how much I secretly enjoyed mundane ‘sadmin’ tasks like laminating and photocopying 100s of pages.
This led to a job a year later as Administrative Assistant at the Royal Philharmonic Society where the world of music was really opened up to me. I met some amazing people, was a part of some incredible events a learnt a huge amount, but I found I missed being so hands on a regular basis. I joined Southbank Sinfonia in early 2015 as Orchestra Assistant, before becoming Orchestra Manager in June 2016.
I love orchestral management because no two days are the same. You could be doing anything from running a concert in a stunning private venue, surrounded by amazing music, fabulously dressed people and canapés to lugging timps through a hilly Tuscan town, or being locked in a van in the middle of Southwark at 11 o’clock at night (and this could all happen in 24 hours). It certainly keeps you on your toes.
What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
When I get time off I like to travel, or if people around me are lucky, bake. I’m also training to run the London Marathon in April.
What is your favourite piece of music, and why do you love it?
This constantly changes but right now I love Max Richter’s Four Seasons Recomposed which the orchestra performed with the National Youth Dance Company a couple of years ago. It takes a hugely well-known piece of music and puts a new spin on it, and that, in turn, helps me put a new spin on the way I look at things.