I’ve actually worked for Southbank Sinfonia before, at the end of 2016 when I was a Communications Intern with Matt. They managed to suck me back in with their charm and brilliance and so here I am again!
I was born into a musical family, a blessing and a curse; there was help at hand when I wanted it, but there also plenty available when I didn’t want it, and I’d often get told I was ‘practising incorrectly’ by my parents listening from the other room!
I started learning the recorder when I was six and took up the clarinet when I was eight. Although most people start with the recorder and then give it up in favour of their new instrument, I continued with both until I was 18, so I am one of the few people cool enough to say that I have an ABRSM Grade 8 Recorder certificate – with distinction! I’m also a keen singer (classical and barbershop) and conductor, and on Saturday mornings I conduct the junior band at my local music centre.
I was never the sporty type while I was at school – my free time was always spent doing various music-related activities, and I went on to study music at the University of Manchester. I knew before I started uni that I loved playing, and I’d always enjoyed the school orchestra rehearsals, but it wasn’t until I arrived at uni that I realised I wanted to be an orchestral clarinettist as a career. So when I’m not fundraising for Southbank Sinfonia, you can find me in the practice room!
What do you love about classical music?
Seeing the effect the same piece of music can have on many different people. 10 people can listen to the same piece of music and hear completely different things and experience completely different emotions. I once played a piece with an orchestra in a nursing home – I thought it was just a nice piece of music, but one of the nurses told us afterwards that one of their patients with dementia who hadn’t said a word in 10 years was dancing, smiling, and laughing. It is extraordinary the journey that a single, simple piece can take us on.
What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
I do a lot of private music teaching, and I sing in a barbershop quartet and chorus. I also enjoy drinking far too much tea and coffee, cooking, watching movies and TV shows, catching up with friends over a pint, and playing the occasional video game. Oh, and looking at pictures of dogs online and wishing I had one.