My Dad often recounts the time at school when he was made to stand up and sing in front of his class despite possessing zero musical talent, and subsequently got laughed off by his teacher and classmates. From that moment on he swore that his children would never face the same humiliation and would possess at least some basic musical skill, so at the age of about five he packed me and my sister off to piano lessons, not really realising that we’d both love it so much and continue (expensive) music lessons for years to come! After my parents came to terms with the fact that music wasn’t going to be a fleeting hobby, at aged 11 we were told we could choose another instrument if we wanted; my sister chose the violin which meant, of course, I couldn’t also pick a string instrument, so decided that clarinet was the instrument for me.
I played in multiple wind bands and orchestras growing up. When the time came to choose a degree I decided to study Law, however, when I got to Exeter University I found myself spending a lot more of my time doing extra-curricular music activities (including deciding to teach myself the saxophone so that I could also join the jazz band) than studying for my actual degree. It was during my time at University that I discovered my love for arts administration, after holding various committee positions for Exeter University Concert Band and Exeter University Clarinet Choir.
I started my arts administration career with an internship at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in their Development team, before getting a full-time position there. I then moved onto the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) where I’ve spent the past two years in Development and Communications, before moving to Southbank Sinfonia. I love the ethos that both NYJO and Southbank Sinfonia have of helping young professional musicians progress onto the next stage of their careers. Springboard institutions like these are so important and I’m excited to join the Southbank Sinfonia team as Development Manager and contribute towards this important goal!
Outside of music I really love baking. I get the same creative enjoyment out of creating and decorating a beautiful cake that I do when playing music...but with baking you also have something delicious to eat at the end of it!
What’s on your playlist right now?
Quite a mix of things! Roy Hargrove’s Strasbourg/St Denis is one of my favourite jazz classics. I also enjoy listening to music by saxophonist Joshua Redman after seeing him at the Wigmore Hall a few months ago. A lot of classic 90’s pop features heavily on my running playlists. I also saw Hamilton in the theatre quite recently and have had that soundtrack on repeat ever since.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
I once spent a year working as a professional Gift Wrapper at Harrods, and wrapped a suitcase for Mark Ronson.