Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!
I have always been interested in music from a young age. My musical journey started with an incredibly passionate musical head teacher at my primary school. My first instrument was the recorder before I moved onto the violin when I was 9 years old, and I haven’t looked back since. I have been teaching the violin and viola for the Leicestershire Schools Music Service since 2003, and have conducted for the music service, many junior string groups for 16 years. I love to be part of the live music scene in Leicester where I hold principal viola for the Leicester Symphony Orchestra, principal leader for the Knighton Chamber Orchestra. I also play in a local country band called ‘The Hardy Band’
Aside from music I also enjoy playing darts for my local pub, dog walking and being outdoors.
How did you first get into music?
My musical journey started at primary school. We had a wide range of opportunities offered to us within the school environment that we could try for free! Singing was a huge part of school life and I began playing the recorder which led onto the violin. I was taught by a variety of teachers within the Leicestershire Schools Music Service, played in the county ensembles and in my final years toured with the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra. I have made many friends over the years and am still in contact with those right back at the start of my journey some 30 years ago.
What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?
As I started to make progress on my violin, I was encouraged to join ensembles and quartets. Being part of something bigger than just me practising on my own was more fun and became increasing rewarding. The fun element of playing in a group, sometimes in different countries too is what gave me inspiration to carry on.
What has been your musical highlight so far?
Over the years, I have had some fantastic playing opportunities in lots of big venues but my highlight has to be having the opportunity to record at Abbey Road Studios for the charitable organisation ‘Help for Heroes.’ My dad was able to come along and join me for to the experience to, which made it so special for me.
Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?
I tend to enjoy what I’m rehearsing at the moment in time! But these composers do pull at my heart strings a little to me; J.S. Bach, Arvo Part, Mozart, Finzi, Vaughan Williams, Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis!
What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?
Rain and midges! Despite that though I am so excited to be visiting such a beautiful part of the world and sharing the joy and excitement that live music brings with so many people.