Tell us a little bit about yourself, your music-making and your life.
I am a Welsh girl at heart now living in rural Leicestershire. I’m married to Chris, an amazing husband, father, author, speaker and baker who works at Launde Abbey, we have four children ranging from 14 to 23. I studied English and Psychology at Dundee University and fell in love with the Tay and the Scottish people. I teach and learn a lot at our local primary school.
What are your favourite things?
- Music (obviously)
- Walking with my dog across miles of countryside
- A glass of red wine
- Exploring new places.
How did you first get into music?
I started at Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn School at the age of 7 and still have the report where my teacher gave me a Z! We were fortunate to have an excellent music staff in Ceredigion who trained us well and took us on tour to Germany. I later joined students and semi professionals at the Aberystwth Philomusica, which then had a very good music department, to play concerts with the newscaster Richard Baker and the children’s television entertainer Jonny Morris.
What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?
Music has given me a larger family, widened my circle of friends and given me some fun opportunities along the way; busking by the lake in Llandrindod Wells, playing at Denver’s Comic Con with The Castle Rock Orchestra, German exchange visits to Kronberg and Frankfurt, taking a group of children to sing and perform in Makaton in BBC’s Children in Need and playing on St Kilda and the Hebrides to name a few.
What has been your Nevis highlight so far?
I am young at heart and have risen to the challenge of playing in swimming pools, by Loch Lomond, across the Hebrides while surviving on minimum sleep gained on hall floors but the highlight was knowing we were making a difference to some people, from the couple on their honeymoon who felt their experience of Nevis was the highlight of their holiday to the gentleman who rarely slept but who, following (and possibly during!) our performance at a Glasgow hospital, felt relaxed enough to sleep deeply.
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
My teenage angst was soothed by Janecek’s Taras Bulba and the musical Chess. I like the guitar music of Laurence Juber (Cobalt Blue, Mosaic), Djangos Cadillac, gipsy jazz and Officium. Fairly eclectic like most musicians.
How would you describe Nevis Ensemble to someone?
A challenge! A delight! Fun! Exhausting! It is a street orchestra, bringing music and joy to many in schools, in the streets of Scotland and soon Europe, in hospitals, on mountains and to inaccessible areas. It gives mainly (but not exclusively) young, talented, up and coming musicians the chance to explore their future careers in music. It gives each member the space to grow, develop and enhance their skills.