Seb Marshall

Debussy

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!

I was born in London and I studied music in Manchester, which I absolutely loved and I met lots of wonderful people. Since graduating two years ago I have been working as a freelance musician. 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.

How did you first get into music?

I was born into a musical family, a blessing and a curse; there was help at hand when I wanted it, but there was 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 first started getting really into performing when I began playing in the school bands and orchestras – I always found performing with lots of other people to be the most rewarding kind of music-making.

What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?

Many different moments all across my life. I can’t remember a precise “light-bulb” moment from my childhood when I suddenly decided to pursue music more seriously, but it was probably at some point during my secondary school years, when I actually found myself practising my part for orchestra for the first time!

What has been your musical highlight so far?

Too many to choose from! Of course playing to any concert hall no matter how small or large is a wonderful experience, and getting to play some of my favourite pieces with some of my best friends is always amazing and I’m very lucky to be able to do it. But I think my number one highlight was playing at a nursing home with Street Orchestra Live last year. One of the staff members approached us after we’d finished playing and told us that several of the patients who have dementia and hadn’t said a word in 10 years were dancing, laughing, and singing along. It really made me appreciate why live music is so important, and reaffirmed for me that I want to spend my life making music.

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

Depends on the day of the week! But I keep coming back to Shostakovich, Ravel, Mahler, Britten, The King’s Singers, Jacob Collier, Snarky Puppy, Tim Minchin, and of course everything Disney. Plus pretty much all barbershop.

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

I can’t wait to see the look on the face of all the unsuspecting Scots when a full orchestra pops up out of nowhere and starts playing for them. I’m lucky enough to be a regular member of Street Orchestra Live, whose aim is to bring music to everyone, anywhere, and I look forward to bringing live music to even more people with Nevis and making even more fantastic memories with great people.