Whenever I am asked what has been the most important factor in becoming a professional musician, I always give the same answer: being born in Lancashire!
Looking back on my musical education, I realise just how lucky I was to have had the opportunity, through the Lancashire Music Service, to learn from so many inspirational teachers and tutors: Bob Aspden and Barbara MacLaren, my first horn teachers; Stuart Grills, conducting the Preston Concert Band; Lizzie Davis, coaching the horn sections of the Lancashire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) and Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra (LYSO); Diana Griffith, conducting the LSSO; and above all, Malcolm Doley, conducting the LYSO and encouraging me to get started as a composer.
Most school nights and every single weekend were filled with music-making with one ensemble or another, and it was incredibly important to me to know that there were other students who loved music the way that I did. Any piece I composed or arranged found willing performers, and the repertoire we covered in huge detail with Malcolm and the LYSO is music I now play every week of my life.
I know I took it for granted at the time, but I wouldn’t be doing what I do now without that start!
I used to attend Preston Guild Hall every month with my parents to listen to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and now I play with them. The orchestra still regularly performs in Preston and I want to get more people involved in bringing their kids to concerts.
Lancashire Classical Music Collaboration