SWMS programme:

When did you join South West Music School?
I joined in September 2015

What do you play?
I play Saxophone. I started with Alto then added Tenor and for the last year my favourite, the Baritone! I am about to start Jazz piano and love to sing but it’s hard to do when you’re blowing a sax!

When did you first get into music and what inspired you to do so?
When I was 8, my school music teacher took the class into the music block where all the musical instruments were laid out on the floor. They said pick one up and have a go. I picked up an Alto and when I blew it I got a set of notes out! They took me to one side and it all went from there. I think it frustrated my parents as they had a piano at home and a guitar; neither of which I had taken to. I also remember being bought a full size drum kit and electric guitar; the only riff I learned was the Phil Collins hit “In The Air Tonight” (the one played by the Gorilla on the Cadbury advert!).

Who/what are your musical influences?
My musical tastes are varied and I like everything from pop and rock through to funk and classical, however jazz and blues are probably still at the top for now. I play in the school big band (where I get to play some cool swing tunes), the soul band, the orchestra and the sax quintet (which just became a quartet). My fave jazz artist is still Charlie Parker but I love playing Karen Street pieces and it would be great to meet and play with her one day. I love Stevie Wonder and the rhythms and bass he puts into his pieces. I have met with my SWMS mentor Ed a few times now and he has given me some great advice and has influenced me already.

What would you say has been your biggest or most favourite achievement to date?
The two biggest achievements I have had with music are; playing at the Maidmont Theatre in Auckland New Zealand, where I opened for my school playing the intro to “Baker Street” – that was to an audience of 1500 back in 2011. More recently I was lucky enough to play at Ronnie Scott’s in London under the expert directorship of Pete Long, the band leader for the Ronnie Scott’s Band. We were on before the main event on a Sunday evening – what an experience with like minded people! I suppose it was that which made me look into joining South West Music School – the people here are great and all perform to a high standard, making music fun!

What do you enjoy about being part of South West Music School?
Like I just mentioned, working and playing with young people that love music like I do and who get the same buzz from performing as me. The masterclasses are awesome and I learn so much from the great tutors, like Elfyn.