I studied at Huddersfield – gaining a first class honours degree in music and the prize for Distinction Brought to the Institution – and the RNCM, where I was awarded a major scholarship and the Advanced Diploma in Music Performance. Since then I have worked consistently with all the major Northern orchestras and ensembles on both timpani and percussion, and have been Principal Percussionist of Manchester Camerata since the mid 80’s, a position that was created for me by John Whibley.
I play as a soloist, including for the International Concert Series at The Bridgewater Hall, teach at 3 universities and am an external percussion examiner at Leeds College and Huddersfield University. I am heavily involved with the Camerata in the Community department of Manchester Camerata, and believe that working on the ‘Music in Mind’ projects with people living with dementia is one of the best things I have been part of in my musical career. I am particularly interested in working with people with special needs, including our ‘Songlines’ project with the Royal Exchange Theatre over the last decade, which works with young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I also run workshops as an animateur in the North of England for people of all ages and abilities. For 7 years I ran Movers and Shakers for Accessible Arts and Media in York for people with severe and moderate learning difficulties, examined for the Guildhall and Trinity for 15 years, and was tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of Wales for 15 years.
I didn’t expect to be raving for the first time at the age of 56, but have thoroughly enjoyed the Hacienda Classical concerts and getting to experience lots of different musical genres through the Camerata’s no barriers ethos. I am very grateful to John Caine for sponsoring my position in the orchestra.