CHS Young Musician of the Year 2018
What are your memories of first learning to play the trumpet?
I started playing the cornet in Year 3 at the suggestion of my music teacher; the trumpet was too big for me. I joined Stockport Schools Brass Band after a year, which raised my standard of playing and increased my confidence. I remember playing a Pirates of the Caribbean medley with the junior brass band for the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain and making friends I still have today, with whom I still perform. I started playing the trumpet in Year 8, when I joined CHS’s orchestra and big band.
Who or what has inspired you in your musical journey?
Age 12, I went to see Alison Balsom at the Bridgewater Hall; her performance made me want to pick up my trumpet and play. I’m inspired by the joy music brings me, and other people, in the audience or the ensemble. Whilst studying for my GCSEs music was a great way to relieve stress, especially playing the piano. Chopin’s ‘Raindrop’ Prelude was truly appropriate for relieving any tension. My trumpet teacher has been a great enabler in my musical success. He has always believed in me, pushed me to be the best I can be, without undue stress. I still have lessons to further develop my playing; it is great to play challenging music together.
What have been the main challenges you have faced?
Definitely the amount of practice needed to sustain my standard, whilst studying hard at school for exams, yet still having a social life. I often get nervous before a big performance, frequently finding the build-up more stressful than the playing itself, even after years of performing.
Other than winning CHS’s Young Musician of the Year, what have been your highlights?
It was wonderful to win CHS’s Young Musician of the Year this year on trumpet, but I was delighted to win it last year on the piano, in Lower Sixth. In Year 12 I achieved my Grade 8 in trumpet and piano, whilst keeping on top of school work and being principal cornet of the Stockport School’s Brass Band. I enjoyed performing a cornet solo at the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain to a crowd of several hundred. One of my proudest moments was playing Hummel’s trumpet concerto with the school concert band in the spring concert. It was a terrific experience, in such a prestigious venue. I will always remember it.
What has learning an instrument taught you?
Resilience. It can be very frustrating if a performance doesn’t go as well as you want, or another performer beats you. You cannot be brilliant straight away. It takes a lot of time, commitment and hard work to learn pieces, especially for Grade 8 and beyond.
What are your musical ambitions?
I‘m looking forward to playing music at university and joining as many bands encompassing jazz to classical as I can. I hope to form lasting friendships with others who share the same passion for music.