...with Emma Haughton
How long has it been since you left Archbishop Beck?
I left the College in 2009, joining from Blessed Sacrament Primary School.
What is the thing you remember about being a student at the College?
The college always had a supportive and understanding environment. The teachers would never fail to offer help, guidance and advice in every aspect of college life. I also remember a flourishing music department, of which I was lucky enough to have been a part of.
You mentioned that you were part of the music department at Archbishop Beck what was the department like when you joined and how did it develop?
The music department was fairly small when I joined the school in 2002, and at this point I did not expect my love for music to grow as much as it during the remainder of my time in the school. However, Mr Bruce Hicks (who started in 2003) saw the importance of a music department that lived in the heart of the school's environment; music education can benefit every student. He developed an award winning concert band and encouraged a record number of students to learn instruments. I would not be where I am today without the support the music department provided during my time at the college.
What would you say to parents considering a school for their child?
The college offers and encourages a wide range of extra-curricular activities that, I feel, has something for everyone. The unique sense of community allows for students to thrive academically, and in any extra interests they may have.
What have you been doing since leaving Archbishop Beck?
I went to Liverpool Hope University to study a BAHons Music degree. From there I was offered a scholarship to complete a Masters in Musicology and Performance at the University. I then was fortunate enough to gain a place at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester) to study an Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in Clarinet performance. This pathway has allowed me to develop at my own pace, and gave me the time to realise where my passion lies; in the study, performance and education of music.
I am now working as a self-employed musician and teacher. I teach woodwind in a number of schools, facilitate and teach on music outreach projects in conjunction with professional orchestras, conduct junior ensembles in North Liverpool, play and record regularly with professional session orchestras and work as a soloist for contemporary composers. All of the above brings me great joy every day of my life!
What motivated you to do music as a career?
Being a musician offers a wonderfully varied and exciting timetable and I am enthused by all elements of the job. I enjoy the competitive nature of the industry. Most importantly, I love the fact that music can make a positive impact on a person's life in a small space of time, and that I can be a part of that.
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to do the same kind of work you do?
Love what you are doing, work as hard as you can, and get to know as many people as you can. This type of work is built on strong communication skills, and strong networking skills. A final point is never to doubt yourself. I believe anyone can reach their full potential in anything they want to.