Meet our Trombone Teacher

I’m a trombone player although I also teach the euphonium and tuba at CLS. I started playing when I went to Grammar School and then continued to Trinity College of Music. Since leaving college I have always worked as a freelance musician and teacher.

As a musician I have been lucky enough to see lots of the world whilst working, literally from Greenland to New Zealand; my favourite tours have been those to Australia with a rock band…amazing country and great crowds and we get so well looked after….it’s terribly hard! I worked on cruise ships for a while too which obviously topped up the “countries visited” list and I used to do lots of shows as a dep in the West End. I could never bring myself to do a show of my own, it was just far too boring to play the same thing every night but depping for others was great fun (and a little terrifying)…..

I have played in all types of musical ensemble: orchestras, big bands, brass ensembles, rock bands, early music groups and in every type of occasion from Football World Cups to Society Balls. It is the continual variety of work that makes being a musician so attractive to me. I play less than I used to now (concentrating more on the teaching) but a lot of weekends I will still be working abroad in Europe.

I have taught at many other schools: Oakham School, Kings College School Cambridge, Marlborough College, Harrow School, Queenswood School and City of London School for Girls among others….and I also still teach at Cardinal Vaughan School in Holland Park (another school with a great musical tradition). I also worked as a Specialist Brass Music Examiner for Guildhall … hard work but very rewarding. A friend of mine from college taught at CLS and then he got a job playing the trombone out in the Canary Islands. He asked if I would come and cover for his teaching until he came back. He’s still out in the Canaries and I’m still here! That was in September 1988…28 years ago….unbelievable.

We have a great team of musicians at this school; real professionals who care about music and their students. The Junior Class scheme is a massive plus too; less popular instruments like the trombone would never get as many students playing it if new boys did not have the opportunity to play just about any instrument for two terms in their first year at school. It is vital to the continuing abundance and level of music making at CLS and is the envy of many other music departments in other schools.

The best moments are seeing the difference playing music can make in your students’ lives. Music can change us in so many ways and everyone is affected differently. You don’t have to make music your career but it can still have a significant effect on the way you think about and approach life.

Some of the highlights over the years have been concerts and Brass Players Parents’ Evenings. It is great to see how the boys can raise themselves for a performance.

Although it is sad to see the boys leave after Seven or eight years at CLS, it is also wonderful to see how they have developed throughout the years into confident young men who have so much to look forward to….very heartening.

 

Instruments like the trombone would never get as many students playing it if new boys did not have the opportunity to play just about any instrument when they join CLS.

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