What inspired you to take up the trombone?
My father (and his father) had played the trombone. The secondary school I went to offered us free weekly instrumental music lessons and he persuaded me to give it a try.
Have you always wanted to play in an orchestra?
About six months after starting to play a neighbour from several doors down our road heard me and came round to see if I'd like to go along to the local youth brass band. At the very first rehearsal I attended I met the conductor of a local youth orchestra. I became a member of both the groups and quickly realised that playing in orchestras and bands was much more fun than practising! If I'd played a quieter instrument I might never have had that break!
When did you join the BSO?
October 2010. As one of the newest members of the Orchestra I was aware I might get some stick from my colleagues, so I try not to let them get a word in!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The same thing I enjoyed about those first two groups I joined - the feeling of being part of a team that is striving to make great music. When an orchestra is in full flight and the audience is really involved it is a tremendous atmosphere.
What are the challenges of playing the trombone?
I think one of the biggest challenges for a trombone player is maintaining focus. We can have large periods in a piece where we don't play, and then when we do come in it is quite likely to be a dramatic and prominent section of the music. This is one of the best things about playing the trombone as well of course - the fact that every note really matters and that we get to play an important role in so many great moments in the repertoire.
Which piece of music do you enjoy playing?
I enjoy playing any music where the composer has a good understanding of the instrument and uses us effectively. Some personal favourites are Mozart, Brahms and Sibelius. If I had to pick one work though it would have to be Mahler's Second Symphony. The trombone section gets a real workout and the piece, as a whole is an emotional rollercoaster. I was delighted to get to perform it with the BSO in my first season here.
What do you like most about living on the South Coast?
My wife and I both grew up by the coast and so after several years in London it is wonderful to be by the sea again!