Before I ever picked up the oboe at 9 years old, I had always enjoyed singing, dancing, and playing the piano and recorder from a young age. My sister and I were constantly performing our own renditions of ‘Cats’ or ‘Riverdance’ in the living room, and eventually I wanted to do more ensemble playing with other people my age. As a competitive person and never one to turn down a challenge, I chose the oboe because I’d heard it was a hard instrument and fewer people played it, though no one at the time told me how many hours I would then dedicate to reed-making later in life…!

I was so lucky that my local music hub, Bromley Youth Music Trust, was close to home and had many large ensembles, which I played in on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings aged 9 through to 18. I had some amazing experiences there learning classic orchestral repertoire and building my confidence as a performer, becoming principal oboist of the Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band at 16, and touring all over Europe each summer, from Slovenia and Italy to the Netherlands. I loved the social side of youth band and orchestra too, and that alongside the incredible opportunities I had during these formative years helped me realise it was what I wanted to do as a career.

I won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in 2015 learning with John Anderson and David Theodore, and absolutely loved music college life, from playing in orchestral projects to going to Jazz Jams. I decided to stay on for a Masters after graduating in 2019, as I didn’t quite feel ready enough to be out in the world of freelancing, and studied with Olivier Stankiewicz, Juliana Koch, Fabien Thouand and Christine Pendrill for the next two years. The Covid-19 pandemic hit 6 months into my masters, and while studying at home was extremely difficult, and some things like ensemble playing downright impossible, it gave me more time than I normally would have to reflect as a player and really get into the nitty gritty of what I wanted to change and develop with my own solo playing. Some memorable highlights of college include playing Shostakovich 10 with Rafael Payare in my second year, playing in Chamber Orchestra at Windsor Castle with John Wilson, and a small college tour to Shanghai!

I graduated from the RCM with my Masters in 2021, and it’s been a whirlwind since! I currently do a lot of teaching, both whole class and one-to-one, freelancing with various orchestras across London and the South-East, and auditioning for orchestras whenever a job comes up! In my downtime I love to cook and bake, listen to true crime or comedy podcasts, and have recently tried to get back into running, since I got quite decent at it during the first lockdown.

For me, what’s most incredible about music is its emotional impact. It can be powerful enough to make you laugh and cry, evoke memories, or motivate you while you complete a difficult task. My background of musical theatre has helped connect to music through how I feel while playing or listen to it, and I think that’s why I love the dramatics of live performance as well; the concert dress, the staging, the lighting, it’s all part of the show! I also like the idea that live music is temporal, that you are listening to something just once in that moment, and it will only ever be heard that way in that one moment in time, which makes a performance unique and exciting both as a player and as an audience member.


Royal College of Music
London, UK


What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?

Either Barber’s ‘Violin Concerto’, or Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony. They’re two pieces I will constantly go back and listen to, and even though they’re so different, they both have beautiful and poignant oboe solos and incredible string writing. I think Shostakovich might just tip the scales though as the second movement of the 10th Symphony is such a fun blast to play in an orchestra!

How would you persuade someone who has never heard ‘classical music’ before to come with you to a concert?

You might be surprised with how much it resonates with you! Orchestras don’t just play the classics, there is always something new and creative to be found, and if your ears aren’t a fan, surely the spectacle of a huge live orchestra will keep your eyes entertained as it’s not something you see everyday!