Like most violists, I first started music on the violin. I remember when my mum first asked me in the car when I was 5 years old, and just saying yes even though I didn’t know what a violin was! Coming from a non-musical family, my musical upbringing was mainly around my local music centre, the North East Derbyshire Music Centre, and playing for my local youth orchestra, the City of Derbyshire Youth Orchestra. From there, I moved to the Sheffield Music Academy every Saturday, where I would have violin, singing, theory and musicianship lessons alongside various chamber and orchestral rehearsals. I also spent 5 years playing for the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra.

It wasn’t until I was 14 that I picked up the viola for the first time; being in a quartet with 4 violins and a cello we were very suspicious until my teacher, Martin Cropper, asked if I’d like to play viola. From there, I just instantly clicked with the instrument and knew it was what I wanted to continue playing as my career. When I was 16 I finally made the complete switch when I auditioned for conservatoire.

Studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Jon Thorne has been the most valuable four years so far. I have learned so much not only about the viola, but how to perform confidently and how to work as a professional musician with others. I am also a part of a harp, flute and viola trio called the Asteria Trio, and we freelance for many weddings, concerts and functions. My passion for performing with others has only been furthered fuelled during my undergraduate studies, and I am very much looking forward to a year of music making with Southbank Sinfonia.

Outside of music, I am also a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, and was a cadet for 7 years before that. This included a lot of music, where I would pick up the flute and somehow scrape through a grade 5! I also enjoyed all the activities you couldn’t do in day to day life, like flying, shooting and field craft. Continuing as a commissioned officer after being too old to be a cadet, I’ve worked with the National Concert Band playing percussion, which has always been a fun challenge!