I began playing the trumpet aged 7 after my primary school sent a letter out offering subsidised instrumental lessons from the Birmingham Music Service. I chose the trumpet because I thought it looked cool! For £5 a week, I had two 20-minute lessons and was given a cornet as I was too small to hold up a trumpet – I immediately loved it! After a year, I joined the “Birmingham Schools’ Training Brass Band”, one of many free ensembles for young musicians in the city. I loved playing with others and, after progressing through the different levels of ensembles, I ended up playing in five of them a week. Looking back, I was incredibly lucky to meet so many great friends and teachers through the Music Service, including my first teacher Pete, who taught me up until the age of 18. As a result, I care deeply about the funding and accessibility of music education.

When I was 16, my teacher suggested auditioning for the National Youth Orchestra, and to my surprise I was offered a place. I remember being amazed in the first tutti rehearsal at how good everyone sounded and felt a bit out of place, but thanks to the kindness of the staff and other orchestra members, I soon felt welcome. I had a fantastic three years as a member of the orchestra, playing some incredible music and making lasting friendships.

I took a year out after my A-levels as I wasn’t sure whether to go to university or audition for music college. I was worried that I would lose my passion for music if it was my job, but after comparing the experience of university interviews with music college auditions it was an easy choice. I started my undergraduate degree at Guildhall and haven’t looked back since!

I’m so grateful to have had so many varied musical experiences during my studies, playing in baroque ensembles, symphony orchestras, big bands, contemporary music ensembles, solo competitions, masterclasses, and more. Highlights from Guildhall include playing first trumpet in Pictures at an Exhibition in the Barbican, soloing alongside Tim Garland with the Jazz Orchestra, playing in the Bauhaus Band with John Harle and Marc Almond, and volunteering in Lebanon with Wind-Up Penguin, a charity run by Guildhall alumni who bring wordless musical theatre shows to children in refugee centres around the world. Ultimately, I love music and it’s a privilege to spend each day playing it, especially with other people!

Outside of music, I love cooking for friends, watching films, and wandering around art galleries (especially Whitechapel gallery and White Cube in Bermondsey).