I started playing saxophone while at primary school and have now been playing for 8 years. I have been playing in bands from the age of 10 and have been in the saxophone orchestra for two years.
On my first lesson with the primary school’s woodwind instructor we were given a mouthpiece of each of the instruments to try and she decided which was best for us based on that – and saxophone was what she chose for me!
I think saxophone is special because of its versatility. I have had the opportunity to play in many different situations and a range of different styles, including in concert bands, big bands, a smaller jazz combo, a wind quartet, saxophone orchestra and as a soloist.
I also play in the Aberdeen Concert Band and the Aberdeen City Youth Concert Band, as well as my school’s wind band. I have also recently joined the NESCol Jazz Combo. Previously I have played in the Aberdeen Community Big Band, the Highland Youth Big Band and the Aberdeen City Youth Jazz Band. I have also attended the NYOS Jazz Summer School for the last two year.
In October 2017 I played in a masterclass for saxophonists and clarinetists run by Aberdeen Music Service. Following my performance, I was approached by Bruce and asked if I had heard of the orchestra and he invited me to come to their next rehearsal.
I don’t turn down any opportunity to play and this seemed too good to miss!
Everyone was welcoming and the music was very varied. Within a couple of hours, I was playing the sopranino saxophone, which I didn’t know existed until joining the orchestra!
ASO is different from all the other groups as there is so much more to a rehearsal than just going along to play!
Not only do we play music in lots of different styles, but we also learn about music history, conducting, improvisation and jazz theory (but don’t let that scare you!)
In the ASO I have learnt so much about playing the saxophone, both by being taught by Richard and simply by being around lots of other saxophonists.