I played no music at all until about the age of 35, when a relative left me some money, and I bought a flute. I had lessons via the school music programme in Hertfordshire where I was living. My wife used to get letters telling her that Timothy was making progress on his instrument, and would she like to go to a concert where all the pupils would play. I was there with the 12 year olds!
When I moved up to Scotland I realised that the problem with playing the flute, is no one can hear you, there are only two in any orchestra, and there are a vast number of children who can play it and they can all play it better than I could.
When I moved up to Elgin I came across the Mario Jannetta Big Band. Not only were they playing the type of music I like, but I was very excited to learn that the fingering of the keys on the sax and the flute are almost identical. So, at about the age of 40, I swapped to tenor saxophone. After many years of hovering round the fringes of the Mario Jannetta Big Band (and going to eight funerals!) I now play with them.
I also play with the Royal Air Force Lossiemouth Voluntary Band. I play baritone sax with them. Fortunately they provided it, as it costs about £6000.00
I also play tenor sax in a sax quartet based in Morayshire.
I heard about the ASO from saxophone playing friends in Aberdeenshire, and also from the conductor Richard Ingham, who I know as a teacher on the part time music course that is run by St Andrews University.
I wanted to come along and play because I think the more you play the better you get.
My first impression was of a very welcoming, non judgemental, group of enthusiasts from the old (I'm 77) to the very young. I sit next to a 15? year old young lady who plays the bass saxophone, which is a massive instrument, almost as big as she is.
The personality of the conductor who is very encouraging, while insisting on standards, gives the group a unique place in amateur music making in the area.
I hope to improve my playing in the group while getting sufficient experience in playing in public to come to terms with performance anxiety from which I tend to suffer.