A weekly feature on the lives and loves of people from our city. We want to hear from people from all walks of life – to take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org
My day: One of the aspects I love most about my job is that I wouldn’t actually describe myself as having just ‘one job’. Throughout my week I am kept very busy being an orchestral conductor, instrumental teacher and musical performer. Of course, all of these have the common theme of music – my passion in life! I see myself as one of those lucky people who has a job they absolutely love.
No two days are ever the same and Saturdays are definitely my busiest day by far which can see me leaving home at 7.30am and not getting home until 2am the following morning!
I spend Saturday mornings in Great Barrow Village Hall where I take rehearsals for my two community orchestras which I set up about 14 years ago. I’m all about giving anyone access to playing in an orchestra regardless of age, ability, experience, instrument or confidence-level and we now have around 100 keen musicians coming along to either my Introductory Orchestra or to the more advanced ‘main’ Orchestra. We’re busy rehearsing for a concert at the end of March so there is a lot of hard work to be done – but it’s lots of fun playing a real mix of music from a Beethoven symphony to film music like Jurassic Park , Indiana Jones or a medley from the musical Hairspray .
After grabbing some lunch, I usually spend the afternoon teaching a couple of students. I teach most instruments, but specialise in violin, piano, percussion and trumpet. As well as teaching school-age students, I’m also increasingly teaching adults – more and more these days I’m finding adults who perhaps played at school and haven’t played for 20 years are coming back to playing, which is great to see.
If I’m lucky I get a quiet hour or so in the late afternoon when I might do some work on a new musical project I’m currently working on, setting up Chester Youth Symphony Orchestra. It’s a lot of hard working pulling it all together, but I’m really excited about the venture and am gathering a lot of support already.
Saturday evenings are when I wear my different ‘hat’ of musical performer! I have a band called Kelly’s Heroes and we play Irish music at private functions or in pubs around the area. A great way to round off the day and have a lot fun!
Dress: One of the things I love is not having to wear ‘work’ clothes, so I wear jeans and a T-shirt except when conducting at concerts, when it’s my suit and tie.
What is the favourite part of your job? A really tough question as I enjoy all of it – but I really love doing our concerts when the culmination of all the hard work throughout the year comes together.
What is your least favourite part of your job? There really is nothing about my job I don’t like.
What would be your dream job if you weren't doing what you do now? Principal conductor of either the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
How do you relax when you are not working? Fishing on my boat off the Welsh coast.
What is your favourite film? It would be between Amadeus, The Pianist and A Beautiful Mind .
What is your favourite book? Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian.
What is your favourite song? I’m a musician, I couldn’t possibly pick.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Stephen Graham.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame? I have to say it was a very proud moment for me to have my orchestra invited to host one of the concerts in the Chester Music Society Concert Season – it was a fantastic evening for everyone involved.
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