My interests: band (obviously), spending time with family, friends, looking after my lovely hamsters, oh and… shopping!
I live and grew up in the small town of Uckfield, which is situated 20 miles East of Brighton in the delightful Sussex Weald. I come from a large family with two brothers and a sister. My brothers had no interest in band at all, my sister however, is the one who introduced me to this life when I was only 10. Despite the fact that she hated her ‘baby’ sister at band, it wasn’t going to stop me!
I first started my marching career at the 4th Uckfield Scout and Guide band. I initially wanted to play snare - they said I was too small - so was given a trumpet and that’s where I stayed! I was at 4th Uckfield until 2000, working my way to section leader. I made many dear fiends here whom I see almost every week and never forget the times we all shared. From here I went to 6th Hove Scouts for the 2001 season. I wanted to march Drum Corps and I wanted to play mellophone – I couldn’t do this at 4th Uckfield. It was one of my hardest decisions, but the right decision as it opened my eye to many bigger opportunities.
After completing two years at 6th Hove I decided I’d had enough of band. I left 6th Hove thinking I wasn’t going to march again - this lasted about a month - after having discussions with my dear friend David Fletcher (aka Fletch), we decided together to go to Senators. I knew very few people, but it felt like the right place to go. I’d always enjoyed watching Senators and remember first seeing them in 1999 at a BYBA show, I never thought then that I’d be where I am with them today.
I remember my first rehearsal as if it were yesterday, I was exceptionally nervous, but luckily I had Fletch there (who ended up having to drag me in!). Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I was worried I wouldn’t be good enough, or wouldn’t fit in, but you soon learn that everyone is there for the same reason; to strive to be the best they can be, and everyone helps and encourages each other.
2005 saw me complete my third season as a Senator. In that time I have won three red patches and marched three undefeated years (with 2005 being undefeated in brass). I don’t like to blow my own trumpet (excuse the pun), but that’s pretty cool! Just goes to show what a ‘small town gal’ can achieve!
I can’t sit here and say what my best moment has been, there have been too many; finals 2003 was pretty special, it being my first, but then my other finals performances are also special in their own right. I just want to continue to be the best that I can be, to carry on from where we’ve left off and to treasure every moment because it won't last forever - but the memories will never fade.
I have recently ventured back to my roots at 4th Uckfield and am teaching their brass line. I don’t think it is something I would ever have contemplated doing, had I not been taught by the best at Senators. I never thought I’d get so much out of teaching, but I love seeing the members achieve things they didn’t think they could – it’s a feeling I experience at every one of my own rehearsals. I also give separate trumpet and mellophone tuition in my own time, which again is something I really enjoy.
If people want to march Senators and are worried, there is no need. Everyone is welcome whatever their experiences or talents. We are taught by the best, to be the best. Just so long as you are committed and enthusiastic, you can’t go wrong.
We are like a family, brought together by the fact that we all want the same thing - to be the best that we can be - and it's an experience I would recommend to anyone!