I was born with a semi-rare condition called Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1A (OCA1A), in which I have very fair hair, fair and sensitive skin and reduced visual acuity. This only causes a few issues, as I try to manage as best as I can, however it can be a bit of a nuisance.
This is possibly what lead me to music. For music, you don't need to have amazing vision or the quickest reaction time, so I don't really have any disadvantages. At first, teachers were reluctant to teach me, as they thought I would be difficult to deal with, however, they soon came to realise that I was not letting my condition get in my way, and neither should they.
At the age of six I started playing the piano at my primary school, Sunnymede. I took to it immediately, and am still playing it today. If it were not for the lessons of my first music teacher, Patricia Hepworth, I would likely be nowhere near where I am today.
When I was seven, I was invited to join the choir of Holy Trinity Church, Southport as a treble. I passed my audition, and received the relevant training that was required. Within a year, I had been admitted into the choir as a full chorister (as apposed to a probationer), and was given my cirplus. Under the direction of Mr David Williams, I learned the basics of singing, choral music, and what it means to be a chorister.
At the age of eight, I started playing the Clarinet. I originally wanted to play the Saxophone, however, my hands weren't big enough at the time, so the Clarinet was the next best option - everything turned out well in the end I guess.
My original teacher gave me the firm foundations on which I would soon come to base my second study, but it wasn't until the age of 10 that I started to rapidly progress in my ability. My new tutor, Martin Robbinson who was the Head of Woodwind at St. Mary's College at the time, is an extremely talented individual. Not only does he have two degrees from Cambridge (in Music and Maths), achieving a first in each, but he also had his own Jazz Band, Folk Band and Fusion Ensemble. Under his excellent guidance, I went from Grade 3 standard to Grade 6 within three years; not a small feet, I am sure you can imagine. My knowledge as an all round musician grew exponentially. It was he that introduced me to the wonders of Baroque music, and the complexity of the techniques which must be used in order to create an authentic and beautiful sounding performance.
At the age of twelve, I was appointed as Head Chorister at Holy Trinity. By this point, I had gone on tour with the Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, singing Mahler's Eighth Symphony "Symphony of a Thousand".
In 2014, at age 14, I joined the Junior Royal Northern College of Music. I studied Jazz Piano (Principal Study), Clarinet (Secondary Study) and Voice (Tertiary Study), along with Musicianship II and Composition. I progressed rapidly from this point in all of my studies. I had never studied Jazz Piano before this point, so this was a new skill, but one that I am still exercising to date.
By 2015, it became immediately apparent that my voice was definitely my best instrument, so my studies changed for the 2015-16 term. I studied Voice (Primary), Clarinet (Secondary), and Composition (Tertiary), along with Advanced Theory of Music and Musicianship II. In this year, I was also appointed a member of the prestigious JRNCM Close Harmony Group (lead by Glyn Webster), in which I sang Bass I.
It was in this academic year that I landed my first few solo performances. I sang several solos from the Messiah (Handel) at Christmas, including The People that Walked in Darkness and Why do the Nations So Furiously Rage. Libera Me from Faure's Requiem was next, and this was sung at the Liveprool Philharmonic Hall with fellow students from my school.
In July of 2016, I received a letter from the Liverpool Philharmonic stating that I was a member of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. This was a bit of a suprise, as I knew that the standard of other candidates was so high, however, I was pleasantly delighted. I rapidly went through all of the relevant documentation and sent it off to confirm my acceptance of the place.
In August of 2016, I received my GCSE grades. I was fairly happy with these, however, knew I could have done better if I were able to dedicated more time to them, which I couldn't have, due to my commitments to music.
In September of 2016, I was contacted by the Liverpool Philharmonic in regards to the Rushworth Young Compoers scheme. I only just met the deadline for applications, but got mine in just in time. Within four days, I heard back from them that I had been accepted into the scheme, and my mentor would be Eve Harrison, a wonderful composer, who has worked all over the country.
In September of 2016, I also began the next year at the Northern. This year, I was studying Voice (Primary), Clarinet (Secondary), Conducting (Tertiary), Compositional Analysis and Musicianship II. Myself and Karen (the Head of JRNCM at the time) decided that my voice was developing very nicely, and that I therefore needed a new teacher. My first ever voice Teacher, Ian Grey got me started very rapdily, and I couldn't have got to where I am now without him. Jeff Lawton was the person to take me on from this point, and he has proven to be a marvelous vocalist and teacher.
In November of 2016, I was awarded a place in the National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain, and have been attending residential courses and participating in concerts since.
Along with this, I also started working on my piece, "Fishermen at Sea" in this month. It is based upon the painting of the same name by JMW Turner, and was commissioned to write it by the Tate Collective. It will be performed at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in February of 2017.
In January of 2017, I was awarded my Grade 8 certificate in Clarinet, achieving 125 out of a possible 150, which scored me a Merit - a great achievement for a Grade 8 level examination.
Last updated: Sunday 22nd January, 2017.