I grew up in Kent and started playing the violin aged ten. I swiftly moved on to the viola, as it was deemed more suitable for a tall girl like me! My teenage years were happily spent with the Kent County Youth Orchestra, playing a varied repertoire and touring in Europe, the USA and Brazil.
When I came to study Dentistry at Bristol University in the late 1980s, I was very lucky to make friends with a medical student named Caroline, who was a pupil of our principal oboist Barbara McConochie. We were both delighted to be invited to play with the newly-formed Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra.
After graduating, life became busy raising a family and working as an NHS orthodontist. My viola remained locked up in its case, gathering dust under the bed for nearly 30 years!
In 2019, I decided to take up the viola again and started lessons with Robert Turrell in Bath. Attending the exhilarating March 2020 BHCO concert with Maria Wloszczowska playing Sibelius Violin Concerto provided a very powerful motivation for me to keep practising. The Covid-19 lockdowns gave ample opportunity for me to focus on improving and I set my heart on joining BHCO again. My dream was fulfilled in 2021 when I took my place on the stage at St George’s – 32 years after my debut – and it was a joy to see so many of the same faces amongst the orchestra from all those years ago!