Continuing the series profiling some of this year’s Music Scholars. This week, woodwind specialist, Victoria Lockwood.
From a very early age, music has always been an integral part of my life. Many of my summer holidays were spent in a tent at various folk festivals, watching my Dad perform with his folk bands. More recently I have begun to make guest appearances with them on stage at various venues, including the Cambridge, Sidmouth and Towersey Folk Festivals. I started having lessons on the clarinet in middle school and then also took up the alto saxophone in secondary school.
I played in a variety of music groups throughout my time in middle and secondary school, from the school orchestra, clarinet group and jazz band, to the soul band, choir and chamber choir. This gave me plenty of opportunities to perform and I’d always find myself in more than one item in a single concert!
In 2010 I was persuaded by the head of music to play the school’s baritone saxophone in the school’s jazz band, which I really enjoyed and ended up playing it in several other groups as well. I was then asked to play ‘Reed 4’ along with teachers, students and professional musicians, in the orchestra for the school’s production of ‘West Side Story’. I had to play clarinet, bass clarinet and baritone saxophone, which ended up being a bit of a squeeze when we had to fit everyone in the pit! In 2012 I also played in the orchestra for the school’s production of Oklahoma. Whilst in sixth form I took A level music.
Outside of school I was actively involved with Milton Keynes Music Service for many years, where I played and performed with the Senior Wind Orchestra on 1st/solo clarinet and with Advanced Jazz on baritone saxophone. In the 2011 Gala Concert in Milton Keynes Theatre, I played the solo clarinet part in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
I have also participated in the Music Service tours to Lake Garda, Italy, and Paris, France, as part of the Wind Orchestra, Big Band and Choir. I travelled to Ghana in 2011 with a small group of students and teachers from MK Music Service to help teach students at a local music organisation, as well as giving concerts in a range of venues.
I love any opportunity to widen my musical experiences and brought back a Djembe from Ghana and also a Sitar from India, where I went as part of a school cultural exchange. Whilst in Ghana I had the opportunity to work with a local drumming group, which was incredible, but after a while it does feel like your hands are going to fall off!
Back home I play alto and baritone saxophone with a soul/funk band, which has given me a chance to write and arrange the horn parts. We have performed at a range of events, from pub gigs to New Year’s Eve, Birthday and Garden parties.
I’m currently playing clarinet in the UKC Symphony Orchestra, and Sirocco group, and alto saxophone in Concert Band, and Big Band. The musical opportunities at Kent have allowed me to experience a broad range of repertoire and I felt privileged to have performed a piece that had been commissioned especially for Concert Band. I really enjoyed playing in the Gala opening of the Colyer-Fergusson building last term and I am looking forward to the concerts coming up this term.
Read the other profiles in the series here.