Joining an Orchestra and getting back into music

Not a lot of people know this but I am a brass player. That's right, a tiny person plays in the loudest part of an orchestra.

I have been playing the Cornet since I was in primary school, for those who don't know (like my boyfriend), it's pretty much the same thing as a Trumpet, just a bit smaller and slightly higher in pitch.

Cornelius - My beautiful Cornet

Playing in an orchestra has always been one of my favourite things. There's nothing better than being involved in something so spectacular as playing a John Williams collection and knowing you're the leading role (erm, Imperial March anyone?). My dad still has a CD of one of my first orchestral performances because it's just so damn good and my neighbours growing up used to come out and listen whenever I sat in the garden practicing.

Since I moved to London, I have fallen completely out of practice. Living in student halls followed by flats in converted houses is a nightmare for any musician, let alone a brass player. Having neighbours on the other side of a very thin wall makes playing a VERY loud instrument difficult. I'd hate to be inconsiderate and as a result I'm so out of practice that I'm not at the standard I used to be. I have been so paranoid about being awful despite numerous reassurances from my boyfriend.

Yesterday I had an email from someone I met at the East Finchley Christmas festival about a local orchestra so a sent an email about places and rehearsals expecting it to be full and being put on a waiting list. I was completely wrong, they were conveniently looking for a Cornet player and had the first rehearsal of term that night. I realised 'bugger, I have been completely put on the spot' and agreed to go.

My new orchestra: Image source

You know what, it was fantastic. I was extremely nervous and paranoid about being around so many great musicians that I felt like a child again but once I got into it I started to feel 'at home' again. Obviously I wasn't fantastic and I still have a lot of practice to do but it feels so good to be back.

Do you play any instruments?


  1. Where are you from originally? You tend to find people that were part of brass bands are from... erm... slightly north of East Finchley...

    And are you going to post any audio to back up this topic ;-)

    1. Ha! I'm from Milton Keynes so not that far North of London.

      Hopefully once I get back to my old standard and participate in more shows I'll start sharing audio. Might need to set up a YouTube channel or something for it.


  2. I used to play the clarinet loads and used to love it. As soon as I left school I fell completely out of practice and I keep telling myself I should pick it up soon, but life just gets in the way.

    1. Life does always seem to get in the way and it's horrible falling into the habit of not playing.

      You should try if you can, it honestly felt amazing.

  3. I used to play but since I moved to UK I've stopped. Maybe I will get into it one day.


Your comments make me smile :-)