You and Your Instrument: Julie R

You and Your Instrument

– Julie R (alto sax)

Julie answers the “You and Your Instrument” questionnaire below.

You and Your Instrument Questionnaire

Q. When did you first start playing your instrument?

I actually started playing the recorder in primary school, then flute in secondary school at age 11. I lived in Dartford at the time and moved to Chislehurst at the age of 19.  I thought my social life would end, until I discovered the pubs in Chislehurst, staggering distance from my home. I had not played the flute since leaving school and missed it so discovered the BCB on a visit to Bromley library. That was many years ago, too many to remember. I sat in front of the saxophones, working hard getting all the notes out on the flute and feeling no one can hear me and listened to what the sax line was doing. I bought a sax, took lessons from a chap who played in the BBC band and that was the beginning of my saxophone adventure.

Q. What or who inspired you?

I guess the sax players in the Beckenham Concert Band, but I loved listening to music and loved the influence the saxophone had on modern day music in the 80s and 90s.

Q. Who taught you?

Flute – a schoolteacher. Then a couple of others once I moved to Chislehurst. Sax, as I have said above. Cannot remember names unfortunately.

Q. Which bands have you played in?

BCB and The London Saxophone Choir. I covered for the Bromley Concert Band, Gary Hyde’s Big Band and depped for Force 10 (each and every time I can). I have done a couple of gigs with Force 10.

Q. Name three highlights of your band playing career.

Teaching a complete beginner to play the alto sax and getting her through her music exams up to distinction at grade 7, even without having taken saxophone exams myself. I cannot take all the credit on this one though as this student is very musically talented. However, this has enhanced my music journey and broadened my scope of playing as I have had to stay one step ahead of her all the way (tried to anyway). She is now doing grade 8 but cannot decide whether to play alto, tenor or soprano sax. Therefore, lots of music for me to practice during lockdown.

Playing solo for 150 diners at Sundridge Park Golf Club when I was Lady Captain in 2010 at Burns Night. I wrote a fake story about my “distant relative” having a relationship with Robbie Burns who was a bit of a cad and played 5 short clips of music including the stripper and isn’t she lovely plus Auld Lang Syne and then throwing a pair of rather large knickers (not mine) at the club captain. I got a standing ovation.

Q. Name one thing you would like to do in the future with BCB.

Definitely no more marching in extreme heat, unless we have the right clothing. More trips, not necessarily abroad. More playing with choirs or singers.

Q. Please provide a photograph or two if you can of yourself playing or engaging in a musical activity.

Pictured here recording during lockdown.