Where are they now? Edi May, a clarinet and saxophone player currently studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, gives us an insight into his musical career and how his music education influenced him.
“I am a student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on the Jazz course. I work in the function (weddings and festivals) scene in Birmingham playing (Jazz) Brass band, Ska and Bhangra music as well as performing and recording artistic projects of my own and with musicians in the Birmingham Jazz scene. I play tenor saxophone, clarinet and have been developing double bass as part of my studies.
A large role in my development is thanks to the Gloucestershire Music Service and its tutors, bands/ensembles, and performance opportunities they offered. These were a large part of the reason I was able to study jazz music at conservatoire.
I remember NCBF being a highlight of the performance calendar each year. Not only was it a great chance to play at fantastic venues with Gloucestershire music’s wind and jazz orchestras, but also to hear other similar bands play. I also remember being inspired by performances of bands from the Royal Air Force and Royal Marines playing as part of the festival. It was an opportunity for us to get external feedback from highly respected adjudicators on the work we had been doing that year which was highly valuable. One of my most fond memories was getting to play Vittorio Monti’s Czardas with the Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra and playing lots of solos with the jazz orchestras I performed with, being lucky enough to pick up some soloist awards.
NCBF was great to be a part of. It had a great atmosphere and was a motivational goal to work towards as an ensemble, to hopefully get good awards as a result!”