I’ve been with the orchestra for around four years and it’s lost in the mists of time how I came to be involved. I’ve played tuba in a variety of bands from Jazz, Military Concert Bands, Brass Bands and even ‘folk tuba', whatever that may be. I think I was approached as people had seen me playing with one of these other bands. I’d done a little orchestral stuff in my early-twenties and enjoyed it and although twenty years had passed I thought, ‘why not?’. I like to think you’re always learning, and the orchestra pushes my skills as a player. You can’t hide on tuba so there’s pressure to play it right and it isn’t as easy as it often seems, although I would say that wouldn’t I?!
Orchestral tubas often play lower than an Eb Bass in a brass band and you’re expected to make big broad sounds without the help of three mates, so it improves your sound and reading. It also goes without saying that you get a chance to play some of the greatest music ever written rather than just arrangements of things, and to be part of something so large and complex can be exhilarating.