I came to the Sheffield Philharmonic fairly late as a player, I've played the flute since the start of senior school but always played in wind bands coming up through the Sheffield Music Services, and didn't actually get in to orchestral playing until my late 20's.
I've been with the Phil for over 10yrs now and have totally enjoyed the experience.
My first rehearsal was a Shostakovitch Piano Concerto, I was asked to dep as the regular flutes were unavailable....... little known to me I would be the only one there and ended up playing first flute!!!! I must have done an ok job as I was asked to come back the following week, and then told I would be playing first for that piece for the concert - and I've never looked back.
I love the fact that we get to play such varied music and that there's always something new on the horizon. The highlight for myself would have to be playing Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony whilst Ewa was with us, I had requested this piece on our wish list for years and to finally get the opportunity to perform it was a dream come true... the look on Ewa's face when we finished the piece was worth all the hard work and effort. Another highlight was the Scheherazade that we performed last year this is a piece I thought that i'd never be able to play.... how Jonny proved me wrong, it was so inspiring to see him conducting the entire work without a score.
I have made some good friends within the wind section in my time at the Phil, especially within the Flute section, we call ourselves the 'naughty section' as we are usually laughing at something (usually ourselves!)... we get together socially and I think it helps with our playing as a group because we have bonded and are more in tune with what each other are thinking when we are playing.