Bury St Edmunds Concert Band trombonist Gary Hawkes reflects on introductory sessions with Litha Efthymiou, and how she has got to know the group during their Adopt a Music Creator 2020/21 collaboration.
Litha’s first step was to send each member of the band five questions, to start understanding us after she had seen and heard the band perform. Here are the questions and my answers:
What instrument do you play?
What is your favourite piece of music you have played with the band, and what about it makes it your favourite?
‘Feeling Good’. It’s a solo piece that’s very difficult to get right. I played it at our last concert and the audience loved it… but it’s not quite ‘right’ yet – it could still be better!
What do you like most about rehearsals?
Meeting up with everyone, seeing smiles and being challenged – as well as the wide variety of music we make, some of which comes more naturally (jazz) and some of which requires my full concentration (classical).
What was your best concert with the band and why?
Ickworth Park about five or so years ago. The Ickworth audience have so much energy and at that particular concert I sang a solo for my one and only time. It was for ‘Mack the Knife’ – a bucket list moment, that! I love every concert we play at Ickworth, purely for the audience reaction.
What styles of music do you enjoy listening to besides the sort of music you play with the band?
Quite simply, I love music that creates emotion. I’ll listen to hard rock to get motivated (Alter Bridge my fave), Engelbert Humperdinck to smile, progressive rock and classical to help me think, and jazz/blues to inspire me to play.
What are you hoping to get out of this collaboration?
To feel something.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, besides playing music?
Running, playing darts (I’m competitive and I use that drive for difficult pieces) and helping people smile if I can.
Honestly, after sending my answers in, I’m thinking she is going to have absolutely no idea what kind of musician I am. I went with my instinctive answers rather than thinking about it too deeply.
A trombonist whose favourite concert was when he sang, who loves hard rock and easy listening music; a darts player who uses that to help him play difficult pieces, whose favourite piece of music is one he isn’t happy with…
My answers are, as I expected, all over the place and contradictory. I start to hope that in the next stages I can clarify some of my apparent weirdness.
The Adopt a Music Creator project matches vocal and instrumental leisure-time music groups with some of the UK’s most promising music creators to collaborate on creating a new piece of music. The project leads to a premiere performance and possible broadcast. If you’re a music group or music creator and you’d like to take part, find out more