Born in London 1971, raised in Birmingham. Began the trombone aged 9 and haven’t looked back. State school educated + lucky enough to have all my music lessons paid for by Birmingham City Council in the days that music education was free! Those were the days. My mum was divorced, not much money about, so without state support I would not be a professional musician and lecturer now. I was really good at music as a child and it would have been crushing to not pursue it due to lack of money or opportunity. I was in the Birmingham Schoolsâ€™ Symphony Orchestra, Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, Children’s Opera Company, Birmingham Schools Brass Ensemble, in pop bands, jazz bands…you name it, I played in it, all between the ages of 11 – 18. All for free. Then went to University (for free) and the rest is (rapidly becoming ancient) history.
Now: performing, recording, composing, lecturing, broadcasting on BBC Radio 3 (sometimes) and mostly living the life I wanted to live, all because of music. One of my proudest achievements is working with Stewart Lee. That alone has made the last 32 years of hard work worthwhile!
I’m volunteering as a contact for Arts Emergency as I don’t want to be in the last generation of working class people who made a career from music. Music is for everyone, regardless of his or her families’ wealth or status.
For full biog: www.gailbrand.com