LMN North West Branch Director, Kerry Kalokoh, speaks with Steve, Paul, Matt and Nick from brass chamber music group Slidin' About.
Slidin’ About joined the Live Music Now scheme in July 2013.
How did you hear about Live Music Now?
Paul: Ian Anstee (former North West branch director) put up a sign up sheet at college (Royal Northern College of Music). We applied in our second year at Uni. We were advised to apply and so did! We did something we were asked to!
How was the audition?
Steve: We planned a 15 minute programme that we thought would show off the quartet with different instruments. We started with a lively piece called ‘Gospel Time’ which we played off by heart to show our communication skills. Nick did a trombone introduction and demonstrated how it is played to showcase how versatile we were and how we can communicate about the instruments. We played the Overture from the Magic Flute and got the panel to do some call and response. We changed the programme so many times in preparation for the audition.
How have you developed since being on the scheme?
Nick: Very much since the start. We have more confidence with each other but also with the kids themselves which was daunting before the first session. We have just had three days in Sheffield – six schools and six different kinds of special schools. The biggest thing is adaptability and we are still learning.
How did you feel at the start of the scheme?
Steve: Scared. We hadn’t anything in terms of teaching experience as a group. Some of us had some experience but not together.
Paul: We thought ‘What happens if they don’t like it?!’
Matt: I was apprehensive but this was quickly overcome because of the reaction of the children. We leave every performance with a sense of feeling good and positive.
Nick: I was nervous and unsure and had a fear of the unknown. We knew each other like the back of our hands but not in these scenarios.
Tell me about your progression to residencies.
Paul: It’s not something we ever imagined. It’s given us a different take on things again. With loads of kids, over and over again on a weekly basis as a duo, it's a quick learning curve. We have so much more confidence now.
The difference with the duos and quartet is interesting. We take on roles as a quartet and working as a duo means we have to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. We bring the learning from the duos back to the quartet. It feed sour creativity and personal development.
What happens on your car journeys?
Paul: We always set off early so we arrive in good time. We find the venue then it’s the breakfast raid. One of the Sheffield schools we had breakfast from Gregg’s and McDonalds! There’s always a bag of something to share on the journey too. This would explain our new shape.
The schools’ can’t understand how we fit so much in one car and often a Fiesta! There’s 4 or 5 trombones, 20 pbones, stands and people! Maybe this should be a new Live Music Now challenge?
What about musical ambitions?
Other than to take over the world? Win some competitions. We’ve recently entered a few. On 28 February there’s the Royal Overseas League in London, Park Lane Groups is sometime in February or March – the date is not decided yet. The International Trombone Association’s quartet competition – we entered by sending off an audition CD. We’re waiting to find out if we’ve made it through to the live finals in Spain at Easter.
Anything else you want to say?
Paul: Not really, just that from starting music college and wanting to play in an orchestra, things have changed. It’s not all about that, anymore. Live Music Now has opened doors to us and a whole new way of being a musician.