My musical career began the same as all other great musicians - on the recorder. Having mastered "Hot Cross Buns" I yearned for more of a challenge, and so took up the trumpet at age 7, subsequently passing grades 2-4. I decided the trumpet wasn't heavy, cumbersome or loud enough, so at 13 I took up the tuba, in which I passed grade 5, and later grade 8 with distinction.
At the tender age of 16, I bought my first ukulele. Although the sound didn't quite match up to that of the tuba, it was easy enough to carry with me, thus annoying as many people as possible. I was in love.
Somewhere along the line I graduated from the University of Southampton with a 2:1 in music with my tuba, which covered all aspects: solo and ensemble performance, conducting and composing. I also joined the Southampton University Concert Band, where I played Tuba, Percussion and was an assistant conductor for a short time. I went on to join Southampton University Brass Band on principle Eb Bass, and was involved in Unibrass - a university brass band contest, where I played a solo in my third year.
Now, 13 years and 66 ukuleles later, the uke is my main instrument and my passion. With a repertoire spanning roughly 100 years of music, from the expected George Formby to bands like Oasis, Kaiser Chiefs, Mumford and Sons, The Kinks and Kings of Leon, I have something for everyone. I regularly perform live both solo and with the Ware Ukulele Group (www.wareukegroup.co.uk), the group which I founded in 2015 and still run.
I have recently achieved Level 3 in the James Hill Ukulele Initiative, the only ukulele teaching qualification out there, which is taught by none other than ukulele virtuoso James Hill. This course has given me a unique set of tools in teaching ukulele to all ages, starting with melody and working through chords, strumming, flatpicking and more.
Audience participation is always welcomed, especially with some top singalong hits like Sweet Caroline, Delilah, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and many more!