James has been a member of the BMCB trumpet section for almost ten years. Playing with the band is one part of his active and varied musical life:
“I started learning the piano from age seven and only took up the trumpet after I left school, at about 19 or 20 years old. I am also a singer. How often do I practice? Not as often as I should! I have shared walls in my building, so my neighbours don’t really like hearing me through the walls…! In everyday life I am a travel agent, currently working for Flight Centre – although that has been difficult these past 18 months.
“I joined Blue Mountains Concert Band in about 2012. I enjoy just being able to play for fun and to play with others who just enjoy doing it, so there’s the social side to it. Being able to play concerts and play the type of music I may not otherwise play if I was playing solo all the time is nice as well. It also improves you as a musician. You need to be able to keep up with everyone else, so you learn quicker than you would otherwise.
“I am a member of Blackout Theatre Company at present. I have been a member of Blue Mountains Musical Society and Richmond Players in the past though. I’m on the committee for Blackout Theatre Company (BTCo) as a general member, and have been for about 4 years.
“With Blackout, I started off on stage in both plays and musicals but then was given the opportunity to take on the role as a musical director for the first time. This involved sourcing musicians, auditioning cast, teaching them harmonies and then conducting the band when it came to show time. I have also worked backstage on shows in a non-musical role. I usually source the props for our shows and have been in charge of making sure the props are where they need to be for the actors on stage at every given moment of the shows.
“So, I’ve done quite a few jobs when it comes to shows.
“Music has been part of my life since I was a child. I was involved with a few musicals when I was in high school. Being able to read music has led me to the point where I can now conduct a band if I am working on a musical through a society, which is a new experience for me and one that I find I very much enjoy!”