Laura Conway, BMus Cornet

How long have you played the cornet?


I’ve been playing since I was three, so a long time. My Mum and Dad both played brass instruments. When I was six I joined the school band at my school where my Uncle also worked as a music tutor.


Did you always want to be a musician?


I always really enjoyed P.E. at school so I thought maybe I should go to Uni and do that, but I really enjoyed music as well. After my A Levels I took a year out where I went to a music school in Norway, Manger Folkehøgskule, an hour outside Bergen. I was playing in a brass band all day – it was great. After that experience I came to study at the RNCM.


Why did you choose the RNCM?


Because the cornet tutors here are the best you’re going to get. In terms of location it’s close to home – I’m from Rochdale. The north of England is also the best place in the country for brass bands, so there’s a greater selection of bands I can potentially join. I played with The Fairey Band last year and I’ve just moved to Black Dyke Band.


What are some of your musical highlights?


I love the RNCM Festival of Brass. Last year I played with the RNCM Brass Band and The Fairey Band. I liked being a part of the RNCM Symphony Chorus, we performed Carmen by Georges Bizet with orchestra, which was great. Also my lessons! Last year I had Roger Webster as my principal tutor and this year Richard Marshall; it’s good to get different perspectives on my playing.


Are you enjoying Manchester?


It’s a nice city, it’s really friendly. Everything’s not too far away, you can walk to wherever you need to be. There’s good night life and there are loads of different music events going on. Last year I was in halls but this year it’s nice to be a little bit further out and do that little commute.


Do you have plans after graduation?


I’d like to achieve a principal cornet seat at a top band. But I want to go more in the direction of teaching primary school and taking music as my specialty and trying to get more children involved in music. Maybe set up my own brass band in a primary school, that kind of thing.