Working in a music venue, in a non-musical capacity: A musician’s perspective.

31 Mar 2017

As a guitarist and bassist, rehearsing and performing with a variety of musical acts I spend a lot of my spare time in rehearsal rooms or in bars, practicing or playing. Although the small talk in these scenarios is generally guitar focused, when that topic dries up, occasionally someone will ask “so what do you do for a living?” The answer of course is, “I am a Conference and Events Coordinator at the Bridgewater Hall” which almost always invokes the response “that must be fantastic” and yes… yes it is.

My musical interest started at the age of 8 years old when I started playing the trumpet, inspired by a primary school visit from a brass band working with a project to get young people interested in music. You could say this was one of the most definitive moments of my childhood as I have continued to play music ever since and although I didn’t choose a musical career, as I got older it is something I have always been, and always will be, involved in. When I reached my teenage years and my hair got longer, my attitude towards music changed, it didn’t go away, but the Trumpet was no longer “cool” enough for a rebellious young man looking to impress the fairer sex with my effortless talent (or so I thought the time, I have since listened back to the old recordings and it is not good). I took up the bass guitar and joined a rock band, eventually graduating onto an acoustic guitar so I could bear my soul through song, and in the last 21 years have tried my hand at a variety of styles and genres. As I got a little older I picked up the mandolin and harmonica to accompany others, playing the drums whenever I got the chance and using the keys as a tool for song writing. The old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” is very relevant at this point.

Music was, will always be a passion of mine and as such I didn’t want to pursue it as a career. You may find that strange however, my logic was that music is something I do to escape the stresses of life. In a society that demands so much from our time it is important to have a sanctuary to where one can escape all essence of responsibility in order to completely re-charge.

And now I am a Conference and Events Coordinator working in one of the World’s most prestigious classical music concert halls. Surrounded by music nearly every day, and with a full concerts programme at the heart of everything we do I truly have found myself with the best of both worlds. With a diverse and evolving collection of acts appearing at the hall, one day it could be one of our three resident orchestras performing Schubert’s Symphony No.8 in B Minor in the back ground and the next is Metallica covers being performed by a string quartet, a contemporary throwback to those longer haired, younger years mentioned earlier!

There is of course some cross-over between these two worlds, our responsibility as the Conference and Events Team is in essence for all private bookings outside of the concert programme. This includes any VIP or Meet and Greet events connected with a concert which means you get the opportunity to schmooze with the celebs whilst you coordinate their event. Of course this is where my naturally cool demeanour helps me to remain calm and collected before their greatness (cucumbers aren’t this cool!).

The Bridgewater Hall is a truly inspiring place to work and to visit, regardless of what brings you to the hall you can’t help but feel creative once you are inside.