Meet the Musicians behind the calendar: Vicky Cowles


Vicky Cowles is a woodwind musician and teacher based in south London.

"As a woodwind doubler my life is never dull and the gigs are always varied, ranging from working in the pit of a musical playing saxes, flute and clarinets to playing rock in tribute bands on saxes, flute, piccolo or more and 1920s hot jazz on bassoon! "


The other side of Vicky's life is as a mother of a wonderful 8 year old daughter who has had more than her fair share of challenges, she's had numerous operations and uses a wheelchair "but nevertheless approaches everything with enthusiasm and SO much energy! My daughter is definitely following in my musical footsteps having

singing and piano lessons and is never happier than in front of a camera or on a stage.

Family fun!

They say don’t put your children on the stage but I find it’s dragging her off it that’s more of a challenge!"


This year hit Vicky's family harder than most, as they had only just emerged from their own personal lockdown after her daughter had major surgery a year ago, when Covid and the national lockdown happened. "Music has been a big part of keeping us sane and we’ve loved listening to friends’ as well as international artists’ lockdown albums as well as having fun making some videos and writing some songs ourselves."


"Just when we thought we’d got the hang of things we caught Covid and I ended up in hospital which was pretty scary. Thankfully my amazing husband didn’t get it and worked tirelessly looking after my poorly daughter and me and our 4 cats as well as working full-time from home. He definitely deserves something very special for Christmas this year."


Musician Mums Quick Quiz!

Can you tell us what you'll miss most about performing this Christmas?

I’m going to miss doing all the usual Christmas repertoire, it’s not like we can just play it in the spring instead when we can eventually get out again.

What's your favourite carol/Christmas song?

I do love the upbeat Christmas songs but I think my absolute favourite dates back to my days in a Cathedral School choir when we sang Coventry Carol, with The Angel Gabriel being a close second (with ‘most highly flavoured gravy’ sneaking into the lyrics!)

And what are you hoping for this year for Christmas?

I’m hoping for a nice posh frock that I can wear at home since I won’t get to wear any lovely gig dresses this year.

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory - musical or otherwise?

Christmas is usually a crazy time of juggling family, teaching and gigs and of course endless playing of Christmas carols. I’m missing not just the music but the fun with all my lovely colleagues and students. New Year’s Eve at home on our own will feel very strange this year.

Find Vicky @ThisSaxIsOnFire

And what's your favourite thing about Christmas in general?

It has to be a combination of family time and the chance to sing a bit more than I usually do the rest of the year.


Finally, give us a hint towards what you're performing on the advent calendar?

My calendar video features my daughter singing and (literally) a firey hot saxophone! 🔥🎷

Thanks so much Vicky, can't wait to see that!