Multi-Instrumentalist Faye is a truly versatile musician. Originally a classically trained clarinettist, Faye has performed with a variety of orchestras throughout the UK. But as well as the clarinet, Faye conducts two choirs, plays bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, flute, alto flute, piccolo, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, and sop sax, "Also I used to play the piano till i hit my little finger whilst teaching, then....before a concert I was conducting at Leicester football stadium, I nipped over the road to the hospital to then find out it was dislocated and I had to strap it up."
Faye has performed on cruise ships, session recorded and performed with a mixture of genres, from big bands, theatre bands and ensembles to an Amy Winehouse band called "Back2Black" but her true love is playing dixie clarinet and blues: "One of the most fulfilling dream gigs I did was perform around Japan for a month with the official Blues Brothers Party. The only way I will ever top that contract would be to visit the House of Blues in USA! I love that music is so wide, wild and varied that every day, gig, concert, ensemble is so exciting and varied, that everything sticks out at being the best gig and I can't wait for the next."
Faye's passion for music began at home " My musical influences came from my dad, who loves his vinyl and used to play a wide range of music for me and my brother, from the Animals, to John Lee Hooker. My mum, who, every time there was a local show on, she would take me, as well as sit and watch Doris Day films. And my brother, who is an amazing session flautist, drummer and hip hop/Acid Jazz DJ so would make me listen to various breaks, take me with him vinyl shopping around London, and I would sit in the honoured DJ booth down Brick Lane whilst he did his thing." Faye met her husband at Trinity College of Music. "He is a trombonist and bass trombone professional musician as well... and already the kids can buzz and hold a PBone (a lightweight trombone for kids) - it did take me a little while before I would speak to him again!"
Despite all the positivity and joy that music has brought to her life, this year Faye found the group of musician mums a godsend: "there are other mums who understand the life of a musician mum. Since losing all my musical work since March, I haven't been able to face playing any of my instruments without wanting to cry at an industry that's on its knees. Being able to be a part of this project has been an amazing feeling. Not only to have a reason to perform and to hopefully make someone enjoy a song, but also for my own mental health. It was also a new unique experience for myself to try and record very quickly whilst barricading the bedroom door to stop any extra mini musicians joining in!"
Musician Mums Quick Christmas Quiz:
Tell us your favourite Christmas music?
I really do love the traditional carols, but maybe a little more oomph and a bit more up-tempo. My favourite is Ding Dong Merrily on High!
What do you love most about Christmas?
"Well I have two things: First is the Santa train. Since my daughter was born in 2013, every Christmas we visit a different Santa train around the UK. This is just magical, especially as Matthew, our youngest, is mad about trains.
My second favourite tradition is one I do with my baby and toddler class, Castanet kids. This is a non profit music class my mum and I run to help bring music back into schools and encourage parents and guardians to sing. Every year on the last class, we have a special visit from Father Christmas who not only lets the children meet him (sometimes with lots of hugs) but he also does a little British sign language and hands out an instrument to every child.
I love this so much, that in 2017, I made sure we had the Christmas party so that the children saw Father Christmas and received their instruments, then took myself off to hospital and had Matthew that night."
Ah that's the epitome of musical mum Christmas magic, thank you Faye!