Tom S – Britten Sinfonia
00:00:03 Hello, I’m Tom S and I’m the Orchestra Manager with Britten Sinfonia. When we get booked for a concert, or if we’re putting on our own concert, it’s my job to then make it happen. When I’m sitting in like the Royal Festival Hall and watching this incredible rehearsal and it’s like it’s a special moment, that’s when I pinch myself and I think, God this is lucky, I’m really lucky to be sitting here watching this.
00:00:27 In primary school I was quite – actually I was quite fiery in primary school, strangely. I was really competitive actually, and I still am quite competitive, but I’d be quite – I think I was quite – sometimes quite aggressive with my competitiveness in primary school. But then in High School I was a bit more like the Joker, laid back type of a character. It’s embarrassing to say, I used to be the guy with dreadlocks, and everyone thought that I was the drug dealer, and all that sort of stuff, you know. I mean, I wasn’t but – (LAUGHS)
00:00:55 When I was 7, 8, 9 I wanted to be an Accountant because my parents were really Left Wing, and I wanted to be Right Wing. But then pretty quickly that changed, and I realised actually I wanted to be involved in the Arts, and particularly music. And I started playing music, and I started playing in bands from an early stage and stuff like that. So I knew – I was really lucky actually that I knew that I wanted to be involved in music really early on, from like 10, 11, around there.
00:01:25 I didn’t really decide to go down the line I have in the music industry, it’s weird, it sort of picked me in a way. I – originally I wanted to be in a famous band, when I was in High School. I wanted to be in a rock and roll band, and I wanted it to become famous. After High School – after sort of bumming around and travelling and doing a bit of more studying – but always playing in bands and stuff – one of the bands I was in in Australia got quite well known and we – luckily were able to do that for a few years. And we toured and played some big festivals and things like that, and it was really – really exciting.
00:02:04 Unless I think you’ve made it big, then it quickly can start to actually become a bit wearing as well, you know, you’re are always dealing with people who are out of it, and you know and just like – there’s just so much crap goes that on around bands in that world, that personally I started to get sort of sick of it a bit. That’s the moment it’s shifted really, that’s when I started to get involved in the other side, in organising concerts, and helping to put on concerts.
00:02:36 And then a friend of mine said that there was a job going as the Orchestra Manager for the West Australia Symphony Orchestra. And so I went – sort of crazily went for this job interview and didn’t think I would get it, and got a call and I’d got the job. I was terrified, ’cause I didn’t really know what I’d be – how to do it. But it was – it’s funny – it’s great that it happened, I’m really glad it happened, because it’s totally opened up my world musically.
00:02:59 I’ve always been a fan of English music and bands, and always wanted to come and try playing music in London, and always wanted to live in London, so after five years I just thought – oh – I started looking for work in the UK, and got a job here, luckily. It’s funny because I didn’t really plan this – the way my career has gone. It’s the unplanned way – for some reason my life path so far has been quite unplanned. It’s been sort of things coming up and going oh well you know it’s sort of jobs that you hear about, or read about, and go oh I’ll give that a go and see where that takes me. I think as long as you get out there and start willing it to come to you, I think in a way it does.
Tom is Orchestra Manager with Britten Sinfonia and describes his career as ‘unplanned’. From playing in a band in Australia, he then went on to manage the West Australia Symphony Orchestra and then came to the UK to live. He describes watching ‘this incredible rehearsal’ and thinking ‘I’m really lucky to be sitting here watching this’.
More information about Musicians
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Conceives and writes original music;
- Tunes instrument and studies and rehearses score;
- Plays instrument as a soloist or as a member of a group or orchestra;
- Scores music for different combinations of voices and instruments to produce desired effect;
- Auditions and selects performers and rehearses and conducts them in the performance of the composition.
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