This month the Student Spotlight is on Jake Fletcher
from LMT Big Band Ensemble, Lions Youth Brass, Sandbach School Big Band & Wind Band
Tell us a little about your background as a Musician
I’ve always liked listening to music. I listen to all-sorts, from Miles Davis to the Clash. I began playing the trumpet in primary school when I was 8 years old – we had the opportunity to choose a brass or wind instrument. Picking the trumpet was just a matter of chance. I joined Lions Youth Brass when I was 9, playing the cornet and recently took up the soprano cornet. I play the trumpet in the LMT Big Band and in the Sandbach School Big Band
How did you come to join The LMT Big Band?
I joined the LMT Big Band back in September 2013 after attending a free jazz academy session run by Jon Eno. The jazz music was completely different to the brass band music I was used to playing, and the leader of the band, Jon Eno, was charismatic and a lot of fun. We played Chick Corea, Weather Report and Maynard Ferguson and it was great.
What is your favourite part of playing for the LMT Big Band ?
I enjoy playing challenging music in a fun, laid back rehearsal. The Brass Band world is very competitive and although I enjoy going to competitions (I once got a custard pie in my face – don’t ask), I enjoy the relaxed feel of the Big Band.
The LMT Big Band is also great for meeting prominent figures in the jazz world. Earlier this term, we had Ian Darrington, a leading trumpet player, take two of our rehearsals. It’s hard to imagine many other big bands getting the same opportunities.
What have been the highlights of your musical career so far?
A big highlight was that in a space of a week earlier this year, I got to perform with Allen Vizutti (world-famous trumpet legend) and Mike Lovatt (principal trumpet player of the John Wilson Orchestra & Professor of Trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music) with the LMT Big Band and I also saw the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, arguably the best big band in the world. Every year with my school big band, I also get to perform with Matt Ford (a singer with the John Wilson Orchestra). The Matt Ford Concert are great – a real highlight of the year. I also remember our performance with Lions at the National Youth Brass Band Championships in 2015 – we came 2nd and it was one of our best performances.
Do you have any musical aspirations for the future?
In an ideal world, I’d love to play alongside Wayne Bergeron, arguably one of the best big band lead trumpet players in the world.
What school do you go to and what lessons do you enjoy?
I go to Sandbach School’s Sixth Form, and study music. The School Big Band is great, helping me to develop as a player. Mr Barber, Mrs Barber and Mr Raisbeck are three great teachers and over the last 5 years have helped me no end.
I also study Theatre Studies, History and English Literature. What’s not to like?
What do you enjoy doing when your not playing, what are your other hobbies?
I love reading. I enjoy reading books by many authors, from Phillip Pullman to Gerald Durrell. I also enjoy circus skills. I can juggle, and I’m learning to walk on stilts and ‘attempting’ to learn to unicycle. I like travelling too, from across the UK to Europe.