Oliver Smedley

2017 RPS Instrument Purchase recipient


Oliver began playing brass instruments at the age of 7 and joined the Lions Youth Brass Band on cornet. Over the years he made the change through several instruments before realising that the trombone was the one for him. During his time in the band he won several awards in their annual slow melody competitions, and also successfully competed with the band for the title of best youth brass band in the country.

Before commencing his undergraduate at Leeds College of Music, Oliver studied under John Barber, also receiving tuition from Jon Eno and Andy Scott. During his time with his school big band, Oliver was given the chance to perform with many great artists such as Matthew Ford and Clare Teal. This gave him a sense of the life of a professional musician long before he took steps to follow a career in music.

He has just completed the first year on the combined jazz with classical course at Leeds College of Music, and within just this one year has received many great opportunities, both in learning and in performance. He receives weekly lessons from Kevin Holbrough during which his approach to not only jazz improvisation but to the trombone in general has been challenged and nurtured, leaving him with a much more mature sound after just one year! He has also played in the college’s big bands and its Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, playing under the direction of Mark Chandler and Ed Jones, and performing with Iain Ballamy. Since beginning his studies in Leeds, Oliver has had the chance to perform at exciting venues such as Leeds Trinity Church and Kendal Calling Festival.

(July 2017)

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