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Making music is a real family affair
MUSIC has always been a family affair for renowned trumpeter Gareth Small.
The Hallé Orchestra member was taught by his dad Tony, who was in turn taught by Gareth’s grandfather Terry.
Now the Grove Park resident, who is married to saxophonist Katherine, hopes to pass on the family tradition to a fourth generation – his sons Tomas, five, and Harry, three.
Tomas is already learning the piano.
Gareth, 42, said: “They’re always asking to have a go on different instruments and asking how they work.
“I’m not going to force them into anything, but if they want to be musicians that’s great by me.
“It’s a really good grounding for them and a way to learn and meet people.”
Gareth is preparing for his concerts with the Hallé at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester from December 12 before jetting off to perform in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
“No day is the same,” said Gareth, who teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University.
“You’re always playing different music in different venues, and you get to travel all over the world.
“I could be in China one day and Blackburn the next. It’s tiring but great fun.
“I remember doing a South American tour about two years ago, and we were in Rio airport messing around with a football, and suddenly we noticed the entire Brazilian football team watching us.
“It turned out they were getting the same flight to Chile for a World Cup qualifier.”
Gareth’s musical talents have also caught the attention of filmmakers.
He has contributed to the soundtracks of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Gareth recorded music for Lord of the Rings in Abbey Road Studios.
“It’s scary,” said Gareth, who has recorded music with Pavarotti.
“You never see the music before you walk into the studio – you just go straight into it. It’s recorded three or four weeks before the film is released so you can imagine the pressure.
“I was sat playing my trumpet and I hear singing and five yards to my left behind a big glass screen is Annie Lennox.
“Then hearing your music in surround sound at the cinema is amazing.”
Becoming a musician felt like part of Gareth’s destiny after he picked up a cornet when he was seven.
His first public performance was dressed as a Beefeater when he played God Save The Queen in 1977 for the Silver Jubilee celebrations.
“I carried on from there,” added Gareth, who has recorded music for British Airways, Sony Playstation and Heineken.
“It’s all I ever wanted to do. My dad was always playing the trumpet and ran the village brass band.
“There were so many musicians around me at the time that it felt natural.”
Gareth will be performing with the Hallé Orchestra on December 12 and 16 at 7.30pm and December 13 at 2.15pm and 7.30pm at the Bridgewater Hall.
He said: “The joy of working with the Hallé is travelling in the north west most of the time as we have such a strong fan base here.”