Meet the performers: Maisie-Jo

This month we’re spotlighting the young musicians who will be performing alongside AYM Patron Jess Gillam in Manchester next Tuesday (6th of September!) Today we’d like to introduce you to 16 year old saxophonist Maisie-Jo.

Maisie-Jo’s first experience of music was at three days old when she was taken to a gig to see her father play in his group The Swing Commandors. Coming from a big and very musical family, it wasn’t long before she was being tucked up at the side of the stage in a double bass case with a cushion and blanket whilst her mum and dad performed.

Her mother, founder of ‘Western Valley Swing’ group, began teaching Maisie piano at a very young age and it wasn’t until a twelve-year-old Maisie stumbled across a saxophone gathering dust in a cupboard that she became intrigued by the instrument.

She has since blossomed, auditioning for the Junior Royal Northern College of Music who gave her a place as a first study saxophone player. Maisie also dabbled with the clarinet, achieved Grade 6 on the viola and played with Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra before realising that she would much rather play with a Big Band.

Maisie swam for the county until recently and has also walked the Yorkshire Three Peaks. This summer she completed the 96-mile long West Highland Way! Thanks to her grandmother owning a dance school, Maisie has been dancing ballet and tap since she was a one-year-old.

Despite considering a career in Law, Maisie has since realised that her passion for music is too great – so she begins her place in the sixth form at Chetham’s School of Music this autumn. Maisie is already on the gig scene playing with her mum’s band and teaches a handful of children saxophone and piano privately.

AYM is supporting Maisie for the second time through The Robert Lewin Award.

“The most surreal but wonderful opportunity I could ever have imagined on an instrument funded largely by the AYM – just unbelievable for me on all counts.” Maisie-Jo

You can see Maisie-Jo live alongside several of our Award winners at the Hallé St Peter’s next week. Remaining tickets available from the link below.

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