This will be my first time at Cheltenham and I’m really looking forward to it – I have heard nothing but praise for its programming and atmosphere from my fellow students. I think it’s a great thing that the festival is thriving and attracting such big names; I feel one of one everyday responsibilities of musicians should be to attend as many live events as possible, as doing so can be a great source of inspiration, show your friends and colleagues support, and help maintain and create opportunities to play. In particular I’m looking forward to Troykestra, the Mike Gibbs Ensemble and the New Gary Burton Quartet. I am, however, keeping a very open mind!
John Hirst is a drummer/percussionist currently studying at Birmingham Conservatoire. Previously he attended Berklee College of Music and has studied with Joe Lovano, Jerry Bergonzi, Francisco Mela and Jeff Williams. He is a member of the Birmingham Conservatoire Big Band and has received ensemble coaching from Jeff Ballard, Gary Smulyan and Dave Holland. Outside of the Conservatoire he plays with a variety of ensembles, teaches, and creates music for his own projects.