Jenny’s interest in music started at an early age when she began playing flute in primary school and spent her weekends rehearsing with her local orchestra. By the age of 12 she discovered and fell in love with steel pans. She joined her local steel band, North Tyneside Steel Band (NTSB) led by Dave Edwards and enjoyed a wealth of performance opportunities through her teens including performing at the Royal Albert Hall in the Music For Youth Proms 2003 and 2008, as well as touring Switzerland. She is now one of the band’s musical directors and enjoys arranging, tutoring and performing with the band.
She began her career as a pan tutor in 2002, training as a Young Leader with the Steelbands North Project. She has had the opportunity to work with many great UK based tutors and also the legendary Earl Rodney (Trinidad), as well as record her first band composition. This was a very influential time in which she became focused on pursuing a career within the arts. She is now a full-time performer and tutor, teaching a variety of school bands, soloists and community groups across the region. She is also musical director and arranger of Northern Steel Orchestra which has competed in national competitions and festivals such as UK Junior Panorama competition (2015 UK Junior Panorama Champions), and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Jenny became interested in composing and arranging whilst studying GCSE and A-Level Music and has composed numerous pieces for solo steel pan, ensembles, steelbands and other instruments. Her soundscape, Yangtze Remix, featured in a public art exhibition, ‘Unfinished Business at Wallington’, at Wallington Hall, Northumberland in 2011. In 2012 she recorded her first solo album, which is available here.
Jenny has performed internationally in various competitions and festivals in countries such as Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Trinidad and of course the UK too. She has also worked as a guest soloist with bands such as London Gypsy Orchestra (above), Steel Pan Fusion and has collaborated with numerous other artists on projects such as Jazz North East ‘Strictly Smokin’ Sessions’, Five Pence Game and ‘Unfinished Business’ art exhibition. (read more about her collaborations)
She has competed in numerous panorama championship competitions with top British and Trinidadian steel orchestras: Ebony Steel Band, BP Renegades Steel Orchestra and Courts Sound Specialists, playing under world class arrangers Duvone Stewart and Ken Professor Philmore. In 2008 she became the UK solo champion winning the BAS Pan Explosion competition with her rendition of Scott Joplin’s ‘Maple Leaf Rag’. She then enjoyed competing in UK Pan Clash competition (improvisation) runner up in 2011 and winner in 2013.