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Sarah Dempsey

Sarah Dempsey

Sarah Dempsey

Instrument - Violin

Joined Orchestra -2016

I began playing the violin when I was eight and started lessons with an elderly teacher in Wolverhampton where I was living at the time. She spent the first few weeks concentrating on poise and how to hold the instrument. It was the equivalent of deportment classes for musicians! She even had me walking up and down the room, not with books on my head, but with the violin under my chin and my hands behind my back. Quite bizarre now I think about it!

No reflection on her, but I moved to Grimsby shortly afterwards and continued lessons at school. I gained Grade 5 by the time I was 14, but as I had not studied any theory I could not take any more practical exams. I did, however, continue playing up to the age of 18, reaching around Grade 8, and enjoying several years with the Grimsby, Cleethorpes and District Youth Orchestra, and playing in numerous quartets and trios.

I went to Edge Hill College in 1985 to study English and PE, but the only thing I played then was sport, and the poor violin was consigned to the back of the cupboard.

Then followed a 25-year career in journalism, culminating in eight years as a sub editor on The Daily Star, where it was more a case of "Bare-lioz" than Berlioz.

When the chance of redundancy came up, I took it and I decided to use my free time wisely by having violin lessons again.

It wasn't easy getting back into the swing of things after 30 years but the sense of enjoyment was incredible. After a year of lessons and almost daily practice, I finally plucked up the courage to join Southport Orchestra - and how glad I was! The members are so friendly and welcoming, and every rehearsal is a joy.

I don't really have a favourite composer, although Mozart's Requiem and Walton's Crown Imperial take some beating.

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