Sally was born in Coventry and grew up in Birmingham. Thanks to lessons for the flute – her first choice at the age of 12 – being oversubscribed, Sally was united with the double bass as it was the only instrument that no one else wanted to learn at the end of her first year at school!
Sally went to study with Thomas Martin at the Guildhall School of Music, after completing a degree at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). Sally says ‘I had an amazing time in Glasgow – the people are really friendly and it is a very art oriented city but I always secretly wanted to come back to Birmingham’.
Return to Birmingham she did, following a stint freelancing and trialling with other UK orchestras. Sally has now been playing with the orchestra for almost 25 years and says ‘I am starting to feel very old now seeing the youngsters join but they are great players and bring freshness and vitality’. She also has fond memories of concerts performed under Sir Simon Rattle’s baton, including the Beethoven cycles and trips to Vienna.
Sally is continuing with learning the piano at the moment and says ‘It is great to have another musical outlet’. She also enjoys teaching and is looking into music therapy as well – ‘I am passionate about my job and how music can be enjoyed at all levels and people can participate and have enormous satisfaction from music at any level’.
To switch off from the day job, Sally enjoys playing golf and is a member of a golf club with a strong ladies section playing lots of matches against other clubs in the region - ‘they are very competitive’ – it’s great fun. I am lucky as the mind-set needed is not dissimilar to playing on stage’.
Supported by Dr Helen Chamberlain in memory of Allan Chamberlain