Sam Kinrade

Trumpet Teacher and Performer

Sam’s Music Story

Sam grew up in the Isle of Man. Most well- known musicians from there are generally brass players so it may not come as a surprise that Sam is a professional trumpeter. This was slightly by chance however as due to an issue with his vocal cords as a child he was advised not to do sports where shouting might cause damage, and so as an alternative activity for a Saturday morning he instead went to the local brass band from aged 8 years old.

Surrounded by older players, including an ex-Grenadier Guard musician called Ray Gillis who gave helpful guidance, Sam learnt the cornet by playing in the band. It was the happy chance that international cornet soloist, James Shepherd, spotted Sam whilst performing with the band and suggested to his parents that Sam might want to audition for a music school. Sam was not from a musical family and moving to Chetham’s School of Music at the age of 14 to board and learn the trumpet was a big step. Determined to pursue music though Sam made the move and began his studies with the principal trumpet of the Hallé Orchestra, Gareth Small.

Following some happy years at Chetham’s the Guildhall School of Music and Drama was the obvious next step, to be taught by Paul Cosh. He then completed his master’s degree at the Royal College of Music.

Since then, Sam has maintained a healthy balance between his teaching and performing careers. He teaches privately as well as holding the trumpet teaching position at Emanuel School in London. He also works as a tutor for junior orchestras and programmes like the London Symphony Orchestra Discovery Department and National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. Sam enjoys the variety of teaching different types of people and levels, from a complete beginner to those working towards their performance diplomas.

"I really encourage people to play music they enjoy and want to learn and place emphasis on becoming self-critical in a positive way"

What was the Guildhall School of Music like?

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is one of the most prestigious music conservatoires in the world and studying there for four years was a dream come true. Its unique combination of teachers, facilities, and location mean that as a student you are surrounded by the best in the business all the time.

As students we would regularly perform in the Barbican Centre just next door (home of the London Symphony and BBC Symphony Orchestras) and receive coaching from the countless top professionals working there. These invaluable experiences allowed me to progress on to my own freelance career where I now regularly perform with these orchestras, often alongside my fellow graduates and friends from the Guildhall.
Where would you suggest people buy a trumpet from?

Well, I was lucky as during my time at Chetham’s school I was able to try out some trumpets and choose from five or six models. My best advice though is to head to a music shop and try out lots of instruments within your budget before buying. Great places to go are Phil Parker Ltd in central London or visit Prozone Music which is owned by a family of brass players. Will Spencer is my best kept secret who is a fantastic creator and repairer of brass instruments also, based in Guildford.

What age do you recommend starting to play the trumpet?

It is best to start once children have their adult teeth through, so likely at 7 or 8 years old.

So, what are you like as a teacher?

I believe different people need different approaches, but I always aim to be friendly, approachable, and flexible. I really encourage people to play music they enjoy and want to learn and place emphasis on becoming self-critical in a positive way. This is how we learn!

What has been your career highlight to date?

I have been incredibly fortunate to have had so many memorable performances already in my career. A few that come to mind are performing at Glastonbury, travelling to Japan with my brass quintet, and touring Europe with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra performing in some of the finest concert halls in the world. Not to mention my recent concert with the Aurora Orchestra for last year’s BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall that had no live audience thanks to Covid-19. I hope that one will remain a unique experience and we can get live audiences back soon!

What trumpet pieces would you recommend people listen to, to inspire them to play?

If you want to explore classical trumpet playing, then a lot of people start with Joseph Haydn’s trumpet concerto. Almost all trumpet soloists have a recording of this piece and it is fantastic! Another personal favourite is Enescu’s Legende but there are so many. Hakan Hardenberger, Matthias Hoffs, and Huw Morgan are just a few of the trumpet soloists doing exciting things right now so check them out!

Most people are already familiar with the likes of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, both of whom were jazz trumpet players. If you like those guys then check out another legend, Freddie Hubbard, or up-and-coming British jazz star Laura Jurd.

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