Teenage rising star realises her dream of playing at prestigious jazz club
- Credit: Courtesy of Grace Harman
A growing musical talent from Suffolk got her chance to shine on one of music’s biggest stages after being invited to play at a prestigious venue.
Grace Harman has shown a particular talent and passion for music ever since first taking piano lessons at the age of seven.
Hours of practise in a special room at home, so the noisy instrument didn’t irritate her relatives too much, alongside time with organisations such as the Suffolk Youth Orchestra has enabled her to quickly reach Grade Eight - the highest level.
And on Sunday, February 3 she got her moment in the spotlight when she played in front of a live audience at the prestigious Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.
The 16-year-old says her invitation to take part in the Big Band in a Day workshop, where young musicians learn how to play in a large group and finish the day with a performance, is something she will “never forget”.
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The Kesgrave High School year-12 student added: “The day was a huge success. Not many people can say they have performed on the Ronnie Scott’s main stage.”
After learning her first notes on the piano aged seven, Grace went on to also learn the violin and the trumpet.
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The latter is now her main instrument, even though she only picked one up aged 12 or 13.
She has her sights set on reading music at university and building up her experience of playing different styles with the trumpet, with the ultimate goal being a professional musician.
In particular she would like to play in bands at big West End musicals. Being at Grade Eight, she is already qualified to teach others.
By teaching others, Grace hopes to “give back” and “use my experience to help new people and music”.
Music has been a major part of Grace’s life and, to reach her level, she said: “You’ve got to be dedicated. I’ve had so many music lessons my whole life.”
But she believes the hard work pays off, not only in giving her prospects for the future but the way it can bring joy to people’s lives.
“Everyone can benefit from music,” she said.
“It’s really rewarding because you learn how to read music and that’s something you never forget.
“Once you reach a point where you can play a piece of music to a high standard, you get that sense of achievement - that’s what got me really excited about playing music.”
A concern for many is the cost of equipment and buying musical instruments.
But Grace, who lives with her family in Kesgrave, pointed to organisations like Martlesham Brass - which give people the chance to learn even if they do not have instruments themselves.
“It’s for anyone, even if you can’t afford to buy an instrument,” she said.
“You just need to be dedicated and want to learn.”