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How Jane went from recording James Bond and Harry Potter soundtracks to teaching Nordic walking

PUBLISHED: 16:30 02 October 2020

Musician Jane MacPherson is changing career to become a Nordic Walking instructor Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Musician Jane MacPherson is changing career to become a Nordic Walking instructor Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Classical musician Jane MacPherson, who has worked with Gary Barlow and Lesley Garrett, has changed career in the wake of coronavirus lockdown - and is now a Nordic walking instructor.

Jane Marshall, as she was known during her career as a professional oboe player, now teaches Nordic Walking  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDJane Marshall, as she was known during her career as a professional oboe player, now teaches Nordic Walking Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mrs MacPherson was a principal member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and then the Philharmonia of London, playing under her maiden name, Jane Marshall.

But after nearly 40 years performing with top orchestras and artists and playing music on blockbuster film soundtracks, she has decided on a complete change.

She has set up the Suffolk School of Nordic Walking, based in her home village, near Ipswich.

She said: “I am absolutely loving it - it’s going incredibly well. We have only just started, but already have three courses up and running.”

Jane MacPherson is enjoying her new career as a Nordic Walking instructor  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDJane MacPherson is enjoying her new career as a Nordic Walking instructor Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mrs MacPherson was a principal member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and then the Philharmonia of London, playing under her maiden name, Jane Marshall.

After moving to Suffolk 15 years ago, she left the Philharmonia to concentrate on recording. She has worked with famous artists including The Three Tenors, Lesley Garrett, Chris Botti, Gary Barlow, Andrea Bocelli, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Michel Legrande, Dido, Belle and Sebastian and Gregory Porter, at Abbey Road and Air studios in London.

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She has also performed on many major film soundtracks, including several James Bond, Harry Potter, Batman, Jurassic Park and Disney films.

“Teaching Nordic Walking is a huge change of career,” she said. “I have gone from sitting in a studio for six to nine hours a day to being out in the fresh air.”

Jane MacPherson is from Coddenham, near Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDJane MacPherson is from Coddenham, near Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

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The 64-year-old first tried Nordic Walking, which involves walking with poles, on a taster session during a past Suffolk Walking Festival.

“I thought, let’s have a go, and I really liked it,” she said.

“It has health benefits- I’ve lost two stone and it has improved my posture after playing all day.”

Jane MacPherson previously helped record James Bond and Harry Potter soundtracks Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDJane MacPherson previously helped record James Bond and Harry Potter soundtracks Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mrs MacPherson went on to qualify as an instructor for Nordic Walking. She was already thinking of a career change before lockdown, but the restrictions spurred her on to make the change more quickly.

She said she was not missing playing, but was very sad about the current situation for classical musicians, which she described as devastating, especially for young people just setting out on their musical careers.

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During her musical career, she has many years of experience of teaching, with a Professorship at the Royal Academy, Royal College & Guildhall Schools of Music.

“I am continuing my teaching, online at the moment, and I love it,” she said. “I just thought, I can teach, I can Nordic Walk - why don’t I combine them?”

The Suffolk School of Nordic Walking is based at The Coddenham Centre in her home village, where Mrs MacPherson also provides her time and donates to the centre’s charity. Her husband, Andrew, is chair of the centre.

The school is offering free taster sessions for people who want to try Nordic Walking This whole-body aerobic exercise is suitable for a wide range of ages and levels of physical fitness and is low impact.

It is essential to book in advance, because numbers are limited, with full social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

For more details, visit the centre’s website or email Jane MacPherson via nordicwalking@thecoddenhamcentre.co.uk


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