Of course, without musicians there is no music - meet some of our members:
I'm 'retired', a granny, and a bipolar bear. As my family live a fair distance away, I'm in the lucky position of filling most of my days with 'fun' stuff.
I started playing flute, in Paris, in my twenties - my old teacher had bad breath and told me that playing flute would ultimately make my teeth fall out! But here I am still 'tooting' and not yet toothless!!
I sing with Bath Rock Choir, and am trying to learn to play ukulele. Music is at the heart of my days - it's been my only 'medication' for a number of years, keeping anxiety at bay and filling up my heart and spirit.
Since joining I have had the opportunity to play a wide range of music and at many different venues. The photo of me was taken at the Bath carnival which was SUCH FUN!! I had forgotten how wonderful it is to play as part of a group and I look forward to rehearsals every week.
Check us out on YouTube!
I started learning the flute about a decade ago, but eventually stopped playing to focus on my GCSEs. A decade later, in-between university semesters, I decided to try again and it all returned to me. Once I got back on campus I danced in a cèilidh (a traditional Scottish/Irish dance), and found myself joining the wonderful Southampton Folk Society, where I learned to perform music for others.
However, that was my final year at university, and I had decided to move to Bath for work. This meant saying goodbye to my fellow folk musicians. Fortunately, not long after moving I discovered the BathTub Orchestra from a post on the Meetup app. I went along, was rather nervous, but I quickly warmed up to the challenge and felt very welcome!
Since then we have put on a large number of concerts covering all sorts of music from pop songs, jazz, blues, film soundtracks, to classical favourites. I have definitely grown as a musician and have also recorded many of our concerts, which you can find uploaded to YouTube and posted to my blog.
Nick: Bass guitar
Before I joined BathTub I was a bedroom guitarist for many years. I didn't have much experience playing in a group and had only played to an audience once in my life!
My musical 'career' started on electric guitar when I was 17 and my best friend showed me how to play Marilyn Manson's cover of Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics - I was hooked from that day! The next few years I played almost nothing but Metallica covers (Nothing Else Matters and Master Of Puppets being favourites) before moving on to playing more prog, including an instrumental four-piece band called 'PMMF!' (search on SoundCloud).
I started playing bass guitar in my early twenties and made my first ever live performance in 2009 at a work Christmas party in Washington D.C. with a band called Hot Shoop that I had formed with my wife.
I joined BathTub Orchestra when it first started in November 2018 when my wife said she wanted to join on clarinet. I was a bit nervous about joining because I didn't consider myself very experienced at playing in groups but the atmosphere is always very welcoming and it's fine to make a few mistakes in rehearsals.
We really enjoy our Tuesday rehearsals and it has been great to get some more experience playing in front of live audiences in Bath.
I tried a few times to get going with guitar but in the end I decided it wasn’t for me and joined a choir instead. But taking part in the choir seemed to unlock something, and I joined a group guitar lesson with six other people. Most of us were middle-aged and started with only basic skills, but under the guidance of our teacher we made progress and even played two gigs at the local town fayre. Over a few years the group gradually dispersed, so I continued with 1: 1 lessons, but I really wanted to play with others.
I spotted a poster for the BathTub Orchestra and joined up. Although I found it a little daunting at first, it has been great. People are friendly and supportive - if you make mistakes, the philosophy is that nobody singles you out, and if you get stuck there’s always advice available. It does feel like we are all in it together. There is a nice social side too with occasional organised events, but it’s entirely up to you how much you get involved in that. I’ve now done 11 gigs, covering formal concerts, village festivals, Bath Christmas Market, Bath Carnival and a care home. It’s a lot of fun!
I enjoy playing with the BathTub Orchestra because playing with a large group of people is so much more enjoyable than playing alone. Furthermore, the BathTub Orchestra has some really talented musicians who are able to inspire relative beginners, such as myself.
I grew up as a child with this old German piano but never played it or anything else until I inherited it from my father in 2009 and decided to begin lessons. My only regret is that I didn't start when I was younger! It's been a steep learning curve as I worked my way through the grades towards grade 4 and then decided I didn't want to take any more exams! In a moment of madness I suggested to my piano teacher that it would be great to start an informal orchestra for people of all abilities to fulfill my fantasy of playing with others and having loads of fun too. Edward my teacher is now the orchestra director and the rest, as they say is history.
I can't deny its been a challenge at times for a late learner like me, but I am amazed to be playing music that I never thought I could play, and in front of audiences too! I am also amazed at the amount of time I have spent practicing, and I sometimes have to pinch myself that I have achieved so much in just a few years. I will never be a musical maestro, but who cares? I can actually play stuff with others, it sounds pretty good if I work at it, and it's hugely enjoyable.