Hi everyone, my proper name is Pam and I play principal cornet for Middleton Band. In case you are wondering where the "sterling sop" bit comes into it, it's the only name I could come up with many many moons ago when I first set up my hotmail account, and as I was playing soprano on an instrument made by Sterling, I thought it natural to call myself "sterlingsop". So there!
I started playing at the age of 7 at Bowker Vale Primary School in Manchester under Bernard Northwood, who introduced me to banding at the Blackley Junior Band (where I first met HorniKaz and her brother Stephen, who wrote the piece of music for me and my husb to walk down the aisle to on our wedding day).
To cut a very long and boring story short, I have played a combination of Bb cornet and soprano cornet for North Music Centre (where I met Kevin my husband), Blackley Band, Moston and Beswick Band, United Norwest Co-op Pioneer Band (now Milnrow), Greenfield and Middleton Band.
My biggest influences have been Bernard Northwood, Ray Grand, Allan Jones, Eric Craven, Dave Chapman, Malcolm Cockerill and more recently Martin Obermuller. Over my playing career, each of these men have taught me something new about my playing and musical understanding, and perhaps even more importantly, new things about myself.
Away from the crazy world of brass banding, I am an officer in the Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade which involves badgework, drill, games and marching band training with kids from the age of 4 years old and upwards. I am a self-confessed bookaholic - I constantly have a book (or 5) on the go and will read ANYTHING (except Danielle Steele and my bank statements). I used to do a lot of embroidery, but as the kids have grown up the number safe places to leave needles and scissors etc has drastically reduced so until my living room is free of hotwheels cars, bits of lego, train track, bits of action man, half built robots, k'nex models and the like my embroidery days are definitely on the back burner!
Simply put, I love playing my cornet. So much so that it's more like a prosthesis these days than a musical instrument! I can also strum a few chords on a guitar, burst the bezoomers out of a bugle, squawk a melody out of a clarinet, toot a hoot on the flute, scrape the guts out of a violin, bash the skin off a drum and do multiphonics on a digeridoo. And that's all true!!
That's all folks