Coming from a musical family, Alison was surrounded by music from an early age and clearly remembers listening to The Poozies and Dvorak’s New World symphony during many Sunday lunches. After pestering her parents for three years she was finally given her first violin for her sixth birthday, and made her debut performance at a barn dance three weeks later, – playing open strings, of course - with her petticoat showing beneath her pink dress.
Rather than fleeing from this embarrassing (and well-photographed) memory, Alison has since leapt at every vaguely musical experience to come her way. During her school years she was classically trained in the violin, piano, voice, and – briefly – the euphonium, played in countless orchestras, and started composing music. Her chamber work Journey’s End was selected by the SPNM (now Sound and Music) to be performed at LSO St Luke’s, London, in 2005 as an example of the best in youth music.
Alison began her Music degree at the University of Cambridge in 2006. She was quick to embrace the musical life of the university, playing in orchestras, choirs, and numerous folk ensembles.
She was a member of the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band throughout her time at university, and spent two years on the committee – first as Tour Secretary, then as President. It was at CUCB that Alison met the future members of her folk quartet Run of the Mill (now a quintet and renamed Mrs Trevor’s Deep Freeze Secrets) and many members of the Cunning Plan Ceilidh Band are also CUCB members or alumni.
She also sang in an informal a capella folk harmony group called A Hair’s Breadth. They performed at many events in Cambridge, including three May Balls, and were finalists in the 2009 New Roots competition, two years after Run of the Mill became finalists in the same competition.
Whilst at university, Alison also began to gain more teaching experience. She ran rehearsals for the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band during her year as society president. In 2007 she was hired by Artension as a music workshop tutor to assist in delivering a Spanish Week arts project in Gloucestershire.
From time to time Alison likes to escape her musical world by boarding a yacht and sailing long distances. In 2006 she sailed non-stop from Torbay to Lisbon in the Tall Ships’ Race, and she is a qualified Day Skipper.
For information on Alison’s current work, please select the Performing, Teaching or Composing tabs above.