I was born and grew up in the east end of London, Great Britain. My father was a scientific engineer, my mother a homemaker. Neither were particularly artistic; I think my love of music may have skipped a generation from my maternal grandmother, who played piano by ear. I never dreamed that one day I would be able to make a living playing music. Having gone through a couple of instruments (violin and piano) by the age of 11 or so, I'd grown despondent as I didn't seem to 'take to them.' Through good fortune, I had an outstanding music teacher who encouraged me to keep trying. He persuaded me to try a spare clarinet...and I took to it like the proverbial 'duck to water.' I practiced...and practiced...and still practice! By my mid-teens, I was doing the occasional gig...then more gigs, then even getting paid for them! Fast forward to 2014 and I am married to a wonderful American lady and call South Carolina my home. I tour and perform worldwide both on land and on luxury cruise ships and never, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine as a youth that music would enable me to see so much of the world and meet so many people from every culture and background. Music education—and arts education in general—is so very important and should be at the very forefront of the curriculum...not sidelined as it so often is because it is harder to 'measure' or 'score.'