Andrew McDade

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

Playing fives tournaments with a group of great friends. Also travelling to Amsterdam with the chamber choir was extremely fun and unforgettable

What attracted you to your particular career and what do you enjoy most about it?

Music is less a job and more a lifelong passion. I have always known I wanted to work in the performing arts.

I get to meet new people, visit new places and work on different projects every day. I am lucky enough to work for an orchestra that plays screenings of films while we play the soundtrack live as you watch. There is nothing quite like the feeling of performing films like Star Wars to a full arena every day on tour.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

When I started at Malvern College, I had such bad stage fright that I struggled to perform anything at all. On a whim I decided one year to try out for the school musical (West Side Story) in the hope that in getting a small role I could learn to be on stage without my tuba, and perhaps it would help with my stage fright. The director (Neil Smith) saw something in me and took a chance in casting me as the main role of Tony. Naturally, this was utterly terrifying! How could I possibly stand on stage and command such a big and demanding role?! But Neil spent many hours, every day for weeks, coaching me in how to act and how to manage my fear of performing until finally I was able to completely overcome it. To this day I consider this to as one of the most pivotal moments in my artistic development. Having a teacher go above and beyond and having the facilities to be able to do this has paved the way for me to become the professional musician I have become today.

What are your ambitions?

To send a CD of my own music into space.

More realistically, I have always dreamed of working with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating working or studying in your field?

Take every opportunity you can. Create opportunities, look for opportunities and think creatively about what skills can enhance what you do. Learn how to communicate and work with other people, be reliable and never be late. Practice often, exercise regularly, study and listen to music every day. It is a lifestyle, not just a job.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at the school?

Malvern is brimming with opportunity. Try everything, there will undoubtedly be activities that are perfect for you, even if you do not know what they are when you arrive. Whatever you want to do and learn, chances are it will be possible at Malvern.