Music Roots

A lot to be grateful for – A lot to give to others!

Hull born Gill has had music in her life from the day she was born.  Daughter of Jean and Geoff Robson, Gill was exposed from an early age to the big band scene in which her father was a major player.  Saxophonist and Clarinet player Geoff frequented the club scene and has featured in several books showcasing the history of music in Hull.  “Dad told us that the big bands were replaced eventually by what we call DJ’s today”.  Even though it is a treat to still see big bands in concerts now, it was the introduction of DJ’s back then that gradually saw an end to this fantastic show of musicians on the club scene.  It was after all cheaper to pay one Disc Jockey then several band members and newer and different styles of music were developing worldwide and increasing in popularity by means of TV exposure and the speedy production of vinyl records.

As a child Gill and her younger brother Paul always had the run of the music room to play in.

“We had access to everything from what seemed like a Mary Poppins magical bag full of percussion instruments, to several keyboards including a glockenspiel and technical equipment such as microphones and amplifiers to the more untouchable saxophones, clarinets and flutes.”

“As a musician and music teacher, dad had a great interest in all musical instruments (he even repaired them) and had shelves stacked with scores of music and books about different types of instruments.”

Paul and Gill spent days together in the music room writing songs and singing.  As adults Gill and Paul went on to ensure music is a big part of their lives and also in the lives of thier own children, playing various instruments and singing.

“I was always amazed by Paul’s natural ability to listen to a piece of music once and then be able to play it straight away on the keyboard including all the relevant chords.  Dad would constantly tell us that we could be great as musicians as long as we practiced every day for at least an hour!”

“Mum met dad at a dance that dad was performing at and occasionally whilst I was growing up I remember having special treats to go to ‘dad’s dances’ myself.  I was very proud (in my long dance dress) that my dad was in the performing band.”

Sadly dad passed away in June 2015 from vascular dementia caused by heart disease.

Dad loved to live in his big band days through his illness but it was a sad day when he decided he couldn’t play his instruments or teach any longer.

“I will always be grateful to dad for giving me music roots and now I want to help grow the love of music in others. Our music room was a garden of delights where musical seeds were planted that led to having a passion for one of the most amazing joys in life.”

Learn more about our festivals here.