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Neil Blandford

Neil was born in Basingstoke on 16th July 1986 and has lived in Alton for the majority of his life.

For as long as he can remember, Neil has always wanted to pay the drums. Having been brought up on his dad's record collection of classic rock bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy, he fell in love with this style of music and especially the drumming.

Neil took up the drums at the age of 11 when he got to Amery Hill School having already taken up the trumpet a year or two before at primary school. Along side GCSE music he was a member of a whole host of groups on both instruments including wind band, percussion group, orchestra and even the barbershop choir!! It was the jazz band he enjoyed the most however and he developed a keen interest for this style of music.

Wanting to do as much music as possible, he joined the Hampshire County Youth Brass Band (HCYBB) on percussion in 1999 where he worked his way up to principal percussionist before he left in 2004.

A year after joining he also decided to take piano lessons where he spent most of the time learning to play jazz rather than classical, as this was far more fun and interesting.

After school Neil moved on to Alton Sixth Form College where he continued to study both music and music technology. He carried on playing both drums and trumpet in as many ensembles as possible, including the "awesome" Alton College Jazz Band.

Whilst at college Neil was accepted in to the Birmingham Conservatoire of music to study jazz drumming for 4 years. This is where he went after college but only for a couple of years. The course wasn't really for him. Although he loved playing jazz, his even greater love for rock music proved to be a problem as he couldn't find anyway to do both side by side. So, after 2 years, he decided to leave Birmingham and move back home.

Still wanting to keep this side of music going however, Neil is regularly playing with other jazz musicians down here both in smaller groups and big bands.

Neil also teaches the drums which he has been doing for a good 7 years now and has many students since he started. He also helps run youth club called IMPACT every Friday night and regularly organises band nights for local bands to come and play.

Debs :: Rob :: Rob :: Arrun :: Neil :: Phil :: Chloe :: Gary

Neil Blandford
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