Old Boys update – Cameron Baker (Ascham, 2005-2017)
If NSB had a musical hall of fame, then Cameron Baker would certainly feature in it with the many other talented musicians we have produced over the years. Cameron was a huge part of the musical life of NSB and is still fondly remembered by staff and students to this day. Mr Hopkinson caught up with him earlier this week.
What have you been up to since you left NSB?
Since I left NSB, I’ve achieved a degree in music from the University of York and have recently become a teaching assistant at a SEN school in York. I’ve also been lucky enough to have loads of musical experiences playing piano at many restaurants and weddings in Newcastle and York, although obviously there haven’t been many opportunities to play this year!
What has been your greatest achievement as a musician since leaving NSB?
I think my greatest musical achievement after leaving school was becoming the resident pianist at the Grand Hotel in York. Playing regularly at a prestigious venue gave me so many great experiences performing live, built up my confidence and led me to meet lots of interesting people.
What are your plans for the future?
After the end of the academic year, I plan to start a Masters in Music Therapy which has been an ambition of mine since looking at career options in sixth form. I would also love to keep performing live at different venues around the North East and Yorkshire as well as possibly playing as a cocktail pianist on cruise ships.
What is your greatest musical memory of your time at NSB?
I would say my greatest musical memory from school would be performing a piece called Fantaisie-Impromptu by Chopin in one of my final concerts. It’s one of the trickiest pieces I’ve learnt and took a lot of practice, but it was very rewarding to play it in front of an audience.
What advice do you have for our current students who want to pursue a career in music?
For any upcoming musician in school, I think the best piece of advice I could give is to get involved with as much as you can. Try out some of the co-curricular clubs, push your boundaries and play with other musicians to learn from them. There are plenty of opportunities to do lots of different things and gain experience of performing in front of people. Even though piano is my main instrument I found myself playing percussion in orchestra, singing in choir and even rapping!
What is the best advice you can give our students about their time at school?
In terms of overall school life, just take as many opportunities as you can and enjoy them. Whether you’re part of the rugby team, completing your Duke of Edinburgh award or playing in school concerts, in a few years’ time, you’ll definitely look back on your experiences and it is often those things you choose to do which will stick with you.
Finally, you sometimes performed under the rapper alter-ego of ‘Baz’ at NSB. Is Baz still spitting some bars and can we expect him to go viral on TikTok anytime soon?
I decided to leave my rap career at school which I think is probably for the best! The closest I’ve got to Baz is DJing at a few parties!