Second City Sax started in 2009. Over the years we have had several changes of personnel, all of whom have contributed to its development & success! We have recently said goodbye to our alto and baritone players, who have moved away from the area after graduating, but we have two new players joining us: Chris Hill on alto and Mary Armitage on Baritone. Their biogs will be posted here soon. Sam Pollacco is now our Tenor player.
Jonathan has been playing music for 65 years, starting on piano in his youth (reaching Grade VIII), branching out into electric guitar in his teens, and taking up saxophone in 1992. Since coming to Birmingham in 1997, Jonathan has studied jazz saxophone with Colin Crabb who helped him to achieve distinction in Grade VIII in 2007 and an ALCM Diploma in 2013. Jonathan also plays tenor sax in the University of Birmingham Saxophone Choir, flute in UoB Flute Choir, as well as keyboards in Chick Wren's Rollin' River Band..
Chris is a multi-instrumentalist currently undertaking a PhD in Music Performance Practice at the University of Birmingham. Having been introduced to music early in life, Chris began with rock and funk drums, before discovering the flute at age 10 and being introduced to jazz, classical, and folk. With diploma and fellowship qualifications in both classical and jazz flute and saxophone, and having performed the world over in national orchestras and choirs, as well as being active within Birmingham’s local music scene, Chris is determined to bring together the diversity of his experience into his performances.
Sam is currently an undergraduate studying Music at the University of Birmingham, having first taken up the clarinet at age 7, then the saxophone at age 15. Her current involvement with university ensembles includes playing in Sax Choir and Wind Band, as well as performing with and managing Clarinet Choir. Outside of the society, Sam plays as part of a jazz group called ‘Red Zest’, who perform regularly in the local scene. Despite the pandemic, she was able to achieve her Grade VIII on the clarinet in 2020 and has since been working at a similar level on saxophone.
Mary is an undergraduate at the University of Birmingham studying social policy and criminology. Beginning her musical journey on the violin at aged 4, then piano followed by saxophone, all achieving a grade 8 distinction level; music has always been a massive part of her life, getting involved in all styles of music. During her degree, Mary has been part of saxophone choir, symphony orchestra, wind band and samba band. Other aspects of Mary’s musical life include self-teaching drums, bass and guitar during the pandemic and attempting to become a one man band.