I first encountered the saxophone while still at school in the 1980’s, and instantly fell for its warm beguiling sound. I started lessons at school and served my musical apprenticeship with the Cutting Edge Big Band under Bob Cutting, where I played first tenor. At University I co-founded and directed the Imperial College Jazz Big Band and started branching out into small jazz combos, including the John Ongom Septet and Oxford-based jazz funk group Different People. Shortly after returning from University Derek established the saxophone quartet Sax Lyrical, playing more classical/chamber music at weddings, private parties and other occasions.
I returned to the Newbury area in 2004 and since then have kept myself busy playing with local jazz musicians, including the Apollo Big Band, Innovations Jazz Orchestra, Hungerford Jazz Forum and with my primary group, Pump Handle. I am an established music teacher and have been teaching for 20 years. I am currently the the resident saxophone teacher at Hogan's Music School, Newbury.