Music tutor’s TV treat
An Exmouth music tutor has achieved his lifelong ambition thanks to a BBC television show.
Steve Grant, 53, of Windsor Square, was nominated to appear on Tonight’s the Night by pupil Lauren Thornhill, 19.
The show, hosted by Torchwood actor John Barrowman, aims to help members of the public achieve their ambitions – which, in Steve’s case, meant conducting the band of the Royal Marines.
After months of secret planning, Steve only found out about the programme when Barrowman turned up at an Exmouth Musical Theatre Company rehearsal and broke the news to him.
Steve had been told Barrowman was there making a documentary about musicals, so was stunned by the revelation that the TV cameras were actually there for him..
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Steve said: “They filmed John joining the orchestra and playing the flute, then he asked me to join him on stage.
“I still hadn’t twigged anything at all, so when he dropped the bombshell, I was totally gobsmacked.”
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After the revelation, Steve was whisked away to rehearse with the band, before he achieved his dream by conducting them on the show.
“I served 25 years in the Marines band, and they taught me to conduct, but I never actually conducted them properly in a performance.
“It was my dream to conduct them because I’ve done so much conducting since then.
“I was a bit nervous, and still shaking slightly on the night, but it was a wonderful feeling to conduct them.”
Steve is currently conducting the Devon Youth Wind Orchestra, the Exmouth Town Concert Band, and the Exmouth Music Centre.
He also gives private music tuition, and was nominated for the show by Lauren after teaching her for ten years.
Lauren said: “I had to lie to Steve for about two months, getting him to come to interviews and do stupid stuff for the cameras pretending it was for a college project.
“Steve does so much for music groups around Exmouth, and so much for kids – it’s that commitment that made me nominate him.”