BANKERS have had little reason to blow their own trumpets of late. But Tony Laidlaw is set to prove otherwise.
A senior partner in asset finance at Clydesdale Bank Plaza in Edinburgh, the 51-year-old is also one of Her Majesty’s state trumpeters in Scotland.
One of five tasked with playing fanfares for Her Majesty at a number of events, Tony turned his hand to brass instruments more than four decades ago.
And he is now preparing to announce the Queen’s arrival for the opening of the fourth session of the Scottish Parliament this week – seven years on from his first engagement at Holyrood’s official opening.
“We will be announcing the procession’s arrival on Friday morning in the chamber at the Parliament,’ the father-of-one, who has performed for the Queen herself on three or four occasions, said.
“Effectively, we are part of the Lord Lyon’s party. The Lord Lyon is the Queen’s representative for heraldry in Scotland. When the Queen is on ceremonial duty, we would normally be asked to perform.
“We play things like the opening of the General Assembly. We play fanfares that announce the Queen’s arrival.
“We get together when we can to rehearse but it can be eight months between jobs. We probably won’t play again after Friday until next year for the opening of the General Assembly. “
Tony started playing the French Horn at the age of nine and currently plays the soprano cornet for St David’s Brass in Dalkeith, where he has been a member for the last four years.
He previously played in the Penicuik Silver Band for up to forty years.
And the financier was keen to stress the similarities between his full-time profession and part-time performing.
“They both require discipline. To play music in a group, you have to be disciplined in your approach and organised, and you have to listen to the people round about you, so there are a lot of similarities between that and being a professional.
“There’s not nearly as many differences as you would think. Playing the state trumpet or in brass bands, you’re still dealing with people and you’re playing for people and working with people. Working in the bank is exactly the same.
“My job is demanding and very interesting, as is playing in a brass band. “
Regularly rehearsing twice a week for two hours each night, Tony insisted nerves wouldn’t get the better of him and added:
“I’m concentrating on being as good as I can be.
“I’ve wanted to play brass since I was a little boy, probably because of Louis Armstrong – I wish I could play like him. “