Polly is a professional freelance cellist based in the UK, where she performs as an improviser, chamber musician, soloist and session musician, alongside working as an educator, facilitator and composer.
Polly is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she studied cello with Emma Ferrand.
In 2016, Polly travelled to The Banff Centre, Canada, where she worked as a musician in residence, collaborating with other musicians from around the world and writing her own music. This prompted further travels to Calgary for the Summer of 2017, where Polly collaborated and performed with several Canadian folk and Country music artists. Polly performs regularly as part of the the singer/songwriter scene in Manchester. Her ability to improvise and create in the moment of performance enables her to collaborate with artists of many different genres and adapt to a huge variety of playing styles.
As a session musician, Polly has played with artists including Everything Everything, Charlatans, Fenne Lily, Slow Readers Club, Palace, Island and Drift Chamber, amongst others.
Polly’s love for improvisation and discovery through experimentation on the cello has led her to creating her own original music for cello and electronics. Polly’s music takes the listener on an exciting, cinematic exploration through natural landscapes. Her tracks have been played on BBC Introducing, and Polly has performed them live at the Aldeburgh Festival, Lancaster Jazz Festival, Didsbury Arts Festival and Band on the Wall. In collaboration with videographer Pete Tomkies, Polly’s live set incorporates live, projected visuals of her compositional and cello playing process, creating a really immersive experience for the audience.
Polly was a founding member of the string loop pedal duo Täpp, alongside violinist Beka Reid. Together, Beka and Polly compose original music with influences of classical, folk, jazz, world, drum and bass and everything in between! Täpp performed at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2016 and won 2nd place at NonClassical’s Battle of the Bands 2018. They were also selected as Northern Line Artists on the Jazz North scheme from 2018-2019.
Polly plays lead cello in the 4-piece Alternative Indie Rock band Ideal Forgery, who perform frequently across the North West, and are currently embarking on a UK tour, followed by a mini-tour on the Isle of Man. Recently described as ‘an undiscovered diamond in the rough’ they strive to write ‘good music on real instruments’ which has had a heartfelt impact on their audience. They have various releases available to listen to on Spotify, iTunes, Sound cloud; Check them out here!
Polly has also performed and recorded with orchestras including the Kaleidoscope Orchestra, Gatecrasher, Street Orchestra Live, The Untold Orchestra and Joe Duddell’s Ensemble No.6. In Summer 2018, she busked on the streets of Austria with Kora player John Haycock, and the duo then performed as artists in the Pflasterspektakel (street performer’s festival) in Linz.
Alongside a busy freelance career, Polly currently works as a teaching artist with Opera North’s In Harmony project, which takes music into primary schools in deprived areas of Leeds. She has also led various workshops in creative music making on behalf of Opera North Education.
Another huge passion of Polly’s is for taking music into healthcare settings. She has worked for a number of years as a musician on the wards of Manchester Children’s Hostpital, making music with the patients, staff and families on behalf of LIME Music for Health.