Gillian Hicks started her involvement with music at the age of 4, cultivating an interest in the trumpet at 9 years of age. She was educated at Oakham School, during which time she gained membership of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and ultimately became principal trumpet in the National Youth Orchestra and in its ancillary National Youth Chamber Orchesta. She appeared with them in many Henry Wood Promenade Concerts and received exceptional reviews for her playing of the principal trumpet part in An American in Paris by George Gershwin at the Royal Festival Hall. She followed the preparatory music course at North Hertfordshire College (Hitchin Centre), from where she gained a place to study under Paul Cosh at the Guildhall School of Music. She is now in her final year at the Guildhall School. From 1988 until 1990, while a student at North Hertfordshire College, she was a member of Hitchin Concert Orchestra.