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It's the spring holidays and I'm back in Durham for a couple weeks, so this blog will probably be inactive for a little while! Hope everyone has a good Easter :)
Cleveland Philharmonic Choir was kind enough to send me this photo taken at the end of their Elijah next week. I was lucky enough to sing alongside baritone Alan Opie, tenor Nathan Vale and soprano Sinead O'Kelly, under the direction of John Forsyth
Several years ago I sang this piece in a choir with the same conductor so there are a lot of happy memories associated with it for me - including taking it to the proms under the baton of Paul McCreesh as part of the Gabrieli consort's young singers scheme!
The rousing choruses never fail to cheer me up and I had a great time from beginning to end and am incredibly grateful to the choir for inviting me to sing as their alto soloist. To find out more about Cleveland Philharmonic Choir check out their website
Sometimes we all need a bit of time spent with someone fabulous so I've had an uplifting week spent with an old friend who was visiting Glasgow this week. On Tuesday we made the most of the sun (!!) and visited the botanic gardens. I often forget how many great things there are to do in Glasgow and get stuck in one path back and forth from college, so it was lovely to finally visit the gardens and change up my routine a bit
We were also incredibly fortunate to have the wonderful Susan Graham visiting college this week and I was able to watch her leading masterclasses alongside Malcolm Martineau with some of the students. It was a really inspiring afternoon (photos are available on the RCS Vocal Performance facebook page), and it feels like a lot of her advice regarding text I'll be returning to a lot over the coming weeks!
My teacher loves a good quote or motivational phrase so I feel like I have many in store. The one that is speaking to me most at the moment is
Patience is a singers life.
It's so frustrating to try and stay within my current boundaries. There is such excitement looking at the "next step" that I often get carried away and forget to enjoy what I'm doing now or to focus on what is currently important! So I need to remember to have the patience to let my voice develop at the rate that it wants to and not go biting off more than I can chew.
...and of course there are also all the other kinds of patience a singer needs! Waiting around for trains, waiting for rehearsals to start, waiting your turn to sing, waiting to hear audition results, etc. Waiting really does seem to be at the core of the singing experience sometimes.
I'm lucky enough to have reason to travel from Glasgow to Durham very frequently with various concerts and events going on. The train ride is stunning, with a view of the sea for most of the journey and lush countryside for the rest. Most recently I was home for an Elijah with Cleveland Philharmonic Choir so I got to watch the sea rolling past again. Here is an older photo, from a journey last year on the same route.
It's always a joy to get together with friends to sing and even more so when doing it for a good cause! I'm extremely lucky to be joined by some of my fellow students this Saturday for a concert to raise funds for Samaritans. I've personally used Samaritans in times of crisis and their 24 hour helpline provides an immense amount of support for all kinds of people - from someone stressed at work to someone contemplating suicide, no problem is too big or too small. So to be able to raise funds and give back to them in some small way is something I'm thrilled about.
I'll be singing alongside Elisabeth Beard, Stephanie Edwards, William Frost, Maisy Hepburn, Ellen Mawhinney, Suzanne Murphy, Sian Voller and Emma Ward. They are all young singers from first and second year of undergraduate so it would be really great to have a lot of support for these young singers so early on in their singing journey.
We are also accompanied by the ever fabulous Beth Jerem! She played for me when I competed in the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers competition and is a fellow student at the RCS, studying on the repetiteur course.
This concert is the second of a series I am helping to organise, singing across the UK raising funds for various charities. Last time I was singing at Newcastle at St Thomas the Martyr Church with my good friends Ana Fernandez Guerra, Jordan Carlton and Julia Kennard, where we raised money for Rethink Mental Illness. Here is a post concert photo!