It’s been a long time since my last post (sorry), but, hopefully, that will no longer be the case as I have around 6 weeks at my disposal in which to blog to my heart’s content.
I’ve been quite busy (which is a change in itself) but I’m excited to tell you about quite a big musical change which has happened…
I’m happy to say (over a month after it’s happened…sorry) that I am a member of the Leyland Band, currently sitting on 2nd Cornet. This is an amazing opportunity for me to play amongst and learn from some ridiculously talented and well-experienced players. Also I get the chance to compete in prestigious contests such as the British Open… which there are literally not enough words in the English Language to describe how excited I am to be playing in! I’ve wanted to watch it for years, but being given the opportunity to play in it, is incredible and didn’t sink in for a while…until I started practising the test piece which brought me straight back to reality. Leaving a solo seat to take this ensemble position, poses the question: is this a step backwards? However having seen the 2nd cornet part for the Open- The Triumph of Time by Peter Graham- it´s very clear to see that this is very much a step forward.. I knew that the gap between the sections I’ve played for previously and championship would be rather big…but we’re talking a BFG sized big step here, so my progress will (hopefully) move forward quite quickly. As there is no room for constantly going over things in rehearsal, it has to be right as quick as possible otherwise you get left behind. So the combination of playing harder pieces, fast-paced rehearsals and attending music college will no doubt sky-rocket my progress. Although I enjoyed the solo opportunities which comes with being a flugel player (who doesn’t love hogging the spotlight every now and then?) I appreciate that this seat will allow me to learn my craft a bit more and really push myself to work on my technique, which sometimes I felt sitting on the solo seat allowed me to shy away from. I would often find myself perfecting the bits that would get noticed…because I was a flugel player and we crave to take attention away from the principal cornet and solo euph. ( kind of like a musical “hey guys, look I’m a soloist too, honest!”) and preferring to gloss over the tricky boring bits….which isn’t the best way to learn a piece.
Joking aside, moving to championship section was a little daunting for me….no I tell a lie, moving to championship was very, VERY daunting for me, as it’s somewhere I’ve aspired to be for a long time, so finally being given the opportunity is a rather big deal for this band geek, but to move to a band that has such a friendly ethos (when you’re not the subject of banter) made it a lot easier to settle in and I felt I had earned my seat, as I had quite few opportunities beforehand, through depping at a few concerts, to show the band what I could do,
In order to take this awesome offer, it meant I had to give up my place in the Eccles Borough Band. Over the 18 months I played for Eccles, I had an absolute blast, I was given so much support and so many opportunities and was incredibly lucky to gain such an awesome, bonkers group of friends. I’ve made so many memories (and poor life choices) with them and shared so many special experiences, I was sad to leave, but I’ve offered my depping services and I’ve already depped once at Durham Miners, which was like I’d never left (well I had literally just left) so I think it’s safe to say that their motto of Eccles for Life (#EFL) really does stick. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the members of Eccles Borough for putting up with me during my time there, they really are a unique band and I’ll miss them loads.
What else has happened? Well, I’ve just finished a year working at a local primary school, which was a challenging, rewarding and absolutely invaluable experience. Teaching, although it can be tiring and mentally exhausting…god knows how many times I moaned and groaned over it (and I was only assisting!), is probably one of the most rewarding careers out there and something I feel I’m good at, so I think that is definitely going to have to factor into my job prospects somewhere.
So moving forward, I start at the RNCM on 18th September, and I am both incredibly excited and incredibly nervous about it. It’s going to be hard work and a bit of a shock to the system I have no doubt, but I’m looking forward to my new musical adventures in Manchester and with the Leyland Band. Bring it on!!