Young Bursary Winner 2017 - Blog #1
The Canterbury Young Musician’s competition was my first competition, and I remember my exact reaction to realising that I had won: complete shock, and then, “Oh, wow!”
Since then, I have had many more “Oh, wow!” moments, and have had an extremely busy, music-filled few months.
On the 19th of November, I was lucky enough to have been chosen to perform in a masterclass with Dame Evelyn Glennie at Fitzwilliam’s College auditorium, Cambridge University where I performed on both the marimba and snare drum. It was an absolutely amazing experience, and a dream come true to be able to perform with a world class musician, especially someone who is an inspiration to me. Getting advice, and performance critiques was also extremely beneficial, and seeing how to physically move and connect with instruments that are distanced by a stick or mallet was very eye opening. There were also four other young musicians participating, and that was beneficial in its own right, watching other talented students perform and learning from the critiques that they were given.
Another first was performing my own solo concert on the 21st of November. I introduced myself, and each piece I played, and finally concluded the concert by myself. This was an incredible learning experience, albeit quite nerve-wracking! The pressure definitely felt higher than performing in a concert with others as I was completely isolated, with nowhere to hide!
At the end of November I took a trip to Birmingham to take part in the Category round of the BBC young musician competition. Again, I sound like a broken record, but this was yet another amazing experience!
Over the Christmas period I performed in multiple concerts. A highlight was performing in the East Malling Singer’s Christmas concert as their soloist, playing arrangements of ‘In the bleak midwinter’ and ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’ by Nathan Daughtrey; although the constant movement of a marimba is not the most thrilling thing in the world! I am returning as their soloist later this year to perform ‘The Armed Man’ by Karl Jenkins, and other snare pieces to mark the end of the First World War.
Even with an ever-growing mountain of school work and having to learn the lines of ‘Gaston’ for my school’s production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, I still make time to squeeze in practice for upcoming exams and performances!