Well, I don’t know about you, but I sort of feel like I’ve been waiting for summer to happen? Each week I mutter something about, “the heat will be here soon – it’ll soon be shorts weather…” or some other hope fuelled comment in the same vein.
But, then the warmth never really made it here, and now it’s autumn and there is a distinct chill in the air. I don’t know if I just missed a whole season because I was busy – but how does one totally miss something they’re looking forward to?
Well – despite the fact I wore my winter coat straight through the summer, it has been a fantastically busy and successful few months for both me and my students.
In July, students performed at a showcase on the Marquee stage at the Alsager Music Festival. They chose their own songs and performed everything from Bizet’s Habanera to Harry Styles and everything in between. The youngest performer rocking on stage was young Kayla who was just 7 years old at the time of her debut. She melted the hearts of everybody in the audience and made the older students work even harder for their applause.
Later during August, I went with friends to the Edinburgh Fringe to witness some truly mesmerising, engaging and incredible performances. Some of the acts were really inspiring and gave me lots of ideas to bring home to the singing studio here. Storytellers, conspiracy theories, choral songs, warm-up ideas, tall tales, fantastical nonsense and a myriad of music I want to learn myself.
A recent charity concert at Goldenhill showcased performances by talented students, the Alsager Community Choir and I threw in a couple of songs myself. The music was intertwined with a narrative to thread a tale of love and longing, war and loneliness together. The audience reaction was thrilling.
Personally, I’ve been enjoying a wealth of CPD experiences, I’ve been voice looping with Tobias Hug, learning somatic voice work from Jeanie LoVetri, discovering what happens in the voice rehabilitation clinic with Dane Chalfin and Sue Jones. I spent an informative and enjoyable weekend with Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher geeking about how the voice works and eating Jeremy’s delicious cake. Then last week I also had the pleasure of participating in a gospel workshop with none other than Karen Gibson and also a body percussion STOMP-style workshop with Ollie Tunmer.
Volunteer work has included several charity concerts with the choirs. MicWire is the newest community venture which started in May. The choir is growing from strength to strength and we have spent the summer months (mainly in the rain) singing to raise money for Alzheimers Society, Breast Cancer Care and Macmillan. We have also enjoyed singing at The Nantwich Show, The Big Day Out, an 80th Birthday Party and even performed at the grand celebrations for the twin towns in Crewe. MicWire have been delighted to have received a grant from A Vision for Crewe and have been dubbed ‘the freshest singing experience in the north’. We are a non audition group so our numbers are growing every week.
I bought a ukulele with which I have been serenading my neighbours (haha!) And I bought a mini grand piano which has been horribly out of tune for three months, but was tuned on Monday this week. Now it sounds just lovely and I can’t stop playing it – it’s amazing to have so much music filling the house everyday.
As for my wonderful students, they’ve been touring, gigging and performing all over the UK and Europe at various functions, festivals and events. One beginner student won an open mic competition receiving studio recording time and has since written his first track. Another new starter has been offered work with a producer in the North of England and one singer songwriter has been asked to go and work with some of the UK’s best writers at a studio down south which is an incredible opportunity!
GCSE and A-Level Results were great and everyone who has been doing vocal performance has achieved a grade A-C and made it into their College, VI form or University of choice and I am lucky enough to still be working with some of them both in person or via Skype AND still get updates from those who have moved away, which I always love to read.
This term has started with a bang, my books are almost entirely full, I’m working with singers across all genres, from musical theatre to pop, classical to hip-hop, musicians just starting out to seasoned stage dwellers. I always love to work with such a myriad of performers. As I’ve said before – thanks for choosing to work with me. It’s awesome!
I look forward to see you soon,