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Jazz24Live – Reflections

The past 24 hours have been spent with a load of varied people coming together to play Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon, yes, FOR 24 HOURS without break. My friend, colleague, and head of Jazz at uni, Nick Reynolds had this idea of doing a big performance for International Jazz Day that started as a dream, but then when we were in America, Nick was really moved by the school we worked with and decided to use the occasion to raise funds for the school. (you can read about the event here)

Nick organised the players from the university community and I organised the logistics and the tech side of the event – so we could stream the full 24 hours and make this accessible for people to view and potentially join in. Together we made a good team and the event went off without a hitch. Many thanks go to all who helped from set-up of sound equipment, to the performers, to the student who brought us coffee just after 3am, and the audience – special shout out to our Deputy Vice-Chancellor who came three times during the 24 hours, and stayed until 3am !!! and also to David, the sax player from my community orchestra who came for over 12 hours of the event – was there at the 8am start and came back pre-dawn to play with us to the 8am finish.

What’s so special about this event? Why was it not just another concert?

It is a fairly unique situation and I’ll use an analogy to explain.Read More »Jazz24Live – Reflections

Learning along the path of life

Every year I learn. Every day I learn, but I tend to embrace projects. These are not about ‘achieving’ per se, or gaining external recognition or status, but about striving to be a better me. It’s about genuinely growing, because frankly, I’m not done yet.

Yesterday one of those projects happened in an old stone church by the sea. I had the pleasure of performing with some wonderful people – a mixture of my current students, a colleague from the university, guests (the local Vicar and one of my alumni who is now a musical director), and my singing teacher. One of the most daunting and exciting things was having my teacher there, in the audience, but also singing with me. Having her there, willing to stand by me was a most wonderful gift and affirmation.

I continue to learn to find my voice – in all areas of life, and it interests me greatly how freedom is gained through expression, communication, and collaboration, whether through writing, speaking, the cello, or singing. This situation was special. It was a group brought together part by necessity and part by design. The four core members will be going with me to LA as part of an educational outreach trip that is one option for the final semester of the Music with Teaching course at my University. Whoever is on that trip comes together to make music. Last night’s performance gave us a chance to have an outing as a group.Read More »Learning along the path of life

Cello Weekend 2018 in Review

It seems a lifetime ago that the 2018 Cello Weekend happened. Two very full months ago a wonderful cross-section of cellists came together to play, learn, and celebrate making music and one another. The ethos of the weekend is one of inclusion and of expanding experience.

In everyday life opportunities to experience and participate in music making can be difficult to find – especially if you play a big orchestral instrument and are perhaps not in an orchestra. What about other opportunities? You may be too young, or think you are too old, or not good enough, or don’t know anyone, or don’t know where to look, or there just aren’t many opportunities near you, or…

This is my contribution to cellists at the University and in the locality. This was the 11th Cello Weekend at the University of Chichester.Read More »Cello Weekend 2018 in Review