The start of 2016 has been crazily busy! At the beginning of January, I began rehearsals for a tour around the UK and Europe with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields (ASMF), playing Beethoven's 5th and 8th symphonies and Brahms' Double Concerto (with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis as soloists). We had an intensive but fantastic three weeks, filled with rehearsals, 11 concerts and a CD recording session for the Brahms.
It was the first time that I'd ever played in an orchestra without a conductor and, I'll admit, it was a rather daunting prospect! However I learned so much from everyone around me about being really aware of watching string players' bows or listening to everyone's breathing. I was surprised how quickly I got used to not being conducted - and how much I loved it!
Immediately after finishing the tour, I started playing with Southbank Sinfonia. Our first performance was a Rush Hour Concert at the end of January, where we played Vaughan Williams' exquisite Serenade to Music and Mendelssohn's Symphony No.1. Since then Southbank has been pretty non-stop, with residencies in Leiston/Aldeburgh and Marlborough, and a further five concerts. Last week was actually our side-by-side week with the ASMF and we performed an unconducted Rush Hour Concert of works by Beethoven, Brahms and Haydn. The energy and focus in that concert was incredible and it was definitely the highlight of my Southbank experience so far.
For two weeks in February, Southbank Sinfonia are working in the beautiful setting of Glyndebourne for the premiere of a new youth opera - Nothing by David Bruce. Education and side-by-side projects are a large part of the Southbank programme, so we are working alongside young musicians in the Glyndebourne opera. In two weeks' time we'll also be performing Shostakovich's Symphony No.10 in a Rush Hour Concert with students from the Cardinal Vaughan School. We will then be giving our first Family Concert at Cadogan Hall on Sat 5th March, introducing the audience to Beethoven's 3rd Symphony - the Eroica.
Since my last blog post, I've begun a new trumpet teaching job at The Tiffin Girls' School in Kingston (where I studied in the sixth form!) and also received confirmation that I passed my LRAM teaching diploma with Distinction.
My next post will focus on preparations for an upcoming Telemann double trumpet concerto with Southbank and some more recent news updates. But for now... thanks for reading and Happy Valentine's Day!