Happy October everyone – as it gets chillier and darker, here is a quick look back at the last few months…
In May I could enjoy working on the Royal Opera House’s new production, ‘Like Water for Chocolate’, and I was in awe of the incredible flautist and ocarina player who swapped between a zillion instruments masterfully!
In June I became a deputy clarinet tutor at the Wells Cathedral School, where I now go regularly and am constantly inspired by the young clarinettists there… and also did you know that Wells is the smallest city in the UK?
In July I enjoying getting my basset clarinet out for a Mozart Clarinet Concerto, it had been a while since the last time I played a concerto and I loved all those low basset notes vibrating under my fingers. What a feeling!
August was full of my favourite summer projects, like the Sound and Music Summer School, Burton Bradstock Festival of Music and Art, and working with the fabulous contemporary music group Tangram. However an equally wonderful highlight was being able to go on a short holiday to the Isle of Wight – a few days of sunshine, sea and sand…
And finally September has been a flurry of activity preparing for the start of another academic year: I’m delighted to be a new chamber music coach at the Royal College of Music Junior Department!
October has begun with an epic Clarinet Day at the Wells Cathedral School, where we welcomed over 30 keen clarinettists for a day of fun and learning. Here are five key things I want to pass on from the day:
1 – Where you place your reed has a massive affect on your sound, experiment with shifting it up and down by a millimetre…
2 – Be generous with air, the clarinet will thank you for it
3 – Always send the piano part to the pianist in advance, this is a win-win strategy
4 – Slow practice is king
5 – Mollie’s diner on the route back via Oxfordshire is a great place to stop for burger fries and coke!