I would like to thank you all very much for the grant to support my college fees for the Orchestral Artistry Masters’ course in the Guildhall – it’s been a most enjoyable and busy year. I was given the opportunity to play in a performance of The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, which often performs standing up and without the traditional conductor. I also played Symphonies of Wind Instruments by Stravinsky in a workshop with the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. At the end of each year, the flute department organise a piccolo concert, and this concert was held this time on Zoom. During my last term, I was part of the Opera project, which had to be adapted to be a virtual opera because of the lockdown restrictions. Each singer and musician recorded his or her own part, and the stage crew created a 3D theatre to be shown on screen. Viewing the final production was an amazing experience as it was so different from anything I had previously seen.
One important part of the course is the flute classes for all the college’s flutists – this is an opportunity to discuss general musical matters and flute specifics. We also had classes on contemporary music, audition rehearsals, performance classes, instruction on ways of practising and learning to play from memory, a jazz class with Rowland Sutherland and Baroque lessons with Lisa Beznosiuk. I was a member of a regular Wind Instrument Repertoire class, and was able to attend and play in numerous masterclasses over the year. The Orchestral Artistry course is connected to the London Symphony Orchestra, and I was able therefore to attend concerts, and observe many orchestral rehearsals. I also took part in LSO Discovery sessions with babies and carers, primary school children and young people with special needs, as well as volunteering in music sessions for homeless people organised by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. I attended many interesting sessions organised for the Masters’ students, sessions such as How to be a Professional, Freelancing, Healthy Practice for Musicians, Entering the Profession, Professional Self-taping, Finances & Tax – and these were especially useful as I came to the end of my student days.
In the past, the professional world of a musician seemed to be quite daunting, but, having completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degree at the Guildhall, I now look forward very much to the coming months and years, especially as I have been accepted as a Junior Fellow at the Guildhall for the next twelve months. Thank you so much for the financial support over the last year. All the experiences I have had and skills developed during this time will be so valuable as I continue to develop as a musician and individual in the professional world.