Anyway, a few things are coming up now. I'm performing at Concert Practice on Thursday, I'm preparing for a competition on the 21st, and to sit my A.Mus.A towards the end of November.
I've also been thinking about what I'm going to do at the end of my course. I found out about a scholarship that I can apply for if I gain entry to one of the four royal music schools in the UK. I think I'm going to go for it. I especially like the Royal College of Music, and the Royal Northern College in Manchester. It'll be hard work for me for the rest of this year and next, and I'll have to apply to start the bachelor course here at WAAPA, just incase I a)don't get in, and b) don't get the scholarship. Unless I get some money, there's no chance I will be able to afford it.
That's it for now - I best get on and do some practice.
Brother Roger was one of the Brothers that worked at Taize in France. He was killed last night in his church. Although I never knew him, I feel deeply saddened at this news. It's odd - this probably won't make the front page news in the paper, but I feel worse about it than I did with both the London Bombings, the Bali Bombings, and September 11. Perhaps it is because I connect with the Taize Music so much.
"Jesus, Remember me, When you come into your kingdom." Luke 23:42
My lesson today was taxing. Physically taxing. I played through the Bach today - first the allegro assai slowly, and then some work on the Largo. I played it through, then we worked on bits, and then I played through the Largo and Allegro. I tried to get the Largo from memory, but it wasn't happening today. I did the allegro from memory though. Missed one shift, but otherwise was happy. Decided not to do the repeat of the first section in the Allegro.
I didn't get to practice with Shane for chamber music. we've had one rehearsal of this new piece, so we'll be running on one rehearsal. I'm going to try get there early tomorrow to run through my part, but I don't think I'll make it. Getting there early when the class starts at 8am is a struggle.
I also caught up with the chaplain from my old school. This was the first time I had really set foot on that campus since I left. I didn't take the best memories from there, but I was reminded today that there were some good things. We had a long chat talking about many things - my music, happenings at the school, youth work, chaplaincy, spiritual mentoring, music, and more. He insisted that I went at least and meet the principal, but it worked out alright. He liked my hair (it was short when he last saw me. I've been growing it since I left, two years ago), and was interested at the chaplain's idea that I come back to do something - a concert, a talk, something. I shall see.
Anyway, best get back to practice. I start work in an hour and want to get a bit of work done on my bach, so at least I've reinforced what I learnt in my lesson today.
Practice has been going well, I'm getting a fair bit done every day. I can basically run through the Brahms, though I have a major issue that I will discuss in a bit.
Composition - haven't done much, still trying to find that piece of inspiration. I'm pretty sure I will use butterflies as a theme, but I'm just not sure how to write it. I've got a general outline, just not the notes.
I'm also thinking about writing for a Philharmonia Composer's workshop. The run a Composers Workshop each quarter, each time with a different combination of instruments. This quater, it is a mixed ensemble comprising of Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon and Percussion. I have an oboe piece that I'm kinda desperate to get some comments on, so I'll send that in, but I'll try get a piece for that ensemble as a challenge for me.
Today, I played in string class. It was a small class, only 4 of us there, plus the lecturer (A harpist, as we haven't got a permament strings specialist just yet). I played a bit of the Bach C-Major, and Tony really had a talk to me about intonation. It's something that I've been wanting someone to say "You need to work on it, here's some ideas on what you can do" He told me to focus on intonation for a while, playing the pieces through slowly, listening to the intonation and whether they are in tune or not. He's also suggested speaking to the aural teacher at uni (who was a strings player) for some suggestions on how to get this under my hands.
I'm also going to ask in here for some techniques that you guys use to get your intonation spot on. You can either leave a comment here on my blog, or wait for the question to come up on the discussion board.
The good thing to come out of that (apart from Tony telling be basically exactly what I had been wanting to hear for a long time), was that he was pleased with my musicality, and sense of rhythm. His comment was that I had put a lot of work into it, but it would be lost on the audience if I didn't play in tune.
I've got Project week next week, with only some stuff on opera up till 11:30 each day. I'm hoping to get in a lot of practice this week, and have decided to spend each day on one of my pieces, focusing solely on intonation.
But for the rest of tonight, I'm gonna set myself up infront of the telly, turn the cricket on and start reading "The Inner game of music"
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