Read Month Seven (March)
April is now over which means that it's time for me to try to pen another blog post. It's been a good month, which has included some new experiences as well as some more familiar ones.
My time in the office this month has mainly consisted of familiar jobs such as sorting out some sales orders (including ticket sales for Rock with an orchestra on May 19th – there's still time to buy yours if you haven't got one yet!), and I've also been working on another arrangement, although this time it's an instrumental arrangement for an upcoming gig. I've also ripped lots more tracks from CDs so that they can be used for the radio show – this can be rather tedious but it does mean that there is a library of individual tracks that can be easily drawn upon.
Also, the impending doom that is my return to university seems to be looming ever closer (gosh that was dramatic wasn't it?!), and so this month I've started to think about what I can include in the report and portfolio that I have to complete at the end of the academic year, and the CMM office also had a visit from my tutor Clive who travelled down from Leeds to make sure that I was behaving myself.
A new, rather daunting task that I had this month was to lead a rehearsal for the West Birmingham branch of the CMM choir - as I'm not a particularly competent singer or pianist I was quite nervous about how I was going to be able to do this. Helen helped me to plan a rough schedule for my rehearsal, giving me some ideas for warm-ups and suggesting that I decide which specific bits of Rock I wanted to focus on (thanks Helen!). I also spent some time at the piano in preparation, practising trying to play as much of the 4-part vocal line as I could. This was a challenge because, as I have already mentioned, my keyboard skills are not especially well developed, and since ceasing piano lessons when I left school over two and a half years ago, I have not spent much time at all with the instrument. However, I found that I actually really enjoyed the time that I spent practising, and the improvement I saw over the few days was really encouraging. It's made me want to spend more time at the piano as it would be such a useful skill to develop further. The time I spent planning and preparing for the rehearsal meant that I went there knowing what it was that I wanted to achieve which helped give me some sense of security. Although far from perfect, I was able to play enough on the piano to get through playing the vocal lines individually and then together, before trying the songs 'for real' with the backing track. The choir were responsive, and not too scary (!) so overall, I felt that the rehearsal went well. What was even more encouraging for me was that if I'd been faced with such a task just a couple of years ago, then I almost definitely would have refused point blank, such was my fear of its requirements, therefore the fact that I did it without being completely overwhelmed is a huge personal achievement for me. I was then asked to lead a sectional with the men of the East Birmingham choir the following week – I'm not sure whether this was meant to be a reward or punishment for my performance the week before!
Over the middle weekend in April I was part of the team for a Musical Man gig in Westward !, followed the next day by the morning service in Appledore. I really enjoyed this trip, in part due to the fact that I always associate going 'down south' with going on holiday, but also the fact that, as I've now got to know a number of the CMM associates, it's really nice to then meet up with them again the next time they are on team. It's great feeling like I'm with a group of friends, rather than a group of strangers that I've only just met (although they have all been very friendly strangers)! The gig itself seemed to be well received, and on top of this, Roger's preaching on the Sunday morning really resonated with me, and so all in all it was an uplifting weekend. During my time in Devon, I believe I promised Bob a shout-out in my next blog post, so here we go: Hi Bob, it was great to see you again, well done for organising such a fantastic gig and I hope to see you again soon!
April drew to a close with a lunch of some rather delicious Domino's pizza to celebrate my birthday. The time seems to be flying by so quickly - I can't believe I only have two months of my internship left, but there's still a good number of things going on to keep me busy, so see you all at the end of May!