This month has been one of those months that has felt super long!
|Singing at the YPray Conference in Swanwick|
The first weekend of the month Helen and I went to the Y-Pray Women's conference in Swanwick, which was a great weekend, but very busy. We did lots of workshops including stone painting, prayer walking, journal writing and lots more. Even though it was only a weekend thing, it felt much longer than just 2 nights. It was certainly worth going to! I couldn’t play for that weekend as my shoulder had been playing up after a steroid injection, so I enjoyed the weekend as a delegate. Helen and myself did get to duet Roger’s ‘Engraved upon my palms’ though which was utterly brilliant, it is one of my favourite duets that Roger has written.
|With Anthony at NODA|
After Swanwick, I travelled through to Manchester where I went to the NODA awards with my brother and some friends, as Anthony had been nominated for Best Male Leading Role for his performance as Mark in Rent last year. He didn’t win, but he did win in his region. We had a great evening singing musical numbers until goodness knows what time in the morning. It was good to do that again, as I haven’t been in Amateur Dramatic shows since leaving Cumbria 4 years ago, I have missed all the sing along sessions.
|Recording with TPO|
Following that I had the great opportunity to be involved in the recording of an orchestral version of the Villa fans' chant Allez Allez Allez which Annie composed after Aston Villa approached The People’s Orchestra. I was up at the studio 8pm-10pm - it was a long evening, but it was tremendous fun. The recording was then mixed and played at Villa Park on the 11th May to around 40,000 people. As I’ve never done anything like it before, it was amazing to be involved!
|CMM Supporters' Evening|
The next evening we had the CMM supporters event at Catshill Baptist church, even though I was exhausted from the night before, the evening went really well and it was a great chance to chat to more of the CMM crowd that I don’t often get to see or have never met before. It was also a good opportunity for me to do more singing and playing the clarinet at this event, as I have had trouble with my shoulder, I have been giving the flute a rest. It has given me more confidence with playing clarinet which is good.
As it was Christian aid week, St Andrews did a Big Breakfast event on the Saturday, so I had volunteered to help out with that, it was such a great morning, we raised a lot of money that morning as we laid on breakfast, bookstalls, quizzes, garden stalls and more. It was great to be involved in this and it was really rewarding to know that what we were doing was helping so many people.
|Apostle in Basingstoke|
Annie and I then had a very busy weekend the week following as we had a gig in Basingstoke on the Saturday and a CMM choir gig on the Sunday. We did a musical in a day of Apostle which is one of my favourites of Roger's. It was an extremely busy day and very tiring as I was there playing Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone as well as a soloist. I absolutely loved this event, once we had finished the team went out for a meal together which was really nice, because of the nature of the gigs, the team don’t really get much opportunity to catch up with each other, so it was nice to be able to go out, relax and have a good catch up.
Due to going out for a meal, we were late home which made it all that much more difficult the next day to go and do another gig. Annie, Jonathan, Linda and I didn’t get back much before half midnight. Although we were tired, the choir concert was fantastic and with a lovely big audience. I enjoyed playing in the concert as I had done all the arranging and the playing of live instruments added to the performance!
|Rydal Hall performance|
Now we’ve got to half term, everyone said have a great week off and relax…but it was time to head up to Rydal Hall for our yearly Music week in Cumbria. It was a little strange this year though as Rydal was a new venue and it was only a Monday to Friday event. Even though it was crammed into a few days, the choir and orchestra were brilliant, and the concert was fab on the Thursday evening. My praise block on the Wednesday evening was great, it was a different set of music than I have done before, so I was a little more nervous, but I didn’t plan on anything to say. I left it to God as to whether I should say anything, I did, and it felt right. One of the songs I chose ‘Come now is the time to worship’, I felt it was right to slow it right down at the end to give space for people to sing and be with God. It went very well, and I left it to God as to what was right to do in the moment.
Leaving Rydal wasn’t the end of the working week, on the Saturday, we had a Spirit works event in my old church in Barrow. The people who came to the event, had never done anything like it before, which meant it was fresh for them and even though some were sceptical, they all joined in and gave it their all which was brilliant. I did another praise block for the Saturday; I was much more nervous for this as I was leading in front of people that I have known since I was 8. It was good to do it there I think, as it just shows to me how much I have changed over the year and how much confidence I have gained through working with CMM. It was nice to be back for the two days as I got to see people I haven’t seen in a couple of years, it was lovely to be able to catch up with them.
I have had much more go on in May, but you’ll be here forever reading if I wrote it all down…
I will update you next month, I’m getting close to the end of my time with CMM and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me.
God bless you all and have a great month!
|More recording with the TPO|
|Playing at Rydal|
|Singing at Rydal|
|At the WWDP YPray Conference|
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