Friday 3 November 2017

Month Two in the Life of a CMM Intern

Photo of Rachel Haddon, intern at Christian Music ministries 2017-2018Read about Month One

Month Two - Challenges aplenty!

So here I am at the end of Month Two and the last four weeks seem to have flown by. Over the course of the month I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in a number of different types of event, thus broadening my experience of the ministry of CMM.

The first event of the month was a Musical-in-a-Day event in Cricklade. The musical we performed was Apostle, and as there was a large number of musicians on the team, we were able to have a very reasonably sized orchestra. Unfortunately for me, not only was there already an oboist on the team, there was also a flautist (flute is my other main instrument), and so I, in my wisdom, decided to volunteer to play the clarinet part. Now I can play the clarinet, but I use the word ‘play’ in rather a loose sense of the word as I am self-taught, haven’t really practised much, and hadn’t even had the instrument out of its case for quite a few months before this, so it was going to be quite a challenge! I took the part home the week before to have a look through, and after some honking and squeaking, and frowning at the unpleasant key signatures, I managed to work my way through it. By the time of the performance, after rehearsals during the day with the other members of the orchestra, and then the choir, I had got the vast majority of the part sussed. I have to say that my performance was by no means perfect – there were some wrong notes and even some squeaks (although years of playing the oboe have taught me that the trick is to look at your reed in disgust and pretend it has nothing to do with you). However I was rather pleased with myself overall, as I’m not an experienced clarinetist and so Apostle was by far the hardest clarinet music I’ve ever had to play.

Two days after the performance of Apostle, I headed off to Hull with a different team for a Musical Man evening. It was lovely to catch up with some team members that I had got to know on the Scotland tour, and also good to meet some new faces as we worked with the local choir to provide a musical accompaniment to the testimony of how God has worked in Roger’s life.

During the month, I have been attending the CMM choir rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday evenings, as the two branches of the choir rehearse Stargazers for their upcoming performances over the Christmas and Epiphany period. This has been good for me, as it has been interesting to see different approaches to running a choir. As I am not a singer, being part of a choir is enabling me to use my voice and learn how to pitch vocal harmonies. It has also been lovely to see the enjoyment that the choir members get from singing and having fellowship with other Christians.

The big trip of this month was the While Shepherds Watched Music Week in Torquay. I was initially a little sceptical about performing a Christmas musical in October, however it was actually really refreshing to think about the events of the Christmas story at a time free from all the hustle and bustle of the festive season. The ‘business’ of the week was made up of worship and teaching slots and rehearsals for the musical. During the worship time I played my oboe, but for the musical I played a mixture of flute and clarinet, as again there was another oboist, this time a member of the community at Brunel Manor (we’re obviously a bit like buses – you don’t get any for ages and then two come along at once). It required a bit of musical detective work to decide which instrument to play when so as to ensure that all parts were covered and to avoid any unnecessary doubling, and this was a fun challenge. For the performance, I was also able to play my oboe for ‘Come See the Beauty of the King’, as it had been decided in the morning rehearsal that the opportunity for an oboe duet was one not to be missed, and I thoroughly enjoyed this. The performance itself was great, and I think conveyed well the message of the musical – that we, like the shepherds, can and should worship Jesus. Built into the timetable of the Music Week were periods of free time, which were wonderful opportunities to explore new places and build relationships with other people, but as part of this I very much appreciated the opportunity to spend some time alone in the outdoors, reflecting on my experiences and Roger’s teaching during the week. I now look forward to the music week in Grange-over-Sands next May!

As for office jobs this month, the highlight (I bet you weren’t expecting there to be one of those), has been creating a video about last month’s Scotland tour. I have to say, I am rather proud of it, as I have never used MovieMaker or Audacity before, and I had to use both of these programs to create the video and the audio that accompanies it. I spent lots of time digitally cutting and splicing together different tracks from Barnabas and then crafting the visuals around this using photographs and participants’ reflections on the experience. If you have a spare 4 minutes, please follow this link: and give it a watch (and if you’re feeling really generous, then a ‘thumbs up’ too)!

See you next month!

Oboe duet!

View from the coastal footpath near the Coleton Fishacre estate

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