Well, 2018 is nearly over, the tree is trimmed and it's time to reflect on what has been a wonderful year.
33 weddings, numerous new venues and connections later and I have loved this year! I have played at so many beautiful places -thank you to all the couples who have booked me, congratulations to each and every one of you!
January started off freezing but with lots of exciting things in the diary. Teaching shot up and definitely kept me on my toes!
I also attended the first meeting of The Rutland Wedding Collective and connected with lots of businesses including Rutland Water Golf Club, Amanda Forman Photography, Classic Rolls and Bentley Hire, Paisley Flower Company and Rutland Photographic.
A glorious New Year Concert with The Lincoln Symphony Orchestra got 2018 off to a great performing start - waltzes galore!
January was a month of celebrating too as my mother turned an age with a 0 at the end... I went all out and took her to see Rod Stewart in Milan. Probably the best thing I've ever seen - his band were sensational, multi-instrumentalists and vocalists and the whole event was one big party. Bucket list - check.
February was a busy month as I put in an offer on a house so that somewhat took over...! However, my boyfriend took me to London to see Matilda, which was incredible! So much talent in those children!
Gigs with Rutland Big Band continued, and my monthly work with National Children's Orchestra started where I am now a Regional Orchestra Manager.
I did manage to take some time off during half term and we escaped to the Yorkshire Dales - bliss!
March was when things really started to ramp up - even The Beast from The East couldn't stop me working!
Performances for Roger Begy Memorial Trust, Rutland Sinfonia and at Stapleford Park were coupled with weddings at Norwood Hall and Morley Hayes Hotel. I also had a very exciting meeting with Normanton Park Hotel - watch this space! I also began my 2018 fundraising for Dementia UK in earnest by playing for Barnsdale Lodge's Mothers' Day Lunch.
April saw me away for over a week with National Childrens Orchestras on a residential course so not much performing! However, I did manage to squeeze in Brooksby Hall Wedding Fayre and a wedding at The Guildhall in Leicester - I LOVE playing there! You can almost feel the history oozing out of every wall. I also had some time off with my best friend coming from Edinburgh to stay and seeing CBSO with my father.
May, the time of two bank holidays and a half term! Weddings at Forever Green and a private house, all in glorious weather were coupled with more fundraising at the incredible Grimsthorpe Castle. I also attended Brooksby Hall's first ever Open Evening where I met Vicky of Inviting Writing and Vicki of Elegance Weddings and Events! You must check out their work, it's stunning.
And of course what would May in Rutland be without a trip to the Cider Festival at The Grainstore??
June is first and foremost my birthday month and we managed to get away to North Norfolk for the weekend, right before my beautiful niece was born! I had a very exciting day in Retford with NMTO (Northern Musical Theatre Orchestra) for a play-through of The Sound of Music, one of my very favourite films.
Weddings wise, two at Normanton Church for two very special couples and my best friend's wedding in Edinburgh. A twelve hour round trip with the harp was more than worth it to see her in a stunning dress - and get married!
July = weddings galore! New venues of Colwick Hall and Catthorpe Manor; and old favourites of Oakham Castle, Normanton Church and back to my old stomping ground of Wycombe Abbey School!
August was by far my busiest month - 9 weddings! I also managed to squeeze in a few days away glamping in a tipi with my boyfriend, so relaxing! Lots of new venues this month: Kelham House, Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket and Ringwood Hall. I also spent a week with Oasby Music Group in Grantham and gave the children a demonstration of the harp.
September - back to school and teaching has definitely increased! I also saw a very good friend tie the knot (finally!) at the gorgeous Fort Henry; coupled with weddings at Normanton Church and Barnsdale Hall this was a love-filled month!
October became a crazy busy month! Two weddings, at Barnsdale Hall and the stunning Harlaxton Manor; a wedding fair; playing for KuKu Connect's Gala Evening at Belvoir Castle and squeezing in a holiday to Rome! I also managed to see two amazing performances - Sir Thomas Allen at Stationers Hall in London (with my dad!) and Caro Emerald in Leicester.
This month also saw the return of Musicathon, my annual event to raise money for Dementia UK. Over 50 musicians filled Oakham Castle with music for 6 hours - photos below!
November was somewhat overwhelmed with having my car written off in a horrible accident - I'm all ok though! However, this managed to happen after almost all the harp gigs which was a life saver! A Spanish themed concert with Leicester Symphony Orchestra, playing for KuKu Connect event where I discovered brand new business 7Colours Photography; Rutland Water Golf Club's Winter Wedding Fayre where I met Lucy Rachel Weddings, Daniel Hughes Photography and Newport Street Paper Company. The highlight was surely seeing Carmen at The Royal Opera House - wow!!!!
And then finally December! As I write this, it's 4 days before Christmas and I'm going to smugly say that I'm completely ready....! Just two final performances and I'm all ready for the festive cheer to attack! This month has been really lovely, as teaching has wound down I've managed to find a bit more time for myself - including making a wreath with some of the girls from the Rutland Wedding Collective and a Christmas party! Two weddings later and I call that a wrap on 2018!
Thank you to everyone who has booked me in 2018, it's been a wonderful year of seeing my business grow and connecting with new people. It is really hard as a freelance musician to say no to work but I have had to force myself to do that, I would just burn out otherwise. But we wedding suppliers are an incredibly supportive bunch and I have found some great friends through doing this! As for 2019, well watch this space! I've got plenty of ideas, let's see them grow into reality!
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