As Director of Celtic Kickstart – an initiative to give young people the opportunity to play Celtic music and learn about Scottish Culture – I was proud of all the children who performed in our Youth Music Initiative Showcase Concerts! I also started touring with Scottish Opera’s Pop-Up Tour where we performed “A Little Bit of Figaro”, ” A Little Bit of Mikado” & “A Little Bit of Northern Light”. I had the best colleagues, now friends and wont be forgetting this amazing tour in a hurry!
I was thrilled to perform Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Tryst Festival. It’s a work I have always loved and wanted to perform – a dream come true! This month also saw Reely Jiggered performing at the Islay Whisky Festival and filming another music video!
As Artists in Residence with Enterprise Music Scotland Sasha Savaloni and traveled to Madrid get some coaching on the repertoire we will record for our Spanish Song Album. We had a wonderful time working with the best of Spain’s musicians. A highlight was singing for award-winning composer Anton Garcia Abril! I also started rehearsals for Scottish Opera’s Pop-Up Tour!
I gave my first performance of Haydn’s The Seasons with the wonderful Glasgow Chamber Orchestra conducted by Alejandro de Palma. At the end of the month, I thoroughly enjoyed conducting the National Boys Choir Junior Corps in Perth Concert Hall and learnt so much from Christopher Bell who mentored me. An experience I wont forget! “With some new commissions by contemporary Scottish composers, the Junior Corps section, made up of younger boys newer to singing, brought boundless enthusiasm to their performance. Conducted solely by Junior Corps Assistant and NYCoS alumna Alison McNeill, this was again an example of the holistic approach to supporting the future of Scottish choral music. She had a succinct conducting style, commanding the boys’ undivided attention.” The Herald 2016.
A great start to the new year with the release of Reely Jiggered’s music video for “Parting Glass” from our Kaleidoscope album. Take a look and Happy New Year!
Christmas concerts galore! Highlights included conducting Inverkip Children’s Choir at Greenock Philharmonic Choir’s Christmas Concert in the beautiful setting of The Lyle Kirk. It is a pleasure to be vocal coach with many other children’s choirs at this time of year with performances at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with the RSNO Junior Chorus conducted by Christopher Bell, Inverclyde Junior Choir performing at the Glasgow Phoenix Choir’s Christmas Concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Carols at Cappielow football stadium on a freezing Sunday afternoon and conducting Lomond Junior Choir at St. Enoch’s Centre in Glasgow!
November saw the culmination of a fabulous project I had been working on since August at Scottish Opera. Memory Spinners is a wonderful initiative which helps Alzheimers and Demetia suffers through music, dance and art using Bizet’s opera Carmen as a basis. Every session was a joy and so much fun! We rounded off the project with a performance where I sang highlights from Carmen and some flamenco!
This month has been full of highlights! I’m thrilled that my duo partner Sasha Savaloni (classical guitar) and I have been selected to become Enterprise Music Scotland’s Artists in Residence for 2015-2017! We started our Residency with taking time out of our busy schedules to rehearse and create in the beautiful location of Crear. We look forward to touring Scotland, working with Scottish composers and having a new work commissioned especially for us. Find out more http://www.enterprisemusicscotland.com/projects/residency-project/
Disneyland Paris! As vocal coach for Inverclyde Choirs, I also enjoyed a trip to Disneyland Paris with 80 children! We performed in three concerts, took part in a Halloween workshop with Rainbow Connections Choir and enjoyed a fantastic time on all the rollercoasters!
This month, I’ll be flying out with Reely Jiggered to Treviso, 20mins outside Venice (Italy) where we will be headlining the Celtival Festival on Saturday 18th July! We have some new repertoire to perform alongside the Kaleidoscope Album and I’ve written a new piece called “Tricky Terrain”as our opener! We’ll stay a few days and make sure we get a wee trip on a gondola as well as checking out some of the sights. Then I’ll be heading straight to Madrid to work on some arias with the fantastic coach Jorge Robaina, aswell as singing in masterclasses given by David Blackburn (Director, Artist Relations, Miami Opera and Director of New York International Opera Auditions), Leonid Jivetsky (The Bolshoi Theater Opera) and Spanish Agents.