My piano students are accustomed to staging their June show and receiving their prizes and awards and, to all intents and purposes, it seemed that this year wouldn’t be any different. Tiddy hall booked, a beautiful grand piano was trundling its way from Faringdon, everyone rehearsed, sponsorship generously given, hairdressers’ appointments arranged and evening wear meticulously planned by young and old. A grand occasion was in the offing and excitement was rising, until, that is, I fell over in rather spectacular fashion after visiting Leafield school, literally careering in a downward spiral with a knee which now, curiously, preferred to walk backwards. After 24 problem-free years, I was being forced into the unequivocal decision to cancel. It was a mammoth task not unlike trying to stop the Titanic.
Summer was a leisurely affair musing in the garden. The bindweed slowly enveloped the roses and I saw a window of opportunity for a concert in September. I kind of leapt to my feet and within hours everything was rearranged. My patella was in a slightly better position, and there was nothing standing in our way.
There would be just two weeks to choose and rehearse new material. Could it be done? As it turned out, yes, and quite sensationally. Everyone rose to the occasion and more than thirty young people from the musical community of the Wychwood villages and schools got to put on their show. There was everything from the Pink Panther to the Hobbit, from Beauty and the beast to a dramatic performance of the signature tune from Pirates of the Caribbean. Angela Zhou was rewarded for her dedication and progress as she was presented with the Young Musician of the Year trophy.
Next year’s concert will be in June and any young musicians from the Wychwoods, who would like a performance opportunity may get in touch with me to discuss what they would like to do. We welcome any instruments, singing, drama or poetry.
As the nights draw in and the fireside beckons, what will you be listening to this winter? Performances at our concert reminded me of the beautiful canon by Pachelbel and the slow movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata and I would commend both of them to you. I am looking forward to the two string quartets by Borodin. The second is thought to be a romantic 20th wedding anniversary gift to his wife Ekaterina. It happened to be playing as I was driving along the other day, and I thought, I really must listen to this again.
Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you all.
December 2019-January 2020