December is looming!

There are two gigs to report in the last week. Today is – scarily enough – the last completely free day in my diary before Christmas! This thought is terrifying. I made the most of it by eating seashells in bed until lunchtime (chocolate seashells – before someone carts me off to the nearest asylum) and then spending the afternoon practising with the aid of copious amounts of coffee.

Last Saturday was the same repertoire as the week before, Verdi, Britten, Wagner – we know all about it. The concert was in Knaresborough. Quite a long drive from Manchester but it meant I could pop home for a quick drink and a chat with my dad in the afternoon.

On Sunday morning I was singing with my church choir, before dashing off to Crewe for an insanely last minute gig. A Viennese Christmas Gala with the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Luckily I enjoy sight-reading (adrenaline!) as there was no time for me to get hold of the music before the day of the concert. I knew we were doing to be doing excerpts from Merry Widow, hurray I thought, I’ve done that before! But alas, we were doing a different arrangement to the one I played in summer. So before I was happily doing my Lehar style um-chas but on Sunday I was relegated to counting bars of rest. Shame. We also played lots of Strauss, waltzes and polkas, think New Years Day in Vienna. There was also, I’m ashamed to say, Christmas music, it’s not even December yet! Way too early for Jingle Bells – although I did secretly rather enjoy it.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week have been free in my diary, yay! It feels like a weekend, which I probably need as my next gig-free day is a week today! Busy busy! Looking back to this time last year, I had hardly any gigs over Christmas at all – which ultimately led to me needing a part time job (and going home to cry to my parents and seriously considering a change of career). But here I am a year later, working like crazy! What’s changed?

So not much to report this week – but Christmas is looming on the horizon and there is A LOT to do before then!

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3 Comments

  1. Hey, I’d just like to know … how did it all sort of start (I mean, you getting gigs)? Did you post ads on the internet? Leave business cards around? I’d like to have more gigs but I’m not sure how to go about it :/

    1. Hi Eliza,

      It starts pretty slowly, I went to RNCM in Manchester so they hook you up with a few gigs here and there to get you started, then you leave your card wherever you go.

      There are some websites you can list yourself on (I get lots of work from lastminutemusicians.com).

      Once you start doing weddings, there’s usually someone there who knows someone getting married and word spreads like that.

      Also, the harpists in my city all tend to know each other so if one can’t do a gig she’ll pass it on and if I’m asked to do something but I’m already booked I’ll pass it on to someone else.

      It’s definitely cumulative, the more work you do, the more word gets out and more work comes in, that’s why slow months are so scary. If no one is seeing you play it’s that much harder to get the bookings.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Who knows what changed, beyond your resolve that you were indeed going to make a successful music career happen no matter what…..and I am so pleased that the music world has opened up and your diary is full!!!

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