Written on a train somewhere between Leipzig and Berlin, 22nd January 2014.
Hello again, my last post I was in the the middle of introducing myself and how I got to Gothenburg. So here is the rest…
For two years after my graduation from the RSAMD I played many nice chamber music concerts, did some teaching which I enjoyed immensly, performed at amazing festivals throughout the UK and Europe with my brass quintet Pure Brass, and met many inspiring and fantastic people along the way. I did as many concerts as I could and also worked part time in my old school for some extra cash. So you could say I managed to pack a lot into these two years and gained a lot of life experience. I learned a lot and generally had fun. But I still was not sure what my long term goal was apart from playing music.
This was until I got an amazing opportunity to play with a fantastic orchestra in Bremen, Germany. For the first time in a long time it became very obvious to me that what I wanted to do was play in an orchestra. The small chamber music concerts are amazing fun and very fulfilling but with all of the extra admin and work that comes with running and playing in a group, playing in an orchestra was an incredibly refreshing experience. The only thing you have to do is know your music well and turn up to play instead of organising transport and making contracts for concerts. It really was an eye opening experience to see how great it could be to have this as your job!
Through some connections with some colleagues from the orchestra I got to play with a brass ensemble called World Brass. This is a ten piece brass ensemble who come together for some projects throughout the year. It was fantastic to meet people from Australia, Hungary, England, Germany, Scotland and Luxembourg all working together playing great music to very full concert halls which is something I enjoyed immensely! I had played in many fantastic concerts at home however the audiences were often quite small. The audience size in Germany seemed to always be huge whenever I have played there. It was these audiences as well as some fantastic encouragement from the other members of the group that made me want to leave the UK and study to become an Orchestral Tuba Player. Here is a photo of World Brass after our New Years concert in Berlin:
After seeing the orchestra academy in Gothenburg advertised I auditioned successfully for the school in June 2012 and I moved August of the same year. My time here in Gothenburg has been full of tiny adventures and incredible opportunities which I have been very lucky to experience. Since coming here my playing has improved greatly thanks to having a fantastic teacher, I have been introduced to many fantastic people from all over the world, played some fantastic concerts in Gothenburg and further afield (Copenhagen, Malmö, Vara, Upsalla, Umeå and Örebro) with the orchestra and I feel that all of this has helped me develop as a person and learn a lot more about myself than I think I would have if I stayed at home.
So if you are reading this and thinking about studying abroad and are not quite sure then I really urge you to go for it, I mean whats the worst that can happen? If you try it then discover it is not for you, you can always go home again, but my philosophy has always been that I would hate to look back in ten or twenty years and think: What if? So if an opportunity arrises, then go for it! You never know where you might end up… shock horror you might even find enjoy it!
So, that is in a few paragraphs how I came to be in Gothenburg and a small introduction to me! Thanks for reading and see you next time!