Christmas Cracker

December 21, 2015 — 71 Comments

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This years final performance was in the annual ‘Christmas Cracker 2015’ on Sunday 20th December at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with my friend Jessica Hurst, the program features the City of Glasgow chorus and the orchestra of the Scottish Opera. It’s a real privilege to have been asked to appear and we had a lovely audience reaction to our piece which we’d been asked to keep as a surprise element which is why I didn’t say too much about it in advance and we had some fantastic feedback after the show.

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When I arrived home following the performance I was thrilled to read that one of my favourite and long term blog friends, the author Janice Spina who won my 12 days of Christmas art and one off cd two years ago, has framed my drawings most spectacularly take a look. I’m truly speechless in a fabulous way.

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Last Tuesday, following my final audition, my brother Matt took the day off work to treat me to a day out at The Harry Potter World, I was sorted into Hufflepuff house and wore my house tie, we had a brilliant day.  This week Matt also discovered that he had passed his final actuarial written exams, he just has a final presentation to pass before he becomes a fellow after seven years of intense training, I’m so chuffed for him.

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I received offers of a place on the Master’s program from three of my four Conservatoire applications by Wednesday, the first reply of the day was an ‘unsuccessful’ but the day got better.  I have a lot to plan before the end of January 2016 when I must make my decision for the next two years study. There’s a lot to consider from financing, accommodation, travelling, teachers/support, and opportunities. I’m going to have to seek out scholarships and sponsors if I’m to achieve my goals of four years further training.  I’m very grateful to everyone who downloaded my cd Canzoni D’Amore and played my tracks on the music streaming services it helped me to fund my Italian training course this summer and will kick start my savings for my tuition fees or accommodation costs so I’m eternally grateful for you believing in me and helping me out and I hope that you enjoyed my music this year.

I hope that you’re all enjoying the seasonal holidays and that 2016 is a good year for everyone.  

71 responses to Christmas Cracker

  1. 

    Well done Charlotte, I always enjoy your blogs. I must get to see a performance live one day!

  2. 
    Annette Rochelle Aben December 21, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    So happy for you. What a stunning way to end your recital year. The framed artwork is incredible, not only the framing, but the artwork is delightful. What a blessing that you have so many outlets for your talents. I’m still wondering about a cookbook from you one day. Cheers

    • 

      Haha it would have to be a cookbook called ‘Just Add Cream’ with recipes you can cook in 15-30 mins max and preferably not cooked on the hob stirring all the time because I get bored and wander away lol.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    Sounds like a lovely time of events Charlotte! Happy Holidays and congrats to your brother! Cheryl x

  4. 

    Congratulations on what must have been another stunning performance. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year.

  5. 

    So happy that you love the way the 12 Days of Christmas came out as much as I do! I am blessed to have won them. You did a beautiful job creating them. They are special to me! Thank you!
    Best of luck with your scholarships and any assistance you can obtain for your four years’ of study ahead. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year with many blessings! Xo

  6. 

    I do hope you manage to find a sponsor or scholarship Charlotte. When I was at university we had grants not loans. It scares me to see how much debt needs to be taken on. You would think that the really talented should be supported by grants. I’m sure there are more talented people than scholarships. Fingers crossed for you.

    • 

      To be honest I try not to think about the debt, my brother is paying his back now and he says it will take about 20-23 years but his student loan was a lot less than mine because the fees went up the year my age group started their degrees. Matt stopped after his 4 year masters and finished his training in his job which helped. My parents both left school at 16 and have encouraged us to stay on and study hard.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        My parents also left school at 15 (as it then was). My father became an apprentice engineer. My mother kept the books for various firms. Their goal was also to give their 2 sons opportunities they never had. Our parents make huge sacrifices for us. It’s brilliant that you are focusing on your talent not the cost. Success will come.

  7. 

    The juxtaposition of your blog-post title and the first photo left me thinking “Indeed!”

    It sounds like your path is in no danger of faltering and 2016 will continue the upward curve of your life and your music. But for now, a simpler message – enjoy Xmas, enjoy your family, enjoy peace.

    • 

      Thank you Martin, after work me and my brothers are making Harry Potter wands for a party Matt is throwing for all his friends in the New Year, Matt’s nickname in the family is ‘gameboy’ because you have to be playing games at get-togethers, great fun.

      Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year
      Charlotte

  8. 

    Question: What does it mean for your brother to become a fellow? I’m very proud of you guys and am happy you’re succeeding at what you’re passionate about. Have an awesome Christmas Week and successful 2016 & beyond.

  9. 

    Nice share, nice picts, thanks Charlotte, and I think in a few months they’ll be other things besides your CD …. And for those who are faithful to the blog, the book we talked about, there are some months, is not forgotten, it continues to grow. A wonderfull week and Merry Christmas for you and your familly! The best, always!

  10. 

    Reblogged this on wwwpalfitness.

  11. 

    Congratulations on your acceptances. It sounds as if the New Year will be a most active one. Happy Christmas, Charlotte!

  12. 

    I am so excited that you have graduate places lined up. Good luck with the decisions. The fees are tough (but at least it is still better than America, though that may not last). Maybe you should make another CD?

    • 

      Thank you Hilary, I’m going to try to enjoy Christmas fully before concentrating on making the right decision for me. I have several American friends I’ve made at college but I’ve never really discussed funding with them. I need to find somewhere to record locally in Glasgow with a piano, maybe in the Easter break, my Mum suggested it but I need to concentrate on my studies for now.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    Hi Charlotte, well done, and hope you can get a scholarship or some kind of funding to carry on. 3 out of four is great, hope you will enjoy which ever you choose, and that the funding will be available. In the meantime enjoy the short break, and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

    • 

      Thanks Charles, I don’t have a knack for getting scholarships although I have been given some funding from the Hope Scott Trust to help pay for accommodation for a week on a British Youth Opera course and an air fare, and the Deblitz fund to contribute towards another air fare which really helped. I have always worked in holidays in sales and logistics but this year I couldn’t and to be honest I made so much more progress concentrating on my studies, but over Christmas I’ve offered to do some on-call telephone cover and a couple of spread sheet projects. My family are very supportive too so I’m sure it will all work out.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I wonder if some of the Opera companies over there have a system of incorporating young upcoming talent, including offering bursaries, this would then also give you a start in the opera world. Good luck, and have a great and loving Christmas. Charles.

  14. 

    I’m sure seeing your 12-Days art work framed was very cool. It looks great. Congratulations on being accepted by 3 of the programs – having a choice is always best 🙂 I saw someone else suggest another CD. Is that doable? If it is I really think it would be a great option. Might not get you through your Masters, but I’m sure it would be a big help. You should look into it. I’d listen!

    • 

      Thanks a lot Trent, another cd is a good idea I will be looking into it. My parents finish work on Christmas Eve so during the break we’ll have to get our heads together and study all the loans etc. To be honest I usually leave all the worrying to them.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Congratulations on your latest performance. I gather you work very hard on your performances. The Days of Christmas art is lovely in that frame. 🙂

    • 

      There is quite a lot of preparation, learning the music, staging, rehearsal/s but I love it, I was so excited to be performing in front of such a large audience on Saturday. Thank you, Janice has such good taste in the framing of them.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    You have so many reasons to be proud of yourself. It’s wonderful to have accomplished so much already. Congratulations, and best wishes for your future AND for this holiday season. Love the artwork too.

    • 

      Thanks Cheryl, my brothers and I are the first generation of our family to take higher education and they are very proud of us all whilst expecting us to work hard. It’s putting me in mind of painting I might draw out a storyboard of my opera scene.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. 

    Congratulations on offers from three Masters programmes. I would also purchase another cd if you were to produce one. Congratulations to your brother too and how nice of him to take you to Harry Potter World. Best of luck to you in 2016 and have a wonderful Christmas. Love Clare xx

  18. 

    Congrats to you on your successful applications! I’m impressed that your brother is so supportive and the two of you are the best of friends. Have a Merry Christmas Charlotte and hope the New Year will be even more rewarding than the past years for your studies and future career!

    • 

      I’ve two brothers and my younger brother flat shares with me in Glasgow now that he studies up there, we usually only fight when all three of us are together lol. Thank you so much for your good wishes they mean a lot.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  19. 

    Looks awesome! Happy Holidays! Kat

  20. 

    Looking forward to hearing which offer you decide to take up. Students do have a very tough time these days. Australia has headed down the same path with the universities being run like big businesses and everything having a hefty price tag. I’m sure if there are opportunities for scholarships and sponsorships you’re the girl to win them. Happy Xmas and joy-filled 2016

    • 

      I think a lot of awards are means tested and my parents are both full time workers, they are helping to support three of us whilst we’ve been training. I’m only really becoming conscious of it now my brother’s paying back his loans and my friends on Masters have been finding it difficult to get sponsors.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  21. 

    Congratulations Charlotte. That first photo is stunning isn’t it? Fabulous eyes. In the year or more I have been dropping in on your posts, you are going from strength to strength. The debt always looks scary, but you are wise to take that in your stride and develop your skills now. Good on your parents for encouraging education for their children!

    • 

      Thank you they’re meant to be cat eyes 🙂 . It can be very daunting as I’m up to £50,000 of loans so far and it seems such an unreal figure, my Mum says I’m signing my life away 🙂 she worries more than me, but both my Mum and Dad say that I have to give it my best shot and they will help as much as they can

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        My goodness! That is a lot of money. I was imagining about half of that. But there is no point in stopping now. It will all work out one way or another. You have such talent and drive. And if the repayment system works like ours, the collection agency can only take a regulated amount each year, through your tax return, and only after you are earning a liveable wage. They can’t leave you bereft 🙂 All the best, Gwen

  22. 

    Hi Charlotte
    Many congratulations on obtaining a place to do your Masters Degree. Where do you plan to go? I know the money side of it will be difficult but view it as an investment in your future.
    Please pass best wishes for a lovely Christmas to all your family from Geraldine and myself. xx

    • 

      Thanks Rhys I’m going to decide soon, I can’t do what I want to do without fabulous training so it is an investment and it certainly encourages me to focus on my studies and not waste a moment. I will pass on your message to all the family and say hi to Geraldine from us.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  23. 

    Hi Charlotte, Looks like some big events await you and your brother Matt in the New Year. Hopefully some funding will come your way, you are such a talent! Fingers crossed! Enjoy your holidays and have fun with the family. Darlene

  24. 

    Fantastic! Merry Christmas 🙂

  25. 

    Well done Charlotte – may the New Year bring lots of wonderful moments to you – Merry Christmas!

  26. 

    We could go on and on about the changes in the educational system but humans are pretty resourceful. Put one blockade in front of them and something else springs up such as crowd funding. You will get it!

    As for the whole Harry Potter thing, sadly I live a few miles from Universal Studios so once in a while I find myself wandering around the Harry Potter attraction and drinking Butter Beer. Not a bad way to spend a day!

    Have a great Christmas with your family!

    • 

      My Dads an optimist having spent Christmas at home I’ve come back to look at this with fresh eyes. I bought Matt a chocolate frog. Hope you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year Steve,
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  27. 

    Awesome,,, I love your dress for the ‘Christmas Cracker 2015’… you look like a golden princess, dear Charlotte. Merry Christmas and all my best wishes to you. Aquileana 🎄

    • 

      Thank you my lovely friend for stopping by, I’m looking forward to your posts in the New Year, have fun this New Years are you doing anything exciting? 💕🎉
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I am the one who is thankful, dear Charlotte, you are an inspiration… oh and I guess I will toast to the New Year ahead after a family meeting… I hope you enjoy your last day of 2015 and first one of 2016… All my best wishes. Aquileana 🌟.-

  28. 

    You look amazingly beautiful in that gold dress! I love your makeup and hair! Just Perfect!!

  29. 

    Such a great place 🙂 Fab post and cool photos.

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