A Week Of Ups And Downs

This week we have celebrated some wonderful anniversaries. On Thursday 21st, celebrations took place for the Queen’s 90th Birthday and on St. George’s Day (Saturday 23rd) I had the pleasure to celebrate the anniversary of the 100th Alderley Edge Music Festival by performing in their fabulous gala concert.


It was a wonderful event and celebrated the hard work and the success of the festival over the years and took place in the newly renovated Festival Hall. The hall was fantastically decorated with red, white and blue balloons and the stage had a star-lit back curtain which provided a beautiful setting for the concert and helped create a fabulous atmosphere! The full-house audience were neatly sat in lines of long tables that reached the length of the hall, ornamented with tremendous hors d’oeuvres and little British flags for everyone. The event was organised by the very talented Anna Meadmore who also compared the evening with her witty and reminiscent introductions. It was quite a party atmosphere!

Natasha Agarwal and Me
The performers were from across the disciplines of music, speech and drama and showcased some of the talented individuals that participated in the festivals over the years and who have gone on to study or work professionally in their chosen fields. It was wonderful to see people that I watched when I was younger grow into very talented young men and women. It was lovely be reunited with the fabulous volunteers without whom the festival couldn’t take place and who were still so enthusiastic about the event, not forgetting the wonderful accompanists who were able to take centre stage for a change with two pieces for eight hands. I was also able meet some new faces who’s careers are beginning to take off. I wish everyone the best of luck with their future successes.

Matthew Thistleton and Me
I had the pleasure of performing with Matthew Thistleton “La Ci Darem La Mano” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”. We both arrived at the event without previously ever meeting and we only had a 20 minute slot to spontaneously create the romantic and cheeky staging that we devised between us in a short rehearsal.  It was wonderful to perform alongside him as he was so easy to work with and gave me lots of actions to react to, especially when he dropped to one knee and grabbed me at my waist! I hope we can share the stage again in the future.

The whole evening went tremendously well and I wish the festival another 100 successful years as I have many fond memories of entering numerous classes, photocopying and sellotaping reams of music scores for the accompanists, running from room to room (and even building to building!) singing my heart out and enjoying picnics in the middle of it all. But mostly I will be thankful for the musical lessons it taught me like how to pick yourself up after mistakes, gave advice on what to work on and how to deal with losses, how to work with accompanists and give your tempi and most importantly the friendships made along the way!

I would definitely recommend anyone interested in singing, instrumental playing or acting to look at the federation of music festivals and consider applying!


Adam Slater – Clarinet
Sophie Roberts – Special Composition
Oliver Rushton – Speech and Drama
Rosie Lomas – Soprano
Simeon Evans – Saxophone
Charlotte Deams – Speech and Drama
Charlotte Heaven – Cornet
Natasha Agarwal – Soprano
David Schofield – Piano
Marie Dixon – Music Hall
Dan Parr – Speech and Drama
Paul Exton McGuiness – Trombone
Helen Meadmore – Speech and Drama
Laurence Jeffcoate – Tenor
Emma Rushworth – Violin
Charlotte Hoather – Soprano
Matthew Thistleton – Bass
William Jeys – Trumpet

The Accompanists:
Tim Kennedy
Catherine Hall Smith
Kathleen Hesford
Stewart Death

Me, Matt and Tom with our Pepa and Mema
Me with my Mema

Sadly this week I also lost my Mema (Grandma), a loving woman whose life we will continue to celebrate through the memories that we have of her. Last night I dedicated my performance to her and I chose to sing in red dress as it was her favourite colour and though she will be missed it is comforting to know that I have another angel in heaven watching over me. God Bless Mema.

97 thoughts on “A Week Of Ups And Downs

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your Mema. Having a performance to play, and being able to dedicate it to her in your heart will be of immeasurable value to you in maintaining the consistency of her love.

  2. Oh Charlotte I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your Mema. What a lovely way to celebrate her life with dedicating your performance to her. I sure she was watching with pride – and of course will continue to do so.

    1. Thank you. The last time she heard me sing live was at my Cousin Amanda’s wedding to Ricky about five years ago now but they had my CD and my cousins show them my on-line videos so they kept up with my training. I hope so.

      Best wishes

      1. 🙂 Grandma lives. She gave you advice and you took it. As an artist you know we are spirit beings having a physical existence 🙂

  3. God bless you nice soule … Best thought . Thanks for this nice share – You’re really a great writter, singer, friend ! take care of you, All my best thoughts for you, always.

    1. It is Douglas how do you remember to be grateful and thankful otherwise. Congratulations once again on your fabulous award recently I was so pleased to read about it.

      Best wishes

  4. Long live the Queen and what a blessing for you Charlotte to have a wonderful family to be with you through the ups and downs of life. The Bible says a brother was born for adversity and you are blessed with your brothers. May the Lord continue to bless you is my prayer for you in Jesus name Amen.

    1. I was so busy catching up with everyone my parents couldn’t get photos of everyone individually so I’m glad we got a quick one of us on the stage before we all sang together.

      Best wishes

  5. You have my heart for the loss of your beloved Mema. And I love that you feel her to be an Angel watching over you, as I know she will. I was going to say, the red dress suits you, then I read the explanation of why you chose it and I smiled. God Bless you.

    1. Thank you Annette, I’d spent the day with my parents and had brought with me a blue dress to wear, we were discussing the flowers we were ordering and as red was her favourite colour I decided to wear my red dress instead.

      Best wishes

  6. So are my experiences the Sun rising high – My days a sky of memories with clouds suggesting memories of people looking on – I nod away as I share what are of my days or from – and if still saddened, I let their memories wash like rain does the earth, away my sighs. (a bittersweet smile for your days, C)

    1. It was a real privilege to be invited hundreds of youngsters pass through this festival every year and I’m so happy that the festival organisers enjoy watching our progress. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed the performance and were amazed we’d only had 20 minutes to put it together that afternoon but I’d had a practice the day before with my friend Tim Edmundson at the RCS and had some great feedback from Scott the professor of the performance class that I put into good use.

      Best wishes

  7. Hey, hope you are fine. Just read your post and it feels wonderful to read about your performances. Keep up the great work you are doing. Reading your posts always work as a motivation for you.

    Sorry for your loss. Your mema would definitely be blessing you.

    You are looking beautiful in that red dress. Stay blessed dear. 🙂

    1. Thank you Cheryl, my Pepa’s life was full with caring duties and love for his wife of 61 years, they were childhood sweethearts and I’m so sad for him.

      Best wishes

  8. I am so sorry about the death of your Grandmother. May she rest in peace. The Alderley Edge Festival sounds such fun and you look wonderful in that red dress!

    1. Thank you Clare. You would love the big recital event on the Friday night, each singer performs three contrasting songs, it was always a thrilling festival to do.

      Best wishes

  9. Life lessons are sometimes very hard, so sorry about the loss of your Mema.
    I know that you were thinking of her.
    We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers, Darlene

  10. Sorry you lost your mema (grandma). I hope you find solace in offering tribute to your grandma through your performance. I’m sure she will be missed. <3

    1. Thank you Anna, we are quite a large family, my Grandparents retired to Kent when I was little and my biggest memories are summer days spent in their beautiful sunny garden.
      Best wishes

  11. A wonderful post, though it’s sad to hear you’ve lost your dear grandmother. ♥♥ Blessings and consolations, Charlotte.

    Out of darkness shine the stars.

  12. I felt privileged to be at the Alderly Edge celebration listening to you sing and so proud when you led Rule Brittannia at the end. So glad I could give you hugs and offer my condolences for the loss of your mema. 😘

  13. I’m sad for you losing your grandma, but I’m sure you gave her lots of joy and pride during her life. I have been remembering my grandma (long gone) a lot recently and realising how much she influenced me. You are carrying your mema with you.
    The festival sounds like an amazing jamboree. The red dress is exactly the colour I admire, and your partner looks pretty good too!

    1. Thank you Hilary, I hope so. The festivals were always great fun on Saturdays all of the different classes were in different churches and we would listen to one group and dash off to another. Matthew will be finishing his Master’s degree at the RNCM in Manchester this year and has a place with Scottish Opera from September which is a brilliant opportunity for him, he will love Glasgow and Scotland.

      Best wishes

  14. I’m sorry about your loss. My Condolences to you and your family.

    On a different note, it’s always great to hear about your performances. It sounds like the festival turned out very well. I’m sure your Mema would have been proud of your performance.

    1. Thank you Trent, I hope you’re well. It was fantastic meeting Anna again and all of the accompanists some of whom I haven’t seen for four years it’s as though time had stood still, they were very welcoming to me and it was great to catch up.

      Best wishes

  15. Dear Charlotte,

    God Bless you too as you bear the loss of your Mema; I’m glad you have wonderful memories of her.

    Sounds like you’re doing very well with all these amazing performances (wish I could have been there to see the Don Giovanni one!). I’ll have to look up some of those music festivals you recommend–thanks!

    Best regards,


    1. Thank you Cate, do look them up, you should go in for the poetry reading as well as singing that’s a great categorie, I heard some fabulous poetry at those.
      Best wishes

  16. I’m happy about your success, sad about your Mema (I’m sorry). I will try to end on a bit of a lighter note by saying I like the color of your dress. (Thank you, Mema). Add a little black to pink and tada. Finally, I win a round.

    1. I like to wear red and pick together but my Mum says it doesn’t go (not that it stops me 😆). I always like to buy her red and pink flowers for her together.
      Best wishes

  17. With such a word,you have already impacted something precious in other peoples’ lives. My you live a life full of fulfilled promise. Out of your mess,we get a wonderful message.

  18. I read this and then saw it was your Mema. Was this your grandmother who went to Wet n Wild? Either way, I am sorry for your loss.

    Btw…I get a kick out of your old photos too. Your family seems to have a lot of spirit!

    1. It was my Nana (my Mum’s Mum) who had the terrifying ride at Wet n Wild and we still laugh about it now, she screamed the whole ride hehe.
      I love old photos too 😊.
      Best wishes

    1. Thanks Don, it makes you realise you have to get the most out of every day and Mema was able to share her time with Pepa who she loved for over 61 of those years, it’s a tremendously emotional time for him.
      Best wishes

  19. I am truly sorry for your grandmother. I believe that with the beautiful and powerful moments we lived near them are in our hearts and always close to us.
    Always enjoing reading your news! 🙂

  20. Liebe Charlotte es ist heute ein so schöner Frühlingstag so kann es bleiben bleib froh und heiter dann ist das Leben leichter sei ganz liebgegrüßt Klaus in Freundschaft

  21. Oh, my heart goes out to you, Charlotte. My deepest sympathy over the death of your Mema! Yes, she will be a angel looking out for you. Blessings and love. Xo

  22. I’m catching up on posts following the A-Z extravaganza. I am so sorry to hear you lost your grandmother. I was also close to mine, and her name was Memmaire, near to the name of yours! Treasure the memories – it looks like she had a long life, and you brought her music!

    1. I know the feeling Noelle I must catch up with my blog friends. She did have a long and happy life. Memmaire is very close, I think our names came because my brother said Mema instead and Grandma and Pepa for Grandpa, my other grandparents are called Nana and Grandad. My last gift was recording Ave Maria for her funeral I hope my Pepa likes it.
      Best wishes

  23. My condolences, but you definitely do have the right spirit: “life we will continue to celebrate through the memories that we have of her.” This is how life needs to be celebrated…even when there is a pain in the heart with her absence, it is all the more reason to get as much as you can out of life.

  24. Hi Charlotte how are you ?
    God bless you nice soule
    Best thought .
    Thanks for this nice share – You’re really a great singer, friend !
    take care of you, All my best thoughts for you,
    Love you

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