Back On The Road Again

George and I had a wonderful time in North Devon. It was great to be back on the road and discovering new places through music-making. 

The concerts took place in Barnstaple and Great Torrington. They were organised by Young Musicians Support, a charitable organisation that aim to create opportunities for young professional musicians, provide high-quality classical music concerts to their local community, and inspire and educate local children of the joys of music. It was a delight to be part of this spirit, and we gave the concerts and workshops our all. I wish I could have shared this experience live with my blog friends, as it felt exhilarating to share the stage with George again. We are both keen speakers, and like to create a sense of conversation by regularly speaking to the audience during a recital. It makes me feel connected, calms my nerves, whilst inviting them to come on a journey with us, where we can explain the links between pieces and show how we think they flow as a collective. 

We carried this conversational style into our educational performances. On Wednesday morning we gave two 40 minute lecture recitals to two year 7 groups, (age 11-12). We covered a variety of topics and shared facts about ourselves, opera, song and classical piano works. I particularly enjoyed explaining to them what a Conservatoire was. (A conservatoire is an institute for higher education, similar to a university, that specialises in performing arts). When I was their age, I had no idea that they existed and I didn’t realise what a positive impact the years of training at one would have on my personal progression. We found out from the high schools music teacher, that the year group had been learning some songs, so we concluded our sessions by getting them to do a little bit of singing. It was thrilling to see them excited about singing, and in the second group we even got ten volunteers to perform as an ensemble for the rest of the group. I was so impressed by their confidence and boldness.

We then delivered a 90 minute masterclass with the year 10 and 11 students, who had opted to take Music as a GCSE. This collective really reminded me of my cross-genre cohort at Knutsford High School. There were multiple bands, singers and the occasional brass and wind player. George and I focused on performance techniques, such as entering the stage. It may seem very simple and a minor detail, but how you walk onto the stage is vital. We discussed posture, presence, eye contact, walking pace, order of entrances, and stage positioning. All these details help you to connect with your fellow team mates, put your audience at ease and create an atmosphere that you are able to control and shape to give your performance the best chances of being succeeding. 

I would like to thank Karen and Chris for being such wonderful hosts and for introducing us to Diana, a fellow musician, who kindly let George practise on her wonderful piano. I would also like to thank Michael from YMS and Simon from Great Torrington School, it was a real pleasure to work with the students. 

As we were away from home and able to enjoy the beautiful countryside of North Devon, here are our three top recommendations from our time away:

If you in search for beautiful sandy shores, take a visit to Instow beach. Once there take in the the picturesque views whilst eating scrumptious food at The Boathouse, Beach Bar and Restaurant. The fresh sea food was delectable and their quirky twist on nautical interior design featured Romanian-made sardines in a tin wallpaper, whats not to love.

If you are like me, and can’t resist a bakery. I highly suggest taking a visit to Sandford’s Bakery in Great Torrington. A family business spanning three generations. You can really taste their passion for baking in their delicious selection. My personal favourite was their take on the sausage roll and custard doughnut. 

If you are looking for a cosy place to rest your head, whilst on your weekend getaway, perhaps book a night at The Teapot Cottage in Great Torrington. It has a great location in the centre of a friendly and welcoming town. We stayed there the evening after our concert and felt refreshed and well-rested the next day.

Although BambinO is an abstract story, there are moments that may help you to enjoy the story-telling. To give you a helping hand, here is a visual synopsis.

BambinO at Home is getting closer, the performances are to be streamed live between the 9th and 11th December and tickets are available here.

BambinO follows a bird – Uccellina – who is hoping to start a family. After creating her nest, Uccellina is marvelled to discover an egg. The Egg hatches, revealing a baby bird – Pulcino – who takes Uccellina for his mother. Pulcino explores the world through sound and action.  Uccellina is initially overjoyed at Pulcino’s explorative nature and only passingly annoyed at his hyper-active behaviour! The pair reconcile quickly, elated to have found each other. Pulcino realises that he must learn to take flight and make his way in the world. Although saddened at the thought of being separated, Uccellina and Pulcino are soon caught up in the excitement of his first flight and together find the perfect place to launch.

49 thoughts on “Back On The Road Again

    1. Thank you Annette, I’ve been refreshing the score for the past few days ready for in person rehearsals to start tomorrow.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Timothy, I was feeling a bit stressed earlier in the week when I received a couple of rejections on the same day but I just reminded myself to enjoy the present, something will turn up.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Yes, we would love to get more duo work next year. Hopefully covid won’t put a dampener on another year.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  1. Charlotte and George.
    How fabulous that you were able to perform together again.
    Sounds like you had a great time too. Congratulations, looking forward to Bambino.
    👏👏😘😘

    1. We could try to find a concert venue near to you next year so that you can hear our new songs. So pleased when Mum told me you’d managed to get your ticket yesterday.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I have always enjoyed working with children and teenagers, even when I was a senior at Stagecoach I always helped with the younger stages shows. One of my pupils at school made my week on Thursday she’d made me a poster with all the colours of the rainbow on it with ‘best teacher ever’ hehe. Sadly she is leaving the Country next year so we’ve had our last lesson.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you John, I’ve had such a busy week im only just getting chance to catch up. I hope you are looking forward to Christmas and are getting in the mood for all the festivities.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. Enjoy the time on the road, Charlotte and George, and I enjoyed reading about the conversational style educational performances. What a wonderful thing to do for children!

    1. We were very happy to be asked Lavinia. Best wishes to you and your family for the festive season, I’ve put my decorations up today so I’m feeling very Christmassy.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. If I’m ever dieting bakery is the first thing I have to cut out because it has the biggest impact on losing weight quickly hehe.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you 🙂 when I was little I’d not come across opera or classical piano (other than accompaniments in my ballet classes), my first classical style concert was Katherine Jenkins who did a lot, along with Sarah Brightman, to cross the genre into people’s homes. Now many companies are going into schools and doing more educational outreach, Scottish Opera have a superb department dedicated to it. We take every opportunity we’re offered to share.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. What a privilege for the school children to have you attend and share your knowledge. Here’s an interesting piece of trivia – the building that is now home to our Sydney Conservatorium of Music was originally constructed in the early 1800s as a stable. Rather grand for its purpose, and such frivolous spending was one of the reasons the governor of the time was recalled to England. My cousin’s son was enrolled there, but has just transferred to Melbourne. He’s a violinist.

    1. That is very interesting. One day I will make it to Australia and be able to view that building with the history in my mind. Give your cousin’s son my best wishes for his future studies. The original Royal conservatoire of Scotland building is now a restaurant, I love to go in there just to marvel at all the decorations and busts it was quite grand too.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Shehanne, I just hope more opportunities return next year Shehanne, this covid has been an awful brake on performance for a couple of years.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. ‘keen speakers’? Why am I not surprised. delighted that you should both be on the road again… 🌹(I should look for a bouquet but didn’t find it) 👏🏻

    1. Thank you Derrick. I hope that you and Jackie are both looking forward to the festive season. I’m full on for the next six days with BambinO but after that I should have chance to catch up with you all again.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. Thank you for allowing us to see and participate in your careers, just as your audience does. You two give of yourselves to your audience and it shows – I know they must appreciate it as much as I do!

    1. Thank you GP 🙂 I have always appreciated your support and friendship.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. What fun you are having and thanks for bringing us along – especially for the good food (yum). You and George are young and energetic and talented – a perfect mix to teach youngsters about music! I love the drawings of the plot of BambinO – I went AAWWW!

    1. Thank you Noelle, its a great little show BambinO and the illustrations are a new element that I love. To be honest the babies just seem to get it, we did over 100 live shows so I just hope that we can get that across in the live stream, I’ll be doing my best to make it real for the babies and its going to be great working with the whole team again from tomorrow.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. Super, congrats, very proud of you !!!!! You’re the best ! Hope that problems beetwen UK and France will find a nice issue and that you will have a tour in France to show your art !!!!! All the very best for You my friends !!!

    1. As you know I adore France and Paris where we presented BambinO live. Hopefully the arts can rise above all the politics.
      All the best to you too,
      Charlotte

  8. Thanks for sharing this trip with us. Your musical work will be remembered by those kids all their lives and maybe one of them will become a professional musician and come and thank you one day.The recommendations sound great, though I was a little uncertain about a sausage roll and custard doughnut!

    1. Hahaha that’s a great message

      The sausage roll and custard doughnut is my naughty side coming through. I’m not allowed to eat them all the time but they were worth the extra Pilates work outs on this occasion.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. Okay,
    You and George are fabulous together.
    You are both so amazing to share with younger people. They and you will never forget this place in time.
    Still, there is something (je ne sais quoi) about the 2 of you together when performing. The piano….the voice… brilliant!
    I’d love to see you at Massey Hall in Toronto.
    xoxo

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