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  • Writer's pictureWill Sharland

April 2023

April was another busy month, though not so much music wise. It was the Easter break at the RNCM for most of April and I was on holiday in Jordan for a good part of it, so things on the music front naturally slowed down. That said, I was occupied with several things related to the RNCM including finishing my entry for the Rosamond Prize as well as organising the Rosamond Prize concert itself. I managed to find a soprano singer to sing on the piece I had written and she did a fantastic job on the recording and in the actual concert itself. I keep forgetting and remembering how important collaboration is with other performers; it can certainly make or break a piece. Organising the concert itself was incredibly stressful, especially having to do the public speaking during the concert itself which I somehow fumbled my way through. Organising the concert in the end though was a worthwhile and rewarding experience which I would certainly like to do again. Overall the concert went very well and though I did not win, I was quite happy with my piece and I thought the winning piece deserved to win as it was truly excellent.

Beyond the RNCM, the main music related work I have been involved with was concerning my musical. Prior to going on holiday in Jordan, I met up with Paul Cobban (events manager at RNCM) and we discussed the logistics of me hiring one of the stages at RNCM for a production of my musical. The cost, even with a student discount, was significantly higher than I was expecting (and that did not even account for numerous hidden costs). I later calculated that to put on one night of Kevin! [The Musical] would cost almost 6K (with each additional night costing a further 4.5k). I am set on getting the musical performed at this venue though as it is the ideal space for what I want to do so I will need to raise the money for it somehow. I met up with Sim, the musical director who wants to work with me on the project, after I returned from Jordan and we both agreed that getting the musical performed later this year would be too soon so we are going to try and get it performed between the spring and summer of next year instead. I will be doing a module at RNCM in year two which will hopefully assist me in the process of getting the musical performed. This module might also be able to help with bringing the overall cost of the production down, though nothing is guaranteed.

Toward the end of April I also finally applied for the Creative Innovator Award which I stupidly left to the last minute, submitting the application six minutes before the deadline. My application I did was fairly solid but I would have benefitted from another day or two of proof reading. I will find out in the next month or so whether I have gotten to the next stage or not with regard to funding. I also applied for the Steven Oliver Award where I also requested 2K of funding for my musical. I am less optimistic I will get this as this is a national scheme where as the CIA is a RNCM based scheme, despite the fact that my application to the SOA was better than my application to the CIA. It is likely I will not get any money from either scheme, but I will be happy with whatever money I can get from either and the clout of winning either I am sure will help with further fundraising.

My sister and I did another photoshoot for my website and other social media before I went to Jordan. It was good but we will most likely need to do another one soon as I really need to update my website and my other social media within the next month as the pictures on there make me look too much like an edgy teenager (I also have hair in them) and I need to look more like a professional adult going forward. Speaking of which, I’ve been asked to do a paid music gig in June with the Tutor Trust, they want me to play some soft lounge music which is certainly doable. I will have to send them an example of my work soon, but it feels good to have some paid music work lined up.

Outside of music, the big news I have is that I got engaged! My girlfriend and I went to Jordan (and technically Cyprus for one day) for the better part of two weeks and the whole trip was incredible (except getting there which was a massive pain in the arse). It was while we were away that I proposed (after a few botched attempts) in a rather impromptu way which was lovely. Highlights of the trip (of course) include getting engaged, being in a desert for the first time in Wadi Rum, exploring the world wonder of Petra, swimming (or rather floating) in the Dead Sea, meeting some fascinating people, eating some amazing food, and exploring the markets of downtown Amman. I had a bit of a come down after we returned from the trip because I enjoyed the holiday so much, the whole thing felt like a wonderful dream. It took me a good week or so to get back into the flow of regular life. Like with anytime I have been travelling, I just want to do so much more after I have done some and I hopefully will be able to do some more in January as we are going to my friends wedding in India. Can’t wait!

In other news I also had my very last tutor session at Our Lady’s School at the start of April. It’s fair to say that it was one of the easier sessions I’ve done considering none of the three kids I was meant to be tutoring showed up. I had prepared a lesson wishing them good luck with their lives, which is quite funny looking back. I would say it was the easiest three hours of pay I’ve ever made, but I’ve had a lot of jobs where I’ve been paid to doss about even more than this. Not long after this it was Beth’s birthday and we hosted a cowboy themed birthday party for her at my flat. It was a really fun evening as people go crazy for cowboys, and it gave me a good opportunity to cosplay for the evening as Arthur Morgan. Just before me and Beth went to Jordan, my flatmate and I also went to go see Henry Rollins do some spoken word at Bridgewater Hall which was amazing. It was different to the previous time I went in 2018 where he mostly talked about his travels around the third world, but it was still a very unique experience.

That about wraps her up, see you next month all 0 of you!

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