top of page
  • Writer's pictureWill Sharland

March 2023

Busy, busy, busy! In stark contrast to February, I felt constantly rushed off my feet over March. It was a nice change of pace though, I certainly felt better for the shift in gear after February had been a bit of a dud month. Certainly the brighter days and improving weather has helped, but I have also tried to put myself out there a bit more which I need to keep doing if I am going to have the kind of career I want. Without sounding like some wanky LinkedIn influencer, I want to be more proactive and less reactive when it comes to my life.

March began with my interview for British Youth Music Theatre which went very well. They did not offer me the Assistant Musical Director internship position I applied for, but they offered me something better which was actual paid work as a bassist over the summer on one of their productions. They will be paying for travel and accommodation as well as £500 for one week of work in London which I am elated about! It will be a fantastic experience which I will certainly benefit immensely from in all sorts of ways.

In the second week of the month, I was privileged enough to have some of my musical workshopped by several students from the University of Manchester Musical Theatre Society. Fewer people attended than I would have liked, but this was okay because we primarily focussed on some of the solo songs. The people who came to the workshop were all fantastic, one of them particularly who was acting as musical director I met up with after the workshop to discuss the logistics of putting on the whole show later this year. She seemed extremely into this idea and we are hopefully going to meet up again in April to discuss this even more! There is also hopefully going to be another workshop for my musical in May but nothing is yet confirmed. Between these meetings, I have been looking more and more into funding. One clear source looks to be the Creative Innovator Award which could potentially grant me up to 2k in funding, though there is no guarantee I would get this. I am hoping to get the musical performed on the theatre stage of RNCM for at least two nights which I’m estimating will cost roughly 5k everything considered. After I am back from Jordan, I intend to begin the process of crowdfunding and getting more people on board to get this musical of nearly ten years finally performed!

In my third week, I was fortunate enough to have a Big Band workshop and perform a piece I had written for the ensemble which was a brilliant experience. Several other composers had written for the ensemble and all the pieces were excellent, but the performers certainly elevated them. I managed to get an audio recording for the piece and I uploaded it to Soundcloud and YouTube along with another Big Band recording I had from the end of last year. It’s an amazing thing when you get music you have written performed by real musicians, it can be very easy to get lost in the tunnel of hearing your music performed on a computer programme or in your head. I will definitely apply to write for many more ensembles in year two of my course.

I finally finished a piece that I was writing for Alto Sax and Piano which was called I, Sea, Moon… which was performed at the composers concert on the 29th of March. I was mostly happy with the piece, though I was annoyed because I required a piano with a practice pedal and after many hours of admin I had managed to convince RNCM to provide one for them only to grab the wrong one from the wrong room. Despite this, it was an extremely useful learning curve and I felt very complimented that so many people liked the piece after I felt so self conscious about the wrong piano being used. The musicians who played my piece were also excellent and I felt glad for the whole experience.

Midway through the month I had a two day jam in a studio in Stockport with some friends I know called Ed and John as well as a friend of Ed’s called Nic. The jam went in every direction pretty hard and I could not always tell if what we were making was brilliant or crap, maybe that’s sometimes the sign of something great though. It was a fantastic few days and we recorded more or less an EP worth of music from our jams which we’ll definitely be able to shape into something more coherent soon. Hopefully we will be meeting up over May to have another jam.

I also spent much of March writing lyrics for a song about Manchester with another student on my course called Jihwan. I am the closest thing approximating a ‘Manc’ at the RNCM it seems, despite the fact that I am in reality a Cheshire boy. Still, I have more knowledge of Manchester than Jihwan who is an American who did not even know who Oasis were. He is an absolutely lovely person though who is an extremely capable composer and I really enjoyed working with him. The song he composed which I wrote the lyrics for will be performed at the Made in Manchester concert in May. The song is extremely corny and it clearly has that American broadway sensibility to it, but it’s very catchy and funny and I am quite proud of what we did.

I have also been busy working on my entry for the Rosamond Prize as well as planning the concert itself which I for some reason volunteered to help organise. I have decided the piece will be an electronic track primarily but it will involve a soprano singer who I have luckily managed to find. The piece is quite far from being done and annoyingly I won’t have very much free time between now and the competition to complete it but whether I win or not, it certainly will be a useful experience!

Charlotte, who I recorded on the soundtrack for my entry for the Berlin International Film Scoring Competition, contacted me seemingly out the blue to say that a woman named Jennifer from the BBC Philharmonic would like to speak to me regarding writing for Chinese instruments. I spoke to her and she thinks there might potentially be some work over the summer for me converting Western notation into Chinese music notation for a TV score. It is possible nothing will come from this, but it would be really good to say that I have worked for the BBC Philharmonic in any capacity. I also felt highly complimented that she enjoyed the score I wrote and that she believed I was good enough to work for the BBC. We will see.

Outside of music, in the first week of March, I also had my first shift working as an English tutor at a school in Rochdale. I had four of these sessions over March and they were for the most part very positive experiences. It was a pain in the arse that they were all on Saturday mornings, but it was worth getting out of bed for them. The kids I taught were some of the naughtier and less academic students, and I might be deluding myself when I say this, but I think I managed to get them onside by basically agreeing with them that the poems I was teaching them were boring. I do feel sorry for the kids having to do such dull poems for their GCSE’s, not that I think poetry is dull (though it can be), but how it’s taught in schools clearly does not engage students. I did manage to get them to care through emphasising how important it was for them to get a decent grade in English for whatever they went on to do in their lives after school. I also had to teach them An Inspector Calls which I had never read and still have not (thank God for the internet). I think it’s a good play though a little on the nose in some parts, I enjoyed teaching it more than the poetry in any case.

Annoyingly I began suffering from Migraines again after nearly nine months of not having any. I am unsure if this was related to stress for I have felt more stressed in the past without suffering from them, but in any case I have been prescribed more medication which has helped considerably for I was having them every night for several weeks which really effected my sleep.

I also saw Tim Heidecker live on St Patrick’s day, the tickets were bought by my girlfriend as a birthday gift back in December. It was an extremely enjoyable night but I and her were both totally exhausted prior to going and we were practically dead by the time it ended given how busy we had both been.

I have basically finished getting ready for Jordan though some things are still needed for me to do including pack. I can’t wait to go though I have hardly thought of it except when I have been planning due to the business of the month. Over March I have been so busy (or more realistically lazy) that I have slo deviated even further from my fitness routine, I will really need to cram in the exercise once I’m back from Jordan if I am going to do the half-marathon at the end of May.

Looking back at this blog post, I’m amazed how much I fit into one month. I hope to keep future months this interesting though I find with life that you often have a mix of busy and quiet times. Anyways, for now, chow!

Recent Posts

See All

January 2024

The cycle is complete, I have finally lapped myself as this is now the first monthly blog post for a month that I have already done in a previous year. It is an incredible feat, as the two of you who

December 2023 / End Of The Year As We Know It

For every month of 2023, I have managed to write a little blog post chronicling my life as a wannabe artist in Manchester. For all of you sycophants dying to know, that has amounted to over ten thousa

November 2023

Why can’t we enjoy Autumn in November anymore? The second Halloween has finished we move instantly to Christmas and I am left feeling cold (but not cold enough for it to feel like Winter obviously). I


bottom of page