Final Recitals

I have an enormous back-log of posts to write about recent gigs.  Safe to say I have been insanely busy!  But I think it is worth mentioning that this year’s 4th Year Undergraduate harpists – Alice Kirwan and Sarah Paterson – had their Final Recitals last week.  The harp department at RNCM is a lot like a little family, whose members support and encourage each other.  Even though I left last year I still enjoy socialising with the department – especially during ‘post-harp-class-drinks’.

I was – unfortunately – away playing for a wedding on the day of the actual Finals, although I was able to watch the dress rehearsals.  Both Sarah and Alice had to endure a string snapping either before or during the run-through – better it happens then than on the day… It is so refreshing to hear repertoire that I have either not heard for a while, or not heard at all!  I love hearing a Recital, because I feel like I can hear the hours of work that have gone into it.  It’s an expression of determination, hard work, and passion for the music and it’s the same with every Final Recital I watch.  Four years’ work lead up to one Recital.  It’s pretty daunting.  But we are so lucky as musicians that we can have our friends and family there at what is essentially an exam.  You don’t get maths or french students doing an exam with mum and dad cheering and clapping every time they finish a tricky essay question…

After the real Finals, we were all invited out for a meal at Pizza Express.  We had the whole basement floor of the restaurant – for the family and friends of two fourth years.  How brilliant is that?  Apart from being an amazing excuse for a party, it’s overwhelming when so many people turn up on the day to wish you well and to just be there in the audience.  

It pained me greatly to do, but I had to say no to the night out that followed the meal… I had to be in Liverpool the following day for another gig.  But that’s a tale for another post… 

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One thought on “Final Recitals

  1. To me it seems really scary to do an exam for all to see. You can’t pause for a moment or take a sip of water – everything depends on what you do in these few moments… And what if you forget something? I’d be deathly afraid of forgetting the music. On the other hand, it’s probably the best way to test people who are studying to become a performing artist – in the end, performance is all about the audience.
    Still, conservatory recitals seem to be more difficult than answering essay questions without anyone looking… 🙂

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