I am currently in Warwickshire in my family home, self-isolating as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It is a scary and very strange time, but I am grateful to be with my family, and to have some time to reflect on 2019.
And I have much to be grateful for! About two years ago, Pat called me to ask me to audition for The King’s Singers! A few months later, I was offered the Second Countertenor job and my life drastically changed in an instant. It’s totally different to my old way of life: tonnes of travel, self-employment, learning more types of music than I knew existed, working from home, not having IT support at the drop of a hat, eating supper at 5 pm…the list could go on!
I thought it would be fun to let you know about some of the things from my first year that I am most grateful for…
Top of the list are the wonderful friends I have made: my five fellow King’s Singers, our wonderful archivist Manfred and his wife Sigrid, and our colleagues at Intermusica to name just a few!
A close second, is the fact that I have developed the knowledge and confidence to teach choirs all over the world. If you had told me two years ago that I’d have to stand up in front of large groups of choristers and give constructive criticism, I would have run a mile! But it was something that I always secretly wanted to be able to do. I was lucky (in hindsight) to have been thrown in at the deep end as, in the first workshop I led, Pat (who was buddying me) decided he needed the loo 1 minute in, so I had to go solo for the first few minutes!
I am also very grateful to have the opportunity work closely with our charity, The King’s Singers Global Foundation. Over the past year we have been working very hard to review the workings of the charity. It has been so exciting developing our Finding Harmony Ambassadors project in which we are working with three musical charities that are creating social cohesion through the power of music. And thank you to our many many donors who have generously supported the work of the Foundation.
I am also grateful to have met so many fans from across the world. It is heart-warming to hear how our music is appreciated by people including stories from many who have said that The King’s Singers has helped them through dark times. Our fans are also very generous; on more than one occasion, I have had gluten-free home-baked goods delivered to my dressing room :-) In the middle of a long patch away from home, home-baked goods mean the world!
Our worldwide travel is of course also a complete joy, and something which I feel particularly grateful for given the current locked-down state of the world. It will be unsurprising to those of you that know me well, to see that I have summarised a year of travel with some stats:
|Number of pieces performed||1891|
|Number of pieces of music learned||over 300 (only 2700 more to go in the King’s Singers library)|
|Number of concerts||98|
Ed Gardner and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
|Number of services||1|
|Number of lectures||2|
|Days in sub-minus-30 celsius||4|
|Number of summer schools||1|
|Number of masterclasses||24|
|Rounds of bowling||3|
|Rounds of bowling in which I came last||3|
|Number of joint performances with local choirs||15|
|Number of flights||92|
|Number of times I was told I look 18||many! (especially in Italy)|
|US States visited||15 |
|Number of times someone told me they like my accent:||uncountable|
|Number of days doing recording sessions||7|
|Number of discs recorded||2|
The Library Vol. 1, and Finding Harmony
|Number of music video recording days||3|
|Languages sung||21 |
and even, Coyote and Jazz Band!
|Grammy Ceremonies attended||1|
|Number of 30th birthdays spent in Lucerne, Switzerland||1 (and soon to be two as Jules and I realised that he, like me, will spend his 30th birthday there too!)|
|Number of times I was told told I look like Harry Potter||too many to list|
|Number of times asked to pose for a selfie with someone’s Harry Potter glasses||(thankfully only) 1|
I hope you enjoyed those! It was good fun putting them together.
And I hope that I get to see you again soon.
To enter a section of the site, either click on the relevant tile or image on the home page, or use the menu in the top right-hand corner.
Once you’ve chosen your section, you can use the arrows on either side of the centred image to view more content.
To return to the homepage or visit another area, click the menu button in the top right-hand corner.
Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now