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Blog 17: Snowcats and other stories

Hello again world! I hope you're well wherever you are. I was going to say I hope you're enjoying the approach of Spring but if you live north of Staffordshire like I do then I guess I should say I hope you've appreciated the surprise Winter Wonderland...! I definitely embraced it fully, as proved by my highly artistic Snowcat. Also this week we were thrilled to visit Paul Patterson's lovely home again to rehearse. I was probably the most thrilled as I was again reunited with Smurf the cat!

I don't mean to keep talking about cats today, real or made out of snow, (although I would be more than happy to do that) but about what we do and love... Other than thinking about cats.

As well as spending lots of time together as an ensemble, members of Magnard are busy doing all sorts of other things. Teaching privately or in schools and music services, playing in orchestras all over the UK or even abroad, then if we have any time left between practice and/or reed making, pursuing other interests. From the age of 3, before discovering the oboe, I was completely in love with ballet. My hair was usually in a little bun and my most prized possession was the pair of pointe shoes. So imagine my excitement when I began working as an usher at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, which meant I would get to watch world's top ballet company every week while being paid...! It was essentially just a part-time job to keep me afloat while studying but what a privilege to be able to experience live performances by the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera on a regular basis. How many times I've laughed and cried in that beautiful auditorium...! It strengthened my faith in music and other performance art forms, and gave me a good understanding of what moves people. Yes the music, the beauty, the atmosphere - all contribute to an awe-inspiring performance, but what I think is the most important is the performers' and the entire company's passion and dedication towards what they do. Music and other art brings people together, to feel something together and that's such a marvellous thing. I take my work with Magnard Ensemble seriously because I feel that we are all such like-minded people, who want to achieve the same goal - to move people and bring them together. :)

Next time I will tell you funny stories, of which my life is always full of, on my expense.

See you all soon, I hope.

Mana xxx

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