It’s December 31st and like many people, I’m looking forward to 2018 whilst reminiscing ย (and trying to forget) about many events that 2017 brought. ย Here’s a little photo diary documenting things I’d like to remember of 2017.

Travel

I actually started off the year 2017 in northern Italy with my boyfriend and his parents. There, I learned to ski and had an amazing first time in taking in the wonderful sights, culture, food and wine that Italy has to offer.

In July 2017, enjoyed a lovely holiday seeing friends in Mallorca for 11 days. It really was a great time to relax after a stressful and demanding academic year and best of all the weather was beautifully hot for the whole time – I caught a tan! We met some lovely people out there and I’d love to return next summer.

Events & Meeting People & Opportunities

2017 was a year in which I continually met people unexpectedly and went to events that have led to further opportunity. I can’t quite remember everything/everyone in perfect chronological order (it’s been a long year) but here’s a few people in no particular order at all.

I met:

  • Ayanna-Witter Johnson, someone who’s music I have been following since I was a teenager.
  • Germa Adan, singer-songwriter/violinist/guitarist… basically brilliant musician who I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know. I know consider her mentor as well as a friend and colleague. Germa invited me to accompany her at a few gigs including a set at Sidmouth Folk Week and Cecil Sharpe House in London
  • Millicent Stephenson, Midlands’-based saxophonist, musician and mentor
  • Tai Murray, violinist
  • Chi-Chi Nwanoku, double bassist and founder of the Chineke! Orchestra
  • Sir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire & his deputy
  • Sir John Crabtree, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands
  • Nicky Brown, producer
  • Prince Edward, Duke Wessex, Royal patron for Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

the list goes on…I bumped into the Lord Mayor of Nottingham Michael Edwards and his wife at a few events and ย the Sheriff of Nottingham also. I can’t quite remember everything/everyone but suffice to say, I met some really inspirational and amazing people this year, most of them out of the blue or with not much notice at all and the opportunities and conversations have been special.

Some events and personal highlights include:

  • Playing at SSE Wembley Arena
  • Won Be Inspired Youth Ward from the Association of Jamaican Nationals
  • Interview on BBC Radio West Midlands
  • Playing at Symphony Hall and Town Hall Birmingham for the first time
  • Had my first public speaking engagements
  • My first UK with Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble playing at various venues and folk festivals

Some highlights of my personal life include:

  • Taking advantage of performance opportunities despite having performance anxiety
  • Attending a music course
  • not letting anxiety and depression rule my life and taking advantage of opportunities that have come my way
  • Attending conferences, meeting and networking with people which is quite an achievement for me as an introvert
  • Writing for D’Addario Orchestral’s online magazine Behind the Bridge
  • Acquiring more violin/piano students and finding it extremely rewarding
  • Formation of my new string quartet
  • Spending time with my sisters despite us living in the 3 different cities
  • Being able to meet up and keep in touch with friends who live far away
  • Starting driving lessons
  • Turning 21

2017 has been a good year for me and despite having those demotivated down days, I’m really chuffed with all I’ve done this year and I’m grateful to everyone who has been supportive and looking out for me. Onwards and upwards in 2018!

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