I have had a truly lovely Christmas that was filled with merriment, mulled wine and far too many mince pies!

The Christmas period is always a busy time for me and I thought I’d share a few highlights of my year and some of the best bits for me in December.

One thing that really stood out for me was the release of my fellow friend and musician Gari Glaysher’s new album release in August. His Celtic album ‘The Parting Glass’ was number 1 on the Amazon New Music chart and it was truly an honour to be a guest artist on three of his tracks. Gari’s project was long in the making , but the final mixes were wonderful and the album brings to life Celtic traditions, rhythms and folklore.

Another highlight for me was in the Summer I had the joy of going back to the magical Haddon Hall for their Family Day events. I had the joy of having the long gallery set up for a few musical performances, ranging from Disney classics to old time film favourites and some contemporary items. It is always a wonderful feeling when people share their appreciation for my playing, ask me questions and there is always joy in letting other people have the chance to play the harp for themselves.

Another thing I enjoyed was my numerous visits to different residential homes, care homes and dementia centres. I created a programme where all the visitors and patients could have a sing-a-long with some classics like Moon River, Danny Boy, Somewhere over the Rainbow and Edelweiss. One of the best bits for me was when I did a Christmas special programme and at the end I played Frank Sinatra’s Jingle Bells, handed out Santa hats and let them play with shakers and bells to get in the festive spirit. It is safe to say….they definitely kept me in time!

Another memorable experience was going to the Bluebell Wood’s Children’s Hospice to play for the children’s memorial service. It was a highly emotional day, but a wonderful celebration of life for the families who lost their children through terminal illness. I also had the opportunity of going back to the hospice to see what they do. I had a guided tour of the facilities with a music therapist, and relished the opportunity to speak to a person who practises music therapy as that is my ultimate goal I want to achieve.

I did lots of wonderful weddings and it was a joy to be able to support the bride and groom on their special day. I did one wedding where I had the opportunity to play the soundtrack to the much loved game Skyrim and also played all the music from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit which was a very fun opportunity as both the game and the cinematic masterpiece hold a very special place in my heart. And I did some truly magical weddings over the winter period. I played my harp for the ceremony of my former guide leaders wedding and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces since I left a few years ago.

And finally, I made the venture of buying an electro-acoustic harp and it had been a pleasure to try something new and expand my repertoire. Hopefully in 2019 I will have the opportunity to share it with you.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year, it really means a lot. I hope you all had a lovely festive break and here is to an exciting 2019! Lx


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