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Priestley College - Warrington

For various reasons this week, I have lost out on a touch of my income because I have NO piano lessons! Ranging from illness, operations and visiting far overseas relations, my pupils have all deserted me (except for my fortnightly pupils who, coincidentally, it is not their week anyway!).

Fortunately, however, a little post showed up on Facebook that I was tagged in by a friend as Priestley College in Warrington (a town I had never before ventured to - knowingly, at least) was looking for an accompanist for this week just gone. Specifically Wednesday and Thursday, as one of their year groups were doing an audition module and their usual accompanist - who is also assistant principal - was caught up in OFSTED inspections!

Somewhere, there is a photograph of me with the audition panels. Until I get that, however, enjoy this photo off the college that I took from their website!

Anyway, this certainly helped me as it will be helping to supplement my income, but also it was a great experience and further great practice for me to help develop my sight reading off the cuff.

On Wednesday, it was a sing through by all the students one by one, practising bring their score up to me, talking me through it etc. - then running the audition. And moreover doing this in front of the rest of the class (yes, I had to be up to scratch too!).

On Thursday were the auditions themselves, which were delightful.

Typically for me as I am well out of the loop with modern musical theatre, I didn't recognise most of them. Two of them did 'Pretty Funny' from Dogfight, which is a song that keeps rearing its head, but other than this I was fresh into playing (sight reading) music from 'Spring Awakening' (what a beautiful song 'Whispering' is), 'Bonnie and Clyde', 'Be More Chill', and 'Wonderland' as well as the odd golden oldie such as 'The Trolley Song'.

Interestingly, it was almost as if the students had all taken heed of my very own last blog post from when I did a similar bout of mock auditions at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester, as they were clear in telling me what they wanted, music was taped together well etc. - in fact, I saw the tail end of the lecture on Wednesday and they were being given all the correct advice here. So no excuse!

I guess the point in this post - whilst from my point of view 'another day in the office' rather than an exciting event that audiences flock from miles around to see - is to remind folk that I am an accomplished accompanist and am extremely comfortable - arguably at my most comfortable, in fact - in an academic environment.

Thank you to Priestley College in Warrington for your hospitality. Hope to see you again soon!


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