Playing under a brolly!

The weekend continued on Sunday 11th July this time in Torquay and the very beautiful The Osborne Hotel. What a stunning backdrop for a wedding ceremony! Congratulations to Razan and Ahmad on your wedding day. You both looked amazing and Im so sorry it rained on your big day. A first for me though - playing Canon in D under a brolly in Torquay!

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Wedding Breakfast at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Plymouth

Saturday 10th July 2021.
My busy gig schedule in July continued last weekend down in Plymouth at the The Duke of Cornwall Hotel. This time I was playing with the Exe Valley String Quartet for Laura and Leigh's wedding. We played for two hours while the guests enjoyed their wedding breakfast. This gave us the chance to play a wide variety of musical styles from our extensive repertoire. We even got a box of fresh cream cakes given to us as a gift!
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Private wedding in Wembury, Plymouth.

July 3rd 2021. My busy week of gigs continued down in Wembury by Plymouth with a lovely wedding in a private garden. Congratulations to Liam and Emily on such a lovely and unique wedding ceremony. It was a pleasure to be a small part of your wonderful and special day. Music requests included 'All of me' by John Legend, 'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen and of course Pachelbel's Canon for Emily's entrance.

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First gig at St Audries Park in Somerset.

June 27th 2021 - I had the honour of playing at this beautiful venue in Somerset St Audries Park Wedding Venue last week. Huge congratulations to Becky and Jack on a great wedding. It was lovely to see so many people there as well. The ceremony was in the orangery which had a great acoustic. Becky walked into Canon in D and then I played The river flows in you and Ed Sheeran's Perfect during the signing of the register. The wedding party then literally danced out to 'Shut up and dance'. We then all moved into the main house for the drinks reception where I got to try out my new Michael Jackson medley. Lovely day at a lovely new venue.

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June 24th 2021 at the Brickhouse Vineyard

The gigs are taking off again now and I am thrilled!  It so lovely to be playing 'live' music to a 'live' audience.  A lovely wedding at a lovely venue and I got the chance to play some of my new arrangements.  June 24th 2021. I played at a beautiful intimate wedding at the gorgeous Brickhouse Vineyard. Congratulations to Sophie and Liam - what a great day. I had a fab time playing some of my new arrangements. I played 'I get to love you' by Rouelle for Sophie's entrance. This is a gorgeous melody! For the signing I played 'A Million dreams' and another new arrangement - 10,000 hours by Dan and Shay and Justin Bieber. This is another great track! The wedding party made their exit to a favourite of mine - 'This will be' by Natalie Cole. I stayed and played a wide variety of songs and tunes while the wedding guests drank champagne and had a chat and a catch up. It is so good to be back playing live!

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Fantastic Wedding at The Folly in Devon

It was lovely to be back playing live music again in the sunshine on Thursday. Congratulations to Karl and Karen. I played for their short wedding ceremony which was under the pagoda with a stunning view as the backdrop. I arranged 'memories' by Maroon 5 for the brides entrance. This is a really lovely song that is based on Pachelbel's Canon in D. I then serenaded Karl and karen while they had their wedding meal playing a selection of music from a variety of musical genres. Thank you to Carol and her team at Thefollydevon for such a lovely occasion.  I also tried out some of my new arrangements today including Love me like you do (Ellie Goulding) and I get to love you (Ruille).

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Christmas Eve gig at Bovey Castle.

What a lovely way to spend Christmas Eve. I spent the afternoon with Lucy our cellist from the Exe Valley String Quartet
and we entertained the guests at the very beautiful and stunning Bovey Castle.  We are very fortunate that as their recommended supplier we are invited to play at this 5 star hotel complex many times across the year.  We played some original duo arrangements of some traditional Christmas carols while the guests had afternoon tea.  Very nice to! Nice to be playing alongside a 'live' musician and for an appreciative audience.

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A unique and personal Christmas gift for 2020.

Are you looking for a uique and special gift to give to a loved one this year?  What about a bespoke violin performance with a special personalised message? I will arrange and record the song or piece of your choice on classical violin or electric violin. All genres covered! I have a few ideas how to extend this idea a little further as well. Get in touch with me for more details and between us let's make lots of people happy this Christmas time with music. This could be an audio recording only or what about sending some photos over so i can put together a bespoke slideshow for you with the beautiful violin music as the backdrop.  Wishing you a very happy and safe Christmas holiday.

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Beautiful Acoustics in Bovey Tracey.

 

I played at a lovely funeral service this afternoon. It was a fitting tribute from family and friends. This is the really beautiful Parish Church in Bovey Tracey which has the most gorgeous acoustic. It was a real honour to be asked to play my own new arrangement of The Lark Ascending. I have fallen in love with this piece again.

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Covid 19 Health and Safety for everybody

Now that lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted I am pleased to announce that I am ready to play as a soloist or part of our string quartet (Exe Valley String Quartet). We will follow all of the government guidlines and make sure that both all of the venue staff and guests are safe and that we as musicians are also safe when performing at your wedding or special event.  I/we also have included a Covid - 19 clause in our 'contract of engagement' so that everybody is clear from the beginning where we stand and we completely acknowledge that this is nobodys fault.

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The music starts again - in Weymouth!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Lockdown hasn't stopped the music!!

On March 14th I put my violin away in it's case and made my way home for the evening just like I would after any gig.  I had just played at a beautiful wedding in the Moorland Garden Hotel.  Little did anybody know what was about to happen across the nation.  Lockdown! What did this mean?  In short, all live music work would be cancelled or postponed.  No more weddings for the foreseeable future.  No more Rock Choir rehearsals or Rock Choir gigs for the foreseeable future. More importantly for me I think - no more musical interaction with other musicians.  What do I do now?  It is so important at times like these to keep a positive mind and to keep a healthy mind and not let things get you down.  Yes there have been bad days and indifferent days where you start to wonder if there will be any gigs ever again and we are certainly not out of the woods yet.  We have just entered July and I am making this written note of what I have been doing since lockdown began.  First things first - get in touch with all my clients and re arrange all the gigs in the diary until at least October 2020.  It was a difficult task but thankfully this has been done and achieved with success.  What about Rock Choir?  We cant meet like we used to and every gig in the summer programme has disappeared because all the events have been cancelled. As you can see from the photo I have had to get my head around the latest technology as the only way forward was to move the choir online!  Those people that know me well will also know that this wasnt something that I found particularly easy and certainly not an enjoyable prospect!  With help from many friends and colleagues, far more knowledgeable than me, we did it!  I host three Zoom choir sessions every week.  To start with I was very unimpressed!  How can I run a choir and not be able to hear them sing? (Singers have to muted due to the latency!) I am just conducting my mac!  Urgh!!!! Over time I have come to realize that you have to make the very best of any given situation.  It was Zoom choir or no choir. Alongside my lovely choir members we have learnt to really enjoy Zooming.  Its lovely to see each other and I can teach the choir new material and we can sing through older songs.  Yes the members are singing in isolation but you can see your choir buddies and you can hear them in the rehearsal tracks so it is close to what we had!  We are coming to the end of a very different 'virtual' term but it has been a great experience.  Alongside Zoom sessions I have put together individual video tutorials for each section of the choir for each of the five songs that we have learnt together.  We have had facebook live sessions, Zoom quizes, fancy dress sing alongs as well as a lockdown recording project with the members for We are the Champions by Queen.  (This was brilliant by the way!). 

As a violinist I have been grateful in many ways for the down time.  It has given me the time to practice so much more which I have really enjoyed.  I have been working on new arrangements of songs and pieces ready for when we can get out there and gig again.  I have been a part of some recording projects alongside local friends and musicians.  All in all I am making the very best of a difficult situation.  We still dont know when large weddings will start again and we still dont know when my choirs can meet up safely so this may only be 'half time' at the moment. If this goes on for a long time then I may well come back and give you all an update.  In the meantime I am in a good place, enjoying the downtime and practice time and enjoying working with my choir members to keep us all singing and in good health! Take care and stay safe.

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Christmas Wedding at Langdon Court, Wembury.

Lovely Christmas wedding at the very beautiful Langdon Court. Congratulations to Laura and Matt on a lovely wedding. Busy one for me (as I like it!). Violin for the ceremony (All of me, I will wait and Best day of my life). Upbeat tunes and songs on the violin for the drinks reception. To finish off the day I played some background piano classics for the wedding breakfast. Phew! That is it for the year now.

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Traditional Christmas Wedding at Ottery St Mary Church

We played at the very beautiful Ottery St Mary Church today for a festive Christmas wedding. Although the weather was awful outside there was a warm and festive atmosphere inside. This was a wedding with all the trimmings. String Quartet, Organist, Choir and Bell Ringers. Pachelbels Canon for the brides entrance and then some of Handel's Water Music for the signing. This was our final gig of 2019. We would love to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a huge thank you for following us this year and in fact this decade. 2020 is already looking like another great year for the Exe Valley String Quartet. Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year everybody!

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Exe Valley String Quartet play for 'Light up a life' service in Exeter Cathedral

Last night we played as part of the Light up a life service in Exeter Cathedral and as always it was a real pleasure to be a part of such a special evening. We played a new arrangement of 'Something inside so strong' as the book of memory was brought forward and the congregation spent time reflecting and remembering loved ones.

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Corporate Champagne Reception Gig

Great evening at Somerset County Cricket Club last night. I played live electric violin for the drinks reception event for the Devon and Law Society Devon & Somerset Law Society. This was a pre drinks champagne reception before their meal. I played a mixture of contemporary covers as well as a set of new light jazz classics like I've got rhythm, The girl from Ipanema and Summertime. Enjoyable evening. I even got to meet Beefy Botham (kind of!)

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Gigging on the Pont Aven!

I have just returned from three days on the Pont Aven sailing from Plymouth to Santander. We all had such a great time and it gave me a real insight into being a musician on a ship.  Tiring and demanding but a whole load of fun! This is Rozzy Turner the entertainment manager for the mini cruise.  She is ace and has an amzing voice!  I directed the Rock Choirs as we flash mobbed the passengers and sang three more full sets rocking the ship (literally!).  We also sang around the piano and I even managed to play a 30 minute set on my electric violin which was great fun!  Until next time!

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Solo wedding in Salcombe Harbour

Today I had the privilege of playing for Justine and Bens wedding in Salcombe. What a beautiful place to get married with the harbour as the back drop. Lots of musical theatre and film music today all on the electric violin. I also accompanied an amazing vocal quartet on the piano in the signing of the register as they sang original arrangements of 'Is this Love' by Bob Marley and 'All you need is love' by The Beatles. A fab day!

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British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Theatre Gig.

Orchestral gig with British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in Weston Super Mare. Last night of the proms classics as well as a full programme of British Orchestral music. Really enjoyable play!! I particularly enjoyed playing the Pirates of the Caribbean Orchestral Suite and the Phantom of the Opera was amazing!  We now go off to The Hexagon Theatre in Yeovil on Friday for the next show.

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Ever After Dartmoor wedding with Exe Valley String Quartet

What a scorching day it was Saturday for the wedding of Hannah and Richard. This was our second visit to the very beautiful Ever After - A Dartmoor Wedding. A busy gig as we played for pre ceremony drinks on the lawn. We then moved onto the ceremony where we played Hey Jude and Stand by Me. As the groom was a big Spurs fan we were asked to play the wedding party and guests out to the theme from the Champions League Football show. It went down well with all the guests. Then off to play lots of upbeat pop and rock covers for the main drinks reception. Congratulations to Hannah and Richard. Fabulous wedding!

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