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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  91 Hits

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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Exe Valley Strings wedding at Paschoe House.

Lovely day today with the Exe Valley String Quartet. We played at the beautiful Paschoe House in Devon. It is so nice to play beautiful pieces like Clare de Lune and Greensleeves against such a lovely back drop. Judging by the reaction of the guests 'Sweet Child O Mine' went down well again! Congratulations Amy and Marc on your wedding. Thank you Tabitha for being such a wonderful host.  We had the honour of playing before the ceremony, as the beautiful bride made her entrance, during the signing of the register and then for the exit of the bridal party and the guests.  We then moved up to the patio to play for the drinks reception and we even played for a large part of the wedding breakfast as well,  It was a really lovely gig with a very appreciative audience!

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Exe Valley Quartet at Royal Yacht Club in Torbay

On Saturday night Exe Valley String Quartet were very privileged to be invited to play at a 'Titanic' themed dinner event at Torbay Yacht Club in Torquay. (Royal Torbay Yacht Club) It was a real posh do and it was so nice to play all of our classical repertoire. We also played some new music - a medley of 'Pirates of Penzance' songs which went down well and also some Joplin rags! There was even a surprise performance from a barbershop quartet! I do love my job!

 

 

  501 Hits

Open Mic sessions at Dawlish Arts Festival

This is the start of a busy weekend of gigs in and around Devon.  I spent the morning down in my home town of Dawlish playing as part of the open mic sessions on the bandstand.  It was a lovely event playing live music to the people of Dawlish, residents and holiday makers alike.  I put my classical head to one side for a bit and played some contemporary tunes on electric violin including Bohemian Rhapsody, Tunes from La La land and A star is born, viva la vida, No Place Id rather be and a bit of Ed Sheeran - Perfect!  Next stop is Rock Choir at the arts festival tonight.  Exciting!!

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Rockbeare Wedding with Exe Valley String Quartet

What a lovely day for an Easter wedding at the beautiful Rockbeare Manor with the Exe Valley String Quartet - one of our regular venues. Congratulations Laura and John on your wedding day. Very contemporary feel with a film flavour as well. 'A Million Dreams' to enter, 'Somebody to love' (Queen) and You only twice (OO7) for the signing and 'Dont stop believing' to exit. We also got to play some of our new tunes including Shotgun and Jurassic Park!

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St Matthew Passion in Plymouth

I was down in Plymouth yesterday with the very talented Plymouth Philharmonic Choir and their conductor Christopher Fletcher.  The soloists were fabulous and we played to a sold out Guildhall.  This choral piece by Bach has two orchestras and two choirs and six soloists.  It is a gorgeous piece os vocal music with some beautiful arias and lovely string writing.  It was a pleasure to be a part of this concert.  I now have a week off to rest my fingers!

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Wedding in Bickleigh

Lovely wedding in beautiful Bickleigh. Gorgeous little village church with a lovely acoustic. A mixture of music requested today from Pachelbel to John Legend to The Beatles. Congratulations to Emma and James. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your special day.  Its been a busy weekend for gigs with St Matthew Passion (Bach) still to come tomorrow.

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A real honour to play today.


I have just had the honour to play my violin at a wake in Bradninch. There was a lovely atmosphere at the occasion and I played a wide variety of genres while guests chatted, had a drink and a reminisce. I was asked to play a bit of Clannad which was lovely and we ended on Darude - Sandstorm! Sounds great on electric violin!!!

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