Is It Christmas Yet? – November Blog

Digital Ambassador Piá Bromby chronicles life as an RNCM violinist in a series of monthly blog posts.

Reading week kicked off on 2 November and gave us all a well-earned rest after the first half term of the year. Personally, I practised and caught up on academic work but most importantly, I binge watched season four of The Crown which I would highly recommend. Seriously though, I was HOOKED.

Whether you stayed in Manchester or not, I hope your week was as relaxing as possible!

Exploring Manchester with flatmates

Despite there being a national lockdown for the majority of November, I strangely forgot about it at times. Academics were still thriving online (along with MANY looming deadlines) and College was luckily allowed to remain open, meaning String Orchestra and quartet rehearsals/coaching were still able to continue. These two elements definitely kept me sane as seeing and being able to play with friends is super important for my mental health and wellbeing.

In November we continued our weekly String Orchestra rehearsals and began learning Telemann’s Don Quixote Suite. Telemann turns this piece into a kind of musical novel, based on one of the most popular works of his day, Cervantes’s Don Quixote. It entails a knight, windmills, giants, a princess, a donkey… I could go on. This was such a fun piece to play and became a weekly highlight of mine this month.

String Orchestra rehearsal in the Concert Hall

We also had the opportunity to have a rehearsal of String Orchestra in the Concert Hall with all second year strings. Our weekly rehearsals are in two separate groups so being able to see friends (from the other group) for the first time since the first lockdown was super special. This rehearsal was made even better as we got to play in the Concert Hall which for many of us, was the first time performing in the space since Symphony Orchestra eight months ago – how time flies!

Aside from playing, during November second year students have been busy developing our websites as part of a module in Artist Development. Gathering content during this time has been pretty tricky due to lockdown two, yet I (along with many others) braved the cold this month to get out and finally take some photos for websites and social media profiles. As well as having a solo shoot (a fun yet slightly daunting experience), my quartet also decided to get some pics together. Towards the end of the month, we had the best afternoon with @lianyipphotography (check her out on Instagram!) shooting in and around the RNCM. It was so nice to do something that was completely new to me until this month and doing so with friends (and an ace photographer) made the experience even better – thank you Lian!

Speaking to friends and colleagues, November definitely brought up mixed emotions for many of us. For myself, I was a little up and down and was of course disappointed not to be able to celebrate my 21st birthday in the way I’d once planned (shout-out to my incredible flat mates for making the celebrations even better than said plan!). Yet upon reflection, having good health and support are the most important gifts during these times so everyone and fellow November babies, I’m hoping you all received these two things this month, birthday or not!

To finish, wishing safe travels to anyone departing in the coming days and see you soon for December’s Blog!

Piá :)

14 December 2020