Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and holiday season.

We had quite a mild Christmas this year, but it did result in some fantastic sunsets. This blog’s picture is the sunset across Staffordshire, my home county.

Michaelmas Term 2017 was very busy. I organised a Christmas Concert and social evening for the music department at Liverpool Hope University, we had 180 people attend and it was a fantastic evening to welcome the Christmas season. I’ve been asked if I’ll do a similar event for this term by the students.

I completed my PhD upgrade deadline and submitted it before Christmas, my thesis and research is coming together and has an exciting direction for me to pursue during my final PhD year. The interview section is at the end of January – busy preparing at the moment.

At the beginning of the month I attended the RMA-BFE Student Research Conference at the University of Huddersfield. I met fellow researchers from a wide range of universities, all researching in different and interesting areas. I presented a research paper this year; a summary version of one of my analytical chapters looking at the improvisation nature of Schubert’s solo piano dances. It went well and I was asked some interesting questions afterwards. I’m now working on one of my other chapters, the writing has begun.

All’s well at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, I resumed teaching there last Saturday. Theory is all going well and the piano class is going from strength to strength too.

I’m all ready for the term ahead at both Hope and the Conservatoire, new musical realms to explore.

The 2017 Minton Christmas season was busy and good. We had Christmas at my Aunt and Uncle’s house, they’re currently looking after my grand piano so we had some music as part of our lovely day. My parents moved into their new house and are getting organised, a new year with positive vibes. My nephew is now seven months old (where does the time go) and he’s pulling himself up to standing!

I wish you all a positive, healthy and happy 2018!

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