Here we are as 2020 draws to its close. It has certainly been a year that will go down in history.

Term concluded at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the University of Liverpool the week before Christmas. In extremely unusual circumstances all my students continued to work hard, learning and making music every step of the way. Online teaching has certainly shown us all new ways of interacting, and also the elements which are so important and we can’t wait to return once it’s safe to do so. The term at the University of Liverpool culminated with a Christmas project in partnership with the Victoria Gallery and Museum – some of our fantastic Classical performance students recorded their segments, we edited it together and it’s now the backing track for a Christmas message and exhibition:

My own research and performance projects continue. There are certain elements which are in hiatus due to COVID-19. However, I keep pressing on and ensuring I positively continue with my work.

Christmas was different for many of us. For my parents and I it has meant we were unable to see my brother (who also celebrated his birthday on the 22nd December) and his two sons over the festive season. We’ve promised my three year old nephew we’ll have Christmas ‘The Sequel’ as soon as it is safe to do so. Thank goodness for video calls!

One thing to remember from 2020, as Plato famously said: ‘be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle’. There is no truer statement, especially in a year like 2020, and kindness — as I’ve mentioned before — costs us nothing but gives so much. I am sending all best wishes to you and all those you hold dear, and sending hope for a 2021 filled with kindness.

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