During this time of year, people leave comments on how shitty it's been and that it's not going to be any different next year. Meanwhile, I've had the best year ever and am so lucky to have experienced all these amazing opportunities and met so many new people so I can't wait to see what happens in the future. I thought it was a good idea to write a note on the amazing events that have happened the past 12 months.
Having only been a part of the EHCB for 8 months, it was quite scary that I would be going to a foreign country with people I'd only known for a short while, and not with friends from school. But this was a brilliant way to skive a week off school! haha. This was the first time I had ever played music abroad and it was quite an eventful trip. From waiting for ages at Edinburgh airport because of their stupid bag allowance guidelines to a thunderstorm at Titisee during the concert of where we provided the best ending for Les Miserables, sheets of music flying around the place and having fits of laughter that is. I also did something I'd never thought I would do, go on the tallest and fourth fastest rollercoaster in Europe. I had never been so scared in my life, I was literally shaking but it was incredible that I was able to do it. Then we were able to enjoy German wine and pretzels and experience the funniest bus journey back home ever!! :D Many thanks especially to Ms. Ritchie for organising this and inviting me to be a part of her band and for seeing the good in me. She's Superwoman with all the work she does for the band so I'm honoured to have been a part of this trip. :D
Then I had the amazing experience of the NYJOS Summer School this summer. I was so excited at the first day but yet so nervous about how experienced the other players were and I didn't know much about jazz at the time. But I gained so much confidence in playing jazz music, improvising solos and working with different people. I loved playing at the Jazz Club every night and loved it when people came over and said they enjoyed the performance. It was such an amazing thing to be a part of and I met so many people who were so nice to be with. Many thanks to Andrew and Malcolm for running this whole thing, Richard Ingham for being an inspiration to all saxophonists who want to be as good as him but know you never will, to Rick for being the wacky, funny, awesome tutor ever and to everyone who made the first week of the summer holidays the best ever! If someone asked me to do a saxophone solo two years ago, I would have said NO WAY, but now I'm more confident on playing my badly improvised solos today, all thanks to NYJOS.:D
If that's not all, to top it all off, I was finally accepted into the big band, which I wanted to be in since I first started going to the groups. The rehearsals have been so much fun so far, playing awesome pieces like I'm a Believer, You Got A Friend In Me, and Mood Indigo. We then played at the Aviemore concert, and it was the best ever. Everyone in the group is awesome, as people stole my camera and took sneaky pictures of each other, and as we waited for the gaelic choir to actually start, I had never laughed so much in ages. I'm looking forward now to our March concert, which is going to be amazing, as it will be on the weekend of my 18th birthday! I have always wanted to play in the Big Band at Eden Court, and to do it on my 18th, would be the best thing ever. And I can buy a drink afterwards! Massive thanks to Mr Farmer, for being Mr Farmer, all the guys at Big Band, I love you all, but also to Norman Bolton, who is giving so many young people like me a chance to play music with loads of great people. And thanks to Mr Reynolds and Wind Band, who I've also enjoyed being a part of last year. Just lots of love to everyone at groups!
Even with all these music events that have so many different people involved, there's always some people you thank for everything. To my old piano teacher who was an inspiration to me to love playing music. To my new piano teacher who is a genius on the piano but especially to my woodwind tutor, thanks to him, I've managed to get a merit on my first saxophone exam, which was grade 6.
And of course, with all my amigos at DA, they have always made school more bearable, even when there's nabs, prelims and stchick. It's so weird to think how fast and yet how slow 6 years have passed. haha. :D It's going to be weird when we actually finish. The christmas dance was a great success and such fun to help decorate the hall and organise the event, and to hear so many people enjoyed it, it makes you feel proud of everyone who has helped, especially our year for pulling it off. Even though I can't wait to go to explore other places and meet different people, Dornoch is and always will be my home, I have lived in this little house in the middle of nowhere for nearly 18 years so moving away is going to feel strange.
Even though it's been the best year, it's also been the hardest. With many ups and downs with Highers, exams, both music and school ones, but mainly because of the death of a close relative. My nanna was a caring, loving soul with a big heart who always loved the people she cared for. She always looked after her daughters and her grandchildren, collected so many jackets and towels and was always there to make you laugh. It was a tough couple of weeks with her going to hospital, discovering she had lung cancer and then losing her just a week later, the funeral was beautiful though and even at my mum's cousin's wedding, she was remembered and loved. Christmas was tough this year as she loved Christmas, with so many decorations and ornaments it was like being at Santa's grotto. It was just us and grandad for dinner, which was bizarre. You always expected to get pyjamas and tops from nanna for christmas as well as those vouchers for the shops. I got both vouchers and a nightie from my Grandad, which made me feel upset on christmas morning. But then I saw my wee cousin open her christmas present later on and she smiled.
2012 is going to be another exciting year, probably the most challenging yet, with hard future decisions to face but I've still got Eden Court with the Big Band, my 18th birthday and another year of the summer school to look forward too as well as more exams to sit, both SQA and ABRSM. No point in making New Year Resolutions, you just take life as it comes. Thank you to everyone who has been a huge part of my life so far, from the young and the old, from the nearest to the furthest. Hope you all have an amazing 2012, and follow your dreams, and stay positive. Unlike me, haha. Saxophone love xxx