And now the end is near…

By | November 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm | No comments | Gradeone-athon | Tags: , , , ,

It has been a while since I wrote a blog about learning the flute for a charity Gradeone-athon, and when I look back at the optimism of the early ones, I do wish I had used my time more wisely and started practising somewhat sooner. I now have an actual exam date after calling up to change the original date which clashed with a rehearsal. The patient lady went through about ten dates for me. Funnily enough they are not used to adults with work schedules to contend with!

So a date was finally set and I realised that this had become altogether very real. And at the busiest time of the season too, yikes. I had neglected the solo flute piece and discovered it contained a note I had not yet found – the fingering chart I bought was confusing to say the least, £3.99 down the drain – so I cornered Gareth, again, this time in Paris, and he very kindly showed me where D# is located and why it probably wasn’t sounding on my flute. A combination of me lifting fingers by accident and the fact that my flute has all the qualities of a metal rod found at a building site. So I have found the elusive note, although it takes me about half a minute of thought before I can actually play it! I wonder if I can work in a massive rit…

The final step before the exam: find an accompanist. “Terrible flute player desperately seeks tolerant pianist with good sense of humour”. This was the hard part, who to ask? I vetoed a couple of friends in the orchestra for fearing the giggles would rather put an end to the experience itself and get us thrown out. Aha… LSO Admin! They are full of hard-working individuals who usually have hidden instrumental talents that are only discovered by chance. I was pointed in the direction of the wonderful Edward Appleyard (pictured above) who responded to my email within minutes with boundless enthusiasm and generosity. I hope he can keep a straight face whilst playing when he hears me…

I think the best thing to do next week is to play for some friends at work to put myself under some pressure and of course, the most important thing, garner some more sponsorship. It’s a fantastic cause but I know there are so many calls for donations of late so really, just a fiver will do, the price of a posh coffee and biccie:

The next blog missive will perhaps be after the exam depending how well it’s all going… wish me luck!!


You can find out more about Gradeone-athon and donate to the charity on the website:

And watch this film to find out more about the charity the challenge is supporting in this video:

And have a look at the Facebook Group for more updates on the musicians’ progress:

- See more at:


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