Relocation or Dislocation

Picture of by Dr Andrew Padmore BEM

by Dr Andrew Padmore BEM

Choral and Orchestral Conductor | Accompanist | Singing Tutor | Examiner | Adjudicator

Following the roller coaster journey of attempting to sell our lovely Leeds home – we eventually found ourselves in the new build of our choice on the outskirts of Ludlow.  The rationale was to be closer to family and roots. Retirement at last!  Well …. not quite!

Life has remained colourful with a variety of musical activities in spite of retiring from major musical commitments last summer.

There was the Cumbria Singers’ (about 120 voices) concert in Carlisle Cathedral to guest conduct a programme including Elgar’s Music Makers and Faure’s Requiem. I had trained the choir through online tuition with only four face to face rehearsals. With soloists Gaynor Keeble, Molly Cochrane  Ben Davies and the amazing British Sinfonietta, a fine performance was presented to an appreciative capacity audience.

Adjudication engagements were undertaken at the Mrs Sunderland Festival in Huddersfield, then Oswestry and Dudley Festivals.

I accompany regularly for the Guild of Musicians and Singers who elected me to their Council recently. They invited me to give a talk in Regent Hall, London, about the music at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, way back in the day!

A former singing pupil (now a regular singer with the Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera and Opera North) has hounded me to continue tuition via FaceTime – a medium I’m not comfortable with, but the lessons seem to prove worthwhile.

Ludlow Parish church has welcomed me with open arms onto their distinguished rota of organists. I enjoy playing for services and it keeps me on my toes, so to speak.

As part of my BEM, awarded last June, Eileen and I were invited to another garden party at Buckingham Palace ‘to celebrate my admittance to the Order of the British Empire’.   Contrary to early weather forecasts it was a complete washout!  With no shelter, it was impossible to juggle food, drink and brolleys!  We bailed out early, but arrived home late, cold and sodden after a 45 minute taxi wait in pouring rain plus an interrupted train service. Good old British humour shared with others in the same boat helped leaven the day!

Now in our new home with everything more or less in place, it’s time to tackle our large rectangle of lawn surrounded by bare fence!  Our planters will provide a head start, plus some wonderful gifts from friends and family. Today we acquired four beautiful roses – finally spending YPC’s David Austin presentation voucher from last summer.

Retirement offers the ability to pick and choose. I have already declined a few offers to take on musical directorship of choirs but am accepting guest conducting, master classes in singing and recital engagements. There is also space for a few singing pupils.

It was the right decision to hand over the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir but the loss went deeper than I could have imagined. Despite this, we are very happy in our new location. How could it be otherwise with the overwhelmingly warm welcome received?  Space now to consider what next in this new phase of our lives.

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