Back in January I was asked as a previous prize winner of a British Flute Society competition to contribute a write-up for the BFS journal, Pan, about what I've been up to since the competition. For me, this goes back six years to 2012. When putting this together, I looked through my performance archive page wondering what performance highlights to include and it occurred to me that this information is already public. I thought this could be used as an opportunity for me to include some things about 2012 that I haven't yet had the forum to share. I'm doing this now because, with plenty of time and reflection, I feel I am able to publicly raise some of the issues I was faced with, in case my story can be of help to anyone else who may be struggling.
Here is what I wrote for Pan:
In 2012, I was contemplating going back for a Master's but wasn't sure how I would manage it as a single mum of my one year-old daughter. I wasn't even sure if I could get to London for the BFS competition itself with my daughter in tow, but a friend was free to push her in the pram around Oxford Street while I played, so I decided to go for it. I played the first movement from Kalevi Aho's Solo III which is an incredibly slow and delicate climb of quarter-tones. During the performance, I felt in control and able to express myself through the flute for the first time in a very long time. I wasn't concerned about the result because just being able to perform again was enough for me, but I was delighted to win second prize! I did get my Master's, followed by an International Artist Diploma from the RNCM. I'm now studying for my PhD in contemporary performance practice at Huddersfield University, where my current project is commissioning pieces that are limited to a single breath. My daughter is now seven, plays the violin, and occasionally writes pieces for me. For me, the competition was the impetus for everything that followed!