Tag Archives: #musiciansunion #labour #singing #choir

How did I get here?

How did I get here?

It’s amazing how fast time can go. When you’re busy it whizzes by and suddenly you’re in a place you could never have predicted. The last few years have been a roller coaster of emotion, with both physical and mental barriers to overcome. I feel like I fought hard to get here, to be a woman, a worker, a musician, an educator, a performer, a union activist, a politician. Now I’m almost here I don’t know how I did it. Sometimes I think I died in that coma last year, and this is the dream. Sometimes I think I can’t do it. Sometimes I think it’s too much. Sometimes I think I should give it all up. But something keeps me going, something tells me this is right.

Tomorrow is the local and euro elections and I’m standing as a labour councillor for Gainsborough ward in Ipswich. I joined the Labour Party because of my links with my trade union, the musicians union. I’m currently on the executive committee of the MU, in my third term. I remember popping along to an Ipswich labour event on being a councillor, it was interesting. Ipswich labour are very active and I got involved, selected, and here I am.

I wanted to do this to help people, I believe you should get involved if you want to make change. And change is vital to moving forward, making a fairer, better place for us all. The Tory liberal coalition inspired me. Their privatisation, cuts and devastation of so many things that are great about the uk angered me. I was outraged to see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Through this negative time I felt now more than ever was the time to get involved and make my tiny part count.

I feel the same about the MU, a trade union for musicians of all kinds. We need to be there and stand together for musicians. We quite often work alone as self employed minstrel types, looking after everything from self promotion to tax returns. So I feel having a trade union to look our for us, help us and stand up for us in times of need is vital. That’s why I’m on the Executive committee. I think it’s important to give a bit of time to help our profession, musicians and music.

I also teach, tomorrow we have Ofsted visiting us. I teach because I like the students. I’m in FE so they are 16 upwards. A great age, full of ideas, opinions and bright futures. I also lead a community choir, Suffolk Soul Singers. It brings people together to use their voices, make music and perform.

Music in all it’s weird and wonderful forms will always be part of my life. It is my talent, gift, passion profession and pastime. I love to listen, I love to create. Music moves me, heals me, frustrates me, inspires me….

sometimes it’s the answer, sometimes the question.

I know I will never understand it all, I don’t think we are supposed to. image


Spinning around


Hello and sorry for the delay. It’s a hectic period at the moment and everything seems to be heating up at once. Labour campaigning and doorstep is constant. It tricky to fit this in when working and rehearsing in the evenings. Then there is my choir, arranging music and fixing musicians for the big Wolsey gig in June, Musicians unions meetings, teaching, singing, recording, practice etc etc, blah blah….the never ending to do list…

So many balls to juggle or plates to spin. I live in a kind of fear something will smash as soon as I relax. I know so many people like me that have an endless list of things to do and places they must be. I don’t think it’s always good for us, but the alternative is giving a ball away. For me that means some work has to go (who can afford that), something creative has to go, or something I believe in has to go. I realise I probably should, but at the moment I just can’t!

I’ve decided that I need to record something, some music. I have booked a couple of days with friends to do some duo recordings. This will be a record of me and my singing at this point in time, but also act as a demo for various bits of gig hustling. I haven’t planned it to death, I want it to have a bit of spontaneity about it. Just a snap shot of the music we made on this day. I hope it will be rewarding and I will be pleased with the finished product. Giving up things like this, would definitely be detrimental to me as a whole. We all need a creative outlet where we can make the sounds we want to. As artists this is perhaps a thing unique to us?

My involvement in my union and labour is important for me to try and make a tiny change. Help people with their issues that make a difference for them. It’s part of my beliefs that we should have a fair society, and I feel I need to do my bit to contribute. Someone has to! This on its own could take all my time. Prioritising becomes difficult.

So I shall try to keep it all in check. My social life has to be booked Into the diary, ages ahead.
So much for spontaneity!
Any advice from you other busy bees out there would be much appreciated!