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Behind the Musical Advent Calendar: Jenna Brown, Mezzo-Soprano

Jenna Brown is a professional mezzo-soprano specialising in concert, oratorio and increasingly on the opera stage. She is also a Music Educator, Conductor and Concert Producer for Lilliput Concerts , in Bristol - providing exceptional professional concerts for babies, toddlers and their families.

And of course, she's a musical mum trying to balance family life with music, and her sanity:

"I am married to the wonderful Ben, Science Communicator extraordinaire. We have 3 daughters aged 3, 5 & 7 who love to join in with all things musical but are mainly to be found running around outside at our allotment with our puppy Molly. I have recently taken up running and am contemplating braving the cold for outdoor swimming, which I love. "

Jenna is also a tease, because the only hint she would give us about her advent calendar performance was "This is the perfect piece for putting up your Christmas decorations!"

This year has been tricky for Jenna and her family, as it has for all performers, "As a household of freelance musician and small business owner we have felt the effects of lockdown very keenly.

However, we try to remain positive and open to the new challenges and opportunities that it has brought. For example, it gave me the nudge to return to my love of research and academia and sign up for an MA. Our children were amazingly resilient and we loved home-school adventures together - I learnt loads from my children's projects on India, Rainforests and Grace Darling!"

We love some positivity, now what makes Christmas for you Jenna...

Musician Mums Quick Christmas Quiz:

What will you miss most about performing music this Christmas?

I miss carol singing with my wonderful choirs and groups. Everyone is always so happy, wrapped up in our hats and scarves, cup of mulled wine in hand. I will really miss that community spirit.

Your favourite hymn/Christmas song?

That is a really tricky one as there are so many! With my chorister head on - If I had to chose one moment of a carol it would be the last verse of O come all ye faithful - specifically the chord on 'Word of the father' with the organ wonderfully opened up and the choir in full swing!
But I also can't lie and for me it isn't Christmas until I have belted out Mariah Carey All I want for Christmas is You!

And what are you hoping for this year for Christmas?

I'm hoping that we can have our friends over to stay and keep up the tradition of as warm and welcoming an open house as possible

What's your favourite Christmas memory ?

My favourite Christmas memories are of coming home after concerts as a child (and still as an adult) covered in glitter, grinning from ear to ear and rounding of the night with a hot chocolate in front of the tree and the fire.

Tell us your favourite thing about Christmas ?

The Food! I love Christmas dinner and I really really love Christmas cake. Stir-up Sunday in October half term is a big deal for me!

Thanks so much Jenna, can't wait to put up the decorations accompanied by you!


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