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Behind the Musical Advent Calendar: Lucy Melvin, Violinist

Lucy is a violinist from London, a Mum of 2 daughters and a devotee of vintage dresses...

For our musical advent calendar Lucy has collaborated in 2 movements of a perennial favourite with 2 different groups of performers, and there might even be a surprise special from her!

Like many freelancers , Lucy wears several (stylish) hats, she is the Director of Chamber Players music courses, member of the Callia Quartet and teacher of violin.

"My professional life has always been a happy blend of playing and teaching. Both are equally as fulfilling and enjoyable for me. It seemed a natural process to develop a summer school (Chamber Players) which combined my life-long interest in chamber music and wanting to inspire the next generation with a similar experience."

Collaborations and commissions for 2021

The Callia quartet initially formed through the mutual connection of the Summer school and an exciting start to 2020 came to a very abrupt halt in March:"This year is obviously not what any of us had expected. My quartet was just reaching a really exciting point having premiered a commissioned piece in Feb 2020, and a Central-London gala concert planned for the week that lockdown hit, so everything in our diary stopped very abruptly.

The quartet used the time during lockdown to keep the planning going, and hope to kick off with 2021 where 2020 stopped. We have 2 more commissioned pieces to look forward to, and hopefully a disc will follow. We look forward to bringing these into the brave new world of 2021 and beyond."

Sharing music made lockdown easier

On a personal level it sounds like Lucy made the most of the lockdown, "I am really fortunate that I live in a street with an amazing community vibe, and a central green. My neighbours and I organised several different events. I did quite a few solo out-door concerts, a stand-up comedian did some slots too, and some of the children took part in reciting poetry, so the morale round and about was kept high, and gave us all some focus."

We can't wait to see what Lucy achieves when she's allowed out to play!

Musician Mums Quick Christmas Quiz:

What will you miss most about performing music this Christmas?

This year will certainly be different, but all through Lockdown 1 and now Lockdown 2 I have tried to be creative about how to bring music to people. The usual performances can't happen, but I love how creative everyone has been in working out new ways to keep doing what we do.

Tell us your favourite carol/Christmas song?

There is something very special about the duet of David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy

And what are you hoping for this year for Christmas?

I try not to ask for specific gifts, but a day out which can create a lasting memory or if a gift, then something small and made by hand or a little thing found in a charity shop which has a unique quality to it. Maybe that is not as straight forward but much more personal.

Can you tell us your favourite Christmas memory ?

My mum's cooking. I am probably the least domestic person I know, but this year I am hoping that one upside of the lack of Christmas performances this year will mean that I have more time available to make much more of an effort with my cooking. I am preparing to do Christmas in style this year.

And finally - your favourite thing about Christmas ?

It has to be the music. Whether it is a cheesy Christmas song on the car radio that reminds us that Christmas time is nearly here or a beautifully sung traditional carol. Music brings people together and is something we can all feel a collective response to.

Thanks so much for taking part Lucy!

Brown paper packages tied up with string...


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