Concert pianist and arranger of the beautiful version of Silent Night performed on the first day on the advent calendar, Caroline Tyler is also a composer, teacher, examiner, and adjudicator. She loves the variety it brings: "I love my life in music as there are so many parts to it. Whether it’s writing something for Composify, practising madly for a concerto, sitting behind an examiner’s desk, handing out a shiny cup as an adjudicator, giving advice to my piano students - I love it all." At home, Caroline has two beautiful boys who also love music, "my 6 year old loves improvising on his cello with me or trying to attack me with the spike of his cello if I interfere too much with his practice!"
Lockdown had its ups and downs, and Caroline managed to write and arrange a lot more as there were no concerts to rehearse for, and even created Composify - a gift service for that special person who is hard to buy for, people can give loved ones their own original piece of music composed with the letters of their name. "This year has been a strange mixture of things, like it has for a lot of people, there has been anxiety and disappointment and horrible moments, but also moments of calm and regrouping.
I found an amazing countryside walk so close to home that I would never have looked for before. I started writing and arranging a lot more in lockdown because there were no concerts to practice for so I had a little more time to do that and out of it came Composify which I’m really enjoying."
Musician Mums Christmas Quiz
Can you tell us what you'll miss most about performing this Christmas?
The feeling of connection with an audience. The ride on the wave of performance when the music sort of takes you over. That noise some people make at the end of a piece just before the applause like they’ve just eaten something tasty. The relief and well-earned trip to the pub afterwards. I don’t miss the performance nerves during the last ten minutes leading up to a performance starting. In all honesty I spend those last ten minutes promising myself a career change but I still haven’t changed it 20 years later!
What's your favourite carol/Christmas music?
In dulci jubilo
And what are you hoping for this year for Christmas?
I really want my dad and my brother to be OK and still have a happy Christmas even though my mum isn’t with us.
Do you have a favourite Christmas memory - musical or otherwise?
Standing next to my beautiful mother at Midnight Mass singing carols. She was so happy to have the family all together. She passed away last year and things just aren’t the same without her. Also performing a solo recital at St Martin in the Fields on 27 December one year. It was absolutely packed and a wonderful atmosphere post-Christmas in London, I will never forget it.
And what's your favourite thing about Christmas?
Finally, give us a hint towards what you're performing on the advent calendar?
Mine was the preview so everybody knows...but just wait until NEXT Advent!!!