Last week the Music Director of Carnival UK came to hear some of our undergraduate musicians. Singer-songwriter Olly Lewis (year 3) tells us about performing for one of the region’s top entertainment employers:
When Dave Desmond from Carnival Cruises was invited to our weekly Jazz and Pop performance workshops, it was an honour to perform on behalf of Southampton’s music department and to get professional feedback from him.
Initially I was concerned about it seeming like an audition. However, when Dave elaborated on his previous experiences and successes as a musician, I felt very much at home, not intimidated by the man but privileged to be in his presence.
I performed alongside Hayley McDonnell and Rob Kitney. As a trio, we each brought one of our own songs/ compositions to the table and proceeded to accompany one another and harmonise with one another. We were overwhelmed by the feedback we received. It seemed almost as if each of the songs was appreciated equally, which we loved, and Dave was more than happy to talk about our act afterwards. Although it seemed not much was said about our performance, we felt as if that was a positive thing and I managed to have a quick word with Dave on a more personal level after the session. He was very complimentary and encouraging in this conversation.
It was a great opportunity. I was very happy with how the event played out and I feel much more at ease with who might be on the judging panel of such a mainstream entertainment business. My faith in working musicians has been somewhat restored. Cheers Dave!
Check out Olly’s YouTube channel to hear some of his recent songs.