London Musical Theatre Orchestra

On Sunday, I had the absolute pleasure of playing with the London Musical Theatre Orchestra at their first ever get-together.

The LMTO are a recently established group by Freddie Tapner, that get together around once a month and play through Musical scores. I was so lucky that the first score was of one of my favourite musicals; Freddie was a brilliant conductor, the level of playing was incredible and the singers left everyone speechless!

I would implore everyone with a love of musicals to sign up as it’s just such an incredibly fun and exciting day. Not only do you get to play beautiful music, but you never know who you might meet! I can’t wait until the next play through!

Click here to visit their website and sign up!

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I’ve Finished My Degree!

My four years at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance have come to an end! I would like to thank everyone that came to watch my recital on Wednesday, and everyone that has supported me through my time studying. It’s been a rollercoaster ride but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world!

Special thanks go out to my mum and dad for always being on the phone in times of need! To Adam, my lovely boyfriend, for putting up with my moaning and managing to support me throughout my time at Trinity whilst he was going through exactly the same thing! To my professor, John Crawford who managed to put up with such a stubborn student! And to my first violin teachers, Helen Butterworth and Karina MacAlpine.

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A Hypothyroid Violinist…

For those of you who don’t know, I suffer from Hypothyroidism.

When I was very young I was anaemic. Several signs of anaemia cross over with hypothyroidism and I began to show these signs later on whilst doing my GCSE’s. I started sleeping at every opportunity I could – ditching morning assembly to nap, using “study hours” to nap and even skipping lunch just to take a quick snooze.

I realised something was wrong when a physics teacher actually (incredibly rudely, but I won’t get into that) pulled me up on my situation, so I was booked in for a test to see if my anaemia had returned.

I’ll be honest with you – when the results came through and the doctor told me I wasn’t anaemic but, in fact, had a thyroid problem – I had no idea what he was on about. I was just told I needed more tests, and that was that.

Ever since I’ve been taking levothyroxine every day; but still to no prevail.

The thyroid produces hormones that are related to every function of your body. To name a few, the thyroid hormone directly acts on the brain, the digestive tract, the cardiovascular system, bone metabolism, red blood cell metabolism, gall bladder and liver function, glucose metabolism, lipid and cholesterol metabolism, protein metabolism and body temperature regulation… (The list goes on but I don’t have all day here!

As a result of this, I get varied symptoms daily. Most are ever-present whilst a small few only present themselves now and then.

Here’s a fun diagram showing some of the things that I experience:
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To cut the long story short – levothyroxine is the replacement hormones I’m receiving as my thyroid simply isn’t producing enough. However, as my symptoms are still going strong, I’m strongly considering being checked out for Hashimotos disease – the autoimmune disease which essentially destroys the thyroid itself.

You might be thinking “Why are you telling me this?”, “What does this matter to me?” or even “Get on with it, you massive whiner!”, and a part of me wasn’t entirely sure if I was even going to post this blog. I don’t want pity or help, I just want people to understand; it is a huge part of my life and a disease that I feel very strongly about. If you are feeling any symptoms, I urge you to go and get a blood test. The meds don’t help many of my symptoms but it is a life-threatening disease left untreated and everyone responds differently.

Every day is another day us hypo’s wish we could just sleep, but we soldier on! I’m lucky to be where I am now; being a violinist. It’s a true passion and when I’m performing I can forget about my worries and be emerged in the music. Being uncontrollably and “naturally” lazy, it’s great having something worth getting out of bed for!

Sorry for such a ramble but I promise I’m done now!
Hope you’re all having a wonderful New Year.

Copyright © Hayley Pope 2021
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