There comes a time in ones life when change is inevitable and necessary - there are also times when change is merely a natural progression to something new and worthwhile! Therefore I see my imminent change in career as the latter - a natural progression.
I won't divulge too much at the moment as to my career change, as it is subject to a few technical & procedural matters, other than to say that I am looking forward to my new job with anticipation. I have been helped enormously along the way by a few very close friends (who shall remain nameless at the moment), who gave me excellent references, re my character and professional capabilities, as well as advice and support along the way - I am of course greatly indebted to all of them.
I have for quite a number of years devoted a lot of my time to the promotion and development of the fife and Lambeg drum musical tradition here in Ulster. I have met many very wonderful people who are genuinely interested in many aspects of cultural life here in Ulster - of which the fife and Lambeg drum plays a small but very important role.
I never lost sight of the reason I decided to work in this field, which was mainly to educate the next generation of children & students, something about the fife and Lambeg drum musical tradition. There may have been the occasional blip along the way, but by and large it was a very worthwhile exercise.
I am very proud of my achievements in recent years, it has been most rewarding to see young men and the occasional girl, taking up playing the fife and or Lambeg drum, participating in schools events, community festivals and parading with the Orange Institution on the 12th of July
Much of my future work will be within the education sector, where I know that my reputation is good and I have also built up a network of friends and contacts within schools, colleges, universities and throughout the general community sector. I have been in touch with quite a few folk regarding my new employment and spoke at length to many regarding potential projects in their school - all have agreed in principal to explore possible projects with me when my new job becomes live.
I will of course continue, although in a reduced capacity - to promote and develop the fife and lambeg drum musical tradition in any way I can, through workshops, lectures, advice or tuition, however my new job will take precedence and will take up most of my working time - but I will still look forward to playing at events and parades.