I’m still waiting for the editing report on my first novel. In the meantime, I’ve been working on a different writing project detailing my student days at Dartington College of Arts, Totnes, Devon, where I took my music degree. This account tells of my first visit to Totnes:
I liked Totnes immediately. I spent a couple of nights in a bed and breakfast house in a steep lane tucked away from the main street. On the day of the audition, I set off up the hill to the college, past fields and a river, knowing that this was where I would like to spend the next three years. The air was fresh with the scent of the country and the unmistakable smell of animals and manure. I savoured the feel of the mild winter chill against my cheeks, like I had done many times during my childhood rambles in the countryside in the north of England.
The college stood near the top of the hill: three adjacent buildings for the dance, drama and music students; a courtyard consisting of the Great Hall, the White Hart bar, admin offices, staff room, library and cinema, a central lawn. An archway connected the library and cinema. Further on was Higher Close, the student area overlooking the fields below.
After attending an introductory talk in one of the studios with the other prospective students, I took another short walk to the front of the music department where the main offices were situated. Mr Artherton had helped me prepare the first movement of a Haydn piano sonata and one of the pieces from Debussy’s Children’s Corner. When I finished playing these, the lecturer at Dartington said, ‘you have an extremely musical ear.’