The Day My Life Changed Forever ~ My “Damascus Road” Experience

** NEWS UPDATE**  

Where has Corinne been…? Read on about her life changing experience.

First and foremost, I am a born again Christian.  Secondly, I am a concert pianist and multi-instrumentalist – at least I was! I was born and educated in Zimbabwe where I also enjoyed music lessons from some very accomplished teachers.


Corinne Marsh

In my early 20’s, God blessed me with a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London where I studied the piano and oboe for four years.  I then lived and worked as a musician, examiner and teacher in London before being employed full time at a private boarding school for girls. I loved working at the school and was fulfilled in my vocation there. However, in the summer of 2014 I was dealt an enormous blow when I was made redundant after 11 years. What was God playing at? I was expecting this job to see me to retirement! Perhaps, but then God works in mysterious ways. 

the Boudicca

Fred Olsen’s HMS Boudicca

Following the redundancy, I felt He was directing me back to my solo performing career and so I returned to hours of practice, devising programmes in a variety of styles for my five instruments: piano, oboe, cor anglais, soprano and tenor saxophone.   I trained to examine for another exam board, found an agent and began performing on cruises with Fred Olsen. I loved both the  performing and the travelling, meeting people and in particular, the Christian fellowship onboard the ships.  I loved my new life!

In December 2018, I was booked to perform on the Christmas cruise to the Caribbean which I was so looking forward to. I devised some exciting programmes with a Christmas theme of “Bells”.  

And then it happened: my “Damascus Road experience” when my world would fall apart. It was the evening of Friday 30th November 2018, when I was cycling home.  I’d been a serious cyclist since living in London, cycling Coast to Coast and taking part in many 90 to 100km sportives for charity. That evening in November, I’d been helping out at my church hall and was knocked off my bike by a young driver in a hurry to get home.  He’d made a hasty decision to take a short cut and turned left into a side road as I was crossing its intersection. I was knocked unconscious in the accident and taken by ambulance to Nottingham Queen’s Medical Centre with a badly fractured hand, facial damage which resulted in a third nerve palsy and caused severe double vision, teeth through my lower lip, a sub-dural haemorrhage and bruises everywhere! These injuries occurred despite the helmet I was wearing and were as a result of having been flung across the car bonnet face first.  Since then I’ve had to wear a black eye patch over my right eye glass and the visual damage to my left eye from previously diagnosed glaucoma has left me partially sighted. I look more like a pirate than a pianist! 

When one experiences life changing moments like this, one often asks where God could possibly have been that night? Why didn’t He protect me and stop this disaster from striking? The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  This verse has been of enormous comfort to me, assuring me that God has me safely in the palms of His loving hands and, despite the current uncertainty, He has a master plan. It’s a plan that will bring Him glory and give me hope and a future, despite what my injuries might currently dictate. The purpose for my life on earth is not for my personal gratification but for God’s purpose to be fulfilled. 

        Staffordshire Ironman 70.3

Since the accident, my life has felt very bleak and dark at times with the overwhelming sense of bereavement over my lost career and meaningful purpose to my life. I am human after all! However, God is constantly showing me His hand in my situation. He is teaching me that He is present and living with me through this “storm”.  He is faithful and will carry me through.

 The story of Job and how God allowed the devil to test his faith by taking everything from him, and the story of Joseph where God allowed him to seemingly be forgotten in prison have been a huge source of encouragement to me. God blessed Job a hundredfold and Joseph was promoted to Pharaoh’s most senior official who would save Egypt from an extreme famine.  I’ve found these stories to be both inspirational and humbling. 

The UCB Word For Today booklets have been a source of great spiritual encouragement to me for many years but even more so now. In particular, God spoke to me in an extraordinary way through the reading in the Word For Today on that eventful 30th day in November 2018 entitled “What This Test is About” which quoted the verse from 1 Peter 1:7 which says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine.”  The notes went on to explain, “When the Bible speaks of ‘a refiner’s fire’ we’re inclined to think of the negative things God wants to remove from our character.  However, we also have inner strengths and gifts that need to be refined but we’re not aware of them because a demand hasn’t yet been placed on them.”  The notes finished by stating, “God may be permitting the enemy to test you in order to reveal: 1) how much He cares for you; 2) how you’ll act when your back is against the wall; 3) who you’ll believe when God says, ‘I will bring you out with a mighty hand…’ 

Throughout this ordeal, where my career has been wiped away with little hope of regaining the dexterity required for playing the piano to the same standard as previously, it is difficult to see a way forward.  God has remained close by and encouraged me through another daily reading from the Word for Today entitled “Sold Out to God” which highlighted Philippians 3:8-9 which says “All the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life….so that I could embrace Christ.” It then looked at Abraham’s altar. God didn’t want the slain body of Isaac, He wanted to know if there was anything Abraham loved more than Him!

It is still early days in my recovery and the ongoing treatment I’m receiving from the wonderful NHS staff continues to be a huge blessing in this healing process. 

I’ll end by quoting three comforting verses that have helped to sustain me:  Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.  Philippians 4:19  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” and 2 Corinthians 12:9  “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you because my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’”

Whitehaven for start of the Coast 2 Coast cycle 2015

Even though I have now lost my identity as a concert pianist, I realise that, most importantly, I am a child of God and as Timothy declared, “That is why I am suffering as I am. I know in Whom I believe and that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day”. [2 Timothy 1:12]  For this reason I am truly blessed! 

 

 

 

PS. Corinne’s recording of beautiful music for the piano from the CD called “Silver Moonbeams” is available on all digital music platforms: Apple, Amazon, Google Play, Geezer, Spotify etc. Contact Corinne vis the “Contact” page on this website if you would like to order a hard copy of the CD. Price: £10 each. P&P free to UK addresses.  Enquire for postage charges to the rest of the world  

 

 

 

Corinne Marsh

 

Bordeaux and Rouen in August

The Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux

Corinne has just returned from a short cruise to Bordeaux on Fred Olsen’s lovely cruise ship, the MS Braemar. They set sail for Southampton on Thursday 23rd August, stopping at Lorient, Bordeaux on the Garonne and then sailing down the Seine to the picturesque city of Rouen.

The Cathedral Monument to Jeanne d’Arc

The recitals onboard were well received by enthusiastic and appreciative audiences who enjoyed the mixture of styles and instruments.

Corinne is now looking forward to cruising to Quebec on the MS Black Watch. They sail from Liverpool to Killybegs, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia before heading down to Quebec where she will then fly back to the UK.

The Braemar in the port of Bordeaux

BBC Introducing Music Artist

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b7mydv

Corinne’s recording of Carl Bohm’s Glissando Salon Mazurka Opus 259 No.2 was broadcast on the BBC’s In Tune programme with Katie Derham on Friday 29th June 2018. She was very excited to have been given the opportunity to feature as a BBC Introducing Music Artist. The recording is available on the BBC website for the next four weeks on the following link: (The exact feature time is 1:40:43)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b7mydv

Ebony, Ivory and a Touch of Brass Concert

On Saturday 9th June 2018 at 7:30pm in St Mary’s  Church, Dunstall, Staffordshire, Corinne will be joined by brass players, The Foremark Fanfares, for a variety concert as part of the annual Flower Festival. This promises to be a fun evening where the audience will be surrounded by beautiful floral displays. Tickets are available on the door. Do come if you can! Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

 http://www.concert-diary.com/mobile#concert?id=1217331215

Forthcoming Cruises with Fred Olsen

Good news! During 2018 concert pianist and multi-instrumental recitalist Corinne Marsh is looking forward to three further colourful recitals as a guest artiste onboard cruises with Fred Olsen. The first cruise, M1821, leaves from Southampton on 23rd August abroad the beautiful Braemar and heads to France and the wine region of sunny Bordeaux. Initially they’ll sail to Lorient before heading down the Gironde and Garonne Rivers before heading to Bordeaux. On the return journey they head up the Seine for Rouen. Corinne is looking forward to revisiting this popular destination from the 2017 French River cruise. They return to Southampton on 6th October.

Then, on September 22nd Corinne will join the Black Watch at Liverpool for cruise W1821 which will set sail for Quebec. The ports include Killybegs in Ireland, St John’s in Newfoundland, and then several ports in Canada: Halifax, Charlottetown, Baie Comeau, Saguenay and Quebec where Corinne will then fly back to the UK on Saturday 6th October. The Black Watch will continue on to Montreal.

A Caribbean Christmas New Year Cruise then awaits in December. This is a fly cruise and Corinne will meet the ship in Bridgetown, Barbados. It will be a treat not to have to cruise across the Atlantic, especially in winter! This cruise, M1831, is back on the Braemar where Corinne will be adding some popular Christmas favourites to her eclectic recital programmes on piano, oboe, cor anglais and two saxophones. All being well, the airline company will oblige when it comes to the excessive luggage! The islands included in this tour are St Lucia, Grenada, Willemstad, Curaçao I. Netherlands Antilles, St Kitts, The Virgin Islands, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, Philipsburg, St Maarten in Netherlands Antilles before heading back to Bridgetown in Barbados. They return to the UK on January 3rd 2019.

Corinne hopes to meet up with many old cruising friends and to making new ones onboard!

Silver Moonbeams CD Released

Good news! Corinne’s recently released CD of beautiful piano music recordings, Silver Moonbeams, is now available and they’re flying off the shelves. It makes an ideal Christmas gift for music lovers too. Copies can be ordered from classicalfanatical@me.com at £10 each plus £1.50 P&P (UK only. Other countries tbc)


Feedback….

The playing sounds full of character and rhythm and style – brava!  – Piers Lane

Truly, I’m loving every track: all with such clarity of touch and cleaness of tone. You’ve done brilliantly. Bravo!
It’s as hard to record a piano successfully as it is to play it – so firstly well done in selecting such an attractive range of music – so many favourites, all beautifully executed. But also bravo to your sound engineer and the Old Granary people….. it’s a true skill placing microphones in just perfect positions and balancing them so well: so as to create that lovely tone of yours that I have been enjoying so. Not too closely recorded (dry) nor too distantly either (wet). Perfect, undistorted tone. You must be very pleased and thankful – as we are, hearing this terrific recording of your piano playing. All captured here most successfully. –  Dr Nöel Tredinnick (Conductor)

Silver Moonbeams CD Release Date 24th November 2017

 

Here’s a short preview of some of the recordings on Corinne’s latest album “Silver Moonbeams” which includes beautiful parlour music and song transcriptions.

The CD’s will be available to order at £10 each plus £1.50 P&P (international postage rates will be confirmed per order) directly from classicalfanatical@me.com or from the “Contact” page on this website. Please send an email stating the address to which you would like your order posted. Payment instructions will be sent via email and once payment has been received, the discs will be posted.

Digital tracks will also be available from 24th November 2017 for immediate download from iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Emusica, Spotify, Medianet, Groove, 24-7  and many others. Happy listening!

 

“Silver Moonbeams” CD Release

Corinne is very excited to announce that her recently recorded CD, “Silver Moonbeams” will be released towards the end of November.

The album includes beautiful Parlour music written for the piano which she has recently uncovered whilst researching into this largely forgotten genre. The music includes Eolian Whispers by Charles Auchester, Variations on Beautiful Dreamer by Adolph Baumbach, The Robin’s Return and the Robin’s Departure by Leander Fischer, Silver Moonbeams by William Bibby and Joyful Bells by Charles Kinkel, as well as scores by Albert Ketèlbey and Scott Joplin. Also included are some heartwarming song transcriptions by Eric Coates and Amy Woodforde-Findern.

This disc presents great value for money as it contains over an hour of easy listening music. Tracks will be also be available online as individual downloads as well as in compact disc format. Details of where copies can be purchased will be announced soon.

Watch this space!