Breathe In Breathe Out Performers Profile Series: Keziah Thomas

Keziah made her solo debut at the Royal Albert Hall whilst still at school. Since studying at the Royal College of Music she has built a busy career performing around the world and won many prizes, including the 2008 Camac Harp Competition and the 2011 Contemporary Records Society Competition. Keziah has performed in a huge range of venues, from going solo at New York’s Carnegie Hall to a party for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. We interviewed her for our performers profile series.

What was your favourite moment while playing at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust?

I have had numerous wonderful conversations with staff and patients but some of the most memorable moments happen without any conversation. One morning, as I left an area, a napkin was shoved into my hand. When I pulled it out of my pocket later that day, it was a note: “Thank you for calming a stressed, epileptic lady down with your beautiful music.”

What effects have you noticed when you bring you music into the healthcare setting?

When I arrive in an area, it is always busy, often noisy and people can look worried or sometimes annoyed if the clinic is running late. When I finish my performance, the noise level has dropped, there are smiles and comments, patients talk to each other. The atmosphere improves significantly both for staff and patients, it’s incredible that this can happen with live music in the area…so simple but so powerful.

What got you into music and performing?

I fell in love with the sound of the harp as a young child and begged my parents for  lessons. As soon as I started playing I knew it was what I wanted to do professionally. The ability to create and share music with other musicians and audience members is what I enjoy most about my job, discovering new music and finding ways to recreate it.

What other aspects beyond public performance do you explore with your harp practice?

As well as performing, I run harp courses, retreats and workshops. I enjoy bringing like minded people together to share music and I have also just started a class for adult beginners called Little Harp Social.

If you had a magic wand, where would whisk yourself away to?

I have a young child so a couple of nights away with my husband in a luxury spa, please!