Yes despite being well into 2020, I've finally gotten round to writing about what's going on! That's because I went hard at the Musical Theatre game for a few months, which was amazing, and challenging, and rewarding. From October-December I was the Orchestrator and Musical Director of Kiss Of The Spider Woman for MTC, which is not a show about the female Spider Man. It's a musical by Kander and Ebb and my job was to drastically reimagine the songs in the show for a 5-piece band and 11-piece cast. The orchestration also included pre-recorded tracks, which I recorded at my studio at home, and it was really fun integrating that with the band and sound design. The small band and cast allowed for a lot of creative thinking, and the process was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, thanks to such a wonderful cast and creative team.
After Spider Woman closed, I leapt pretty much straight away into a really great theatre course for 16-21 year olds called "Starbound". It's basically a showcase of all the big ensemble numbers from recent musical theatre shows, which is rehearsed for 2 weeks, with some of the industry's finest directing and choreographing. I had the pleasure of Musically Directing the showcase with a super hot 8-piece band. You can see some of it on YouTube.
Then there was the unique experience of Amazing Grace; New York New York presented by Manilla Street Productions. This was a revue style concert, featuring an enormous troupe of calisthenics performers set to classic musical theatre songs. It boasted a very talented vocal ensemble, and an 11-piece band which I had the pleasure of Musically Directing.
The highlight of my February was performing with The Jack Earle Big Band in Ardrie Park as part of Stonnington Council's "The Classics" concert series. It featured Rhonda Burchmore, Elisa Colla, Annie Aitken, Nigel Huckle, and Ainsley Melham. We all worked super hard getting some of the best Gershwin, Porter, & Berlin repertoire sounding super hot, and then the threat of the rain and thunderstorms reared their hideously ugly heads; It was uncertain as to whether the gig would go ahead. Luckily, the rain held off (sort of), and despite very freezing cold winds, the concert was a success, the band were sizzling, and I just had the best time.
Currently, I'm orchestrating Do You Hear The People Sing, which is about to go on tour around the country, and when I'm not doing that, I'm getting my chops up ready for a gig at Paris Cat Jazz Club with The Jack Earle Trio. This is a gig I'm really looking forward to because I've written some brand new tunes for it, and haven't had the pleasure of workshopping brand new jazz compositions for quite a few months. I would really appreciate a few friendly faces in the audience to hear what we've been working on. Book Tickets HERE! That's all for now I think. Here's a stupid photo of my trio: