Rock The Choir

Last weekend I had the pleasure of playing for some of the Sussex area rock choirs‘ summer party.  I  had so much fun playing for them and they were the most (and best!) backing vocalists I’ve ever had!  As well as performing live for the folks, I also ran a karaoke session and a number of the ladies didn’t dissapoint  – they were all brilliant singers, of course!  I was then treated to a performance by all the representatives of the five choirs present and I was completely blown away by the songs they sung. It reminded me how much fun it is to sing as part of a big group with multi part harmonies and counter melodies; it was excellent. Myself and a talented keyboardist called Jamie then finished off the night with a bit of rock ‘n roll which had everyone up and dancing.  Thanks to the leader of the choir, Sarah, who you can see on stage in the picture, for inviting me to play– hopefully we can do it again soon.

 

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Wedding music in sunny California

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The happy couple, Simon and Brittany.

One of the best things about being a wedding musician is getting to travel around for work and see lots of new places– especially if it’s somewhere hot and sunny! This month I was lucky enough to be invited to play at a wedding in California’s capital city, Sacramento. It was for a lovely couple called Simon and Brittany who were getting married at a local yacht club and wanted me to play live music for both their pre-wedding cocktail party and the big day itself.
My sets included my usual fare such as Billy Joel, Elton John and Oasis on both the keyboard and guitar. I also threw in some local crowd pleasers, like Hotel California— which, as you can imagine, went down very well considering the location!  For the wedding ceremony itself, the couple wanted a song by Emeli Sandé called This is Where I Sleep which I learnt especially for the occasion.  
I was able to play outside which is something I quite often do at weddings here in the UK, when the weather is good enough.
It was a brilliant couple of days and I even had a few of the guests asking whether I’d be available to play over in the States again later in the year, which would be great!

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Now with a professional standard qualification in Piano Performance

I’ve just received my certificate from The London College of Music after passing my DipLCM Piano Performance exam.  It was difficult and I was glad for all the hours I spent every day preparing for the exam.  I’ve added the programme below if you’d like to have a search for the pieces; I’m sure you’ll appreciate why I spent hours preparing!

Prelude and Fugue No.2, C Minor, BWV 847 . . . . . . . . . . . . J. S. Bach

Piano Sonata No.14, Op.27 No.2, 1st & 2nd Mov.  . . . . L. V. Beethoven

Nocturne No. 20, C Sharp Minor, Op. posth . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Chopin

This isn’t the end of my training though, I’ve already started working on the pieces for the next level, ALCM (Associate of The London College of Music) – 1 down , 3 to go! Thanks go especially to my teacher Mrs Perry who holds all 4 diplomas, a rare feat indeed!

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The importance of music during your wedding breakfast

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Having great music at your wedding is one of the easiest ways of ensuring all your guests have a great time. It helps to build a fun atmosphere and keeps everyone’s energy levels up during the day. Of course, as a musician I would say that 😉 But it’s true to say that whenever I start to play, it really does create a great buzz in the room that’s difficult to get from music playing from a CD. People just love live entertainment!

I recently came across an article from wedding planner Lisa Victoria Smith which agrees. In it, she shares her expert tips for making your wedding day a hit with all your guests and among the usual suspects– such as having a free bar and tasty food– she stresses how important live music is—especially during the wedding breakfast. As she puts it: ‘There’s nothing worse than a deathly silent dinner!’
She’s definitely onto something.

In the years I’ve been playing at weddings, I’ve noticed more people booking me to play during the meal in addition to the evening. A wedding DJ or band might be a little noisy when people are trying to chat to each other over the dinner table, but as a solo wedding musician I can play (and sing) songs on the piano and/or acoustic guitar which helps to build a great atmosphere without it being too intrusive. I can even play instrumental versions of pop songs, if you prefer.

As the wedding breakfast is often the time when your guests first get to meet properly, live music acts as a great conversation starter, too. 

So, by the time the evening rolls round, everyone’s more than ready for a dance! That’s when I can use my pedal to build up live backing tracks on the guitar before launching into my DJ set of all the classic party tunes which your guests of all ages will love.

If you’re looking for a wedding musician in Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and the surrounding areas for any part of your special day, please take a look at my packages or get in touch.  

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Let me introduce my band…

Recently I’ve been working on getting videos recorded and edited and I’m delighted to share the first of me playing with my band ‘Notes’.  It was recorded at a Halloween party this year and there will be more videos from the evening to follow.  We’ve performed as a wedding band on a number of occasions and love playing together whenever possible as they’re a great bunch of guys.  On drums is Ben Ward, Joel Buttery on bass and Jamie Bowden, like me, is a guitarist and pianist.  If you’re thinking of having a band for your wedding or special occasion please get in touch as we’d love to hear from you.

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See my new video ‘Brown Eyed Girl.’

My new video, an acoustic cover of Brown Eyed Girl is finally finished and here for you to see! It was filmed in a stunning part of Cornwall near Taplow back in September and features guitar, harmonies and harmonica performed and recorded by me.  Check it out above!

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