George Tavern, Commercial Road
3 November 2016, 9pm
My time with my old favourite “vintage spy pop” band is sadly coming to a close. Due to their sizing down, next week will be their last gig with a horn section. But even though it is a Goodbye Gig, it’s doubling as an announcement of their new beginning, with two new singles Jungle and Fooling (Jungle including horns specially, just this once).
George Tavern, Commercial Road
3 November 2016, 9pm
Tune in to In Tune on BBC Radio 3 to hear me playing live with Alex Mendham and his Orchestra. Mendham's 11-piece orchestra authentically performs hot jazz and sweet dance band music from the Art Deco era, holding a steady position as the top such orchestra in the country.
The orchestra will be broadcasted live from the Royal Festival Hall to mark Radio 3's 70th anniversary. Listen from 5pm on Thursday 29 September 2016.
My degree is over. My final recital, a month ago today, really was the highlight of my four years at the Guildhall School, as it was everything I had planned it to be – a showcase of who I am as a musician. It had some natural trumpet, in Bach's second Brandenburg Concerto (without a doubt the best piece of baroque trumpet music in existence); I got to play the flugelhorn and exercise my choral roots in a rendition of Gammal Fäbodpsalm från Dalarna for flugelhorn and choir (though I did give up on the arranging side of things and persuaded a dear friend to do that bit for me); and I managed to fit a substantial bit of musical theatre in too – 76 songs in total – with my new invention of the musical theatre trumpet concerto!
Eternal thanks to my composer, Sam, my arranger, Charlie, the 30 musicians who played in the recital (it was meant to be 28, but following a very-last-minute illness, I had to replace a reed tripler with three separate musicians – I prefer a round number anyway), and of course, everyone who came to watch! The rest of you, check out the video which is now up on YouTube for your unlimited enjoyment.
The summer of 2016 is just how I like it – musicals, musicals, musicals! Or, at least, musical musical. Think of it as a double bill, except with a complete change of cast, production company and all but one of the band. Ok, so I'm playing for two shows back to back in the same theatre this summer, that's the gist. They are two very exciting shows, however, and for different reasons.
The first, for four weeks only, is the transfer of the critically acclaimed Through The Mill, which began its happy life at the London Theatre Workshop last Christmas. It depicts the life story of my all-time favourite singer, Judy Garland, this time around with a new script, reimagined production and, most importantly, a bigger band.
The second, running throughout August and into September, is a real groundbreaker. Ever heard of Rogers and Hammerstein? Ever seen their show Allegro (Sondheim's favourite)? Probably not, because it has never been performed in Europe...until now! The historic production is headed by a cast of 16, plus 8-piece band. See it.
Through The Mill
6 - 30 July 2016
Tickets: £20, £16, £12
Allegro (European Premiere)
5 August - 10 September 2016
Tickets: £25, £20, £14
Jerry Springer The Opera is one of the most groundbreaking and talked about musicals in the world of modern musical theatre. Turning heads since 2001, the show's latest production this month at Stockwell's LOST Theatre promises to do no different.
Music for the theatre is delightfully erratic to play. Genres rarely stick around for more than one song at a time, but Jerry Springer really takes the biscuit on this one. Three bars of classical nonchalance, a line of big band followed quickly by some soft shoe; a taste of baroque style piccolo trumpet, then straight into a heavy metal number – the brain frazzles but that's what makes for a brilliant score to play. That musical capriciousness is why shows are the best of all trumpet jobs.
16 – 19 March 2016
7:30pm (with 2pm matinee on 19th)
Tickets: £18, £15
Christmas is the busiest time of year for any musician, especially a brass player. Pantomimes and Christmas shows are in abundance, creating an enticing environment for those light music players, a group of which Tom most certainly is; brass quintets and other such ensembles are overwhelmed with parties and ceremonies. Christmas is a time at which Tom's second love, historical performance, thrives more than ever. Messiahs and Christmas Oratorios are a very regular occurrence in these months – some of the greatest natural trumpet repertoire.
There is a special pick-of-the-year for Tom on 23rd December, however. An unprecedented reworking of Handel's much-loved Messiah is the baby of Solistes de Musique Ancient this Christmas, going by the name of 'Brassiah'. This is G. F. Handel's famous classic with the standard string orchestra completely replaced with a brass quintet. Those of you who are familiar with the timbrical depth available from such an ensemble (displayed in, for instance, Canadian Brass' extraordinary performance of Beethoven 5) can imagine the success of this project. The ensemble will be accompanying eight stunning singers alongside organ, the music interspersed throughout the evening with readings, drama and poetry.
The Brassiah Project
23 December, 6pm
All Saints' Church, Putney Common
Tickets: £12, £0
Vocal Futures’ new production with The English Concert is a rarely performed gem in Handel’s repertoire, The Choice of Hercules. The evening will also centre around a new work by Toby Young (twice winner of the BBC Proms Young Composer of the Year), specially commissioned for this production to reflect on Handel’s legacy. With a selection of rousing choruses and a sumptuous duet from Solomon, this promises to be an evening of decadence set amongst revellers at Hercules’ 21st birthday party. It will enthral and tantalise the senses ending with Hercules’ choice between Pleasure and Virtue!
Pleasure Sophie Junker
Virtue Rachel Kelly
Hercules Christopher Lowry
Attendant on Pleasure Nick Pritchard
14 - 15 October, 7pm
Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS
Tickets: £5 (students), £15, £25, £35
Following the success of last year‘s inaugural Playing Our Part event, stars of the West End return to Cadogan Hall for an evening of musical theatre and comedy, for which Tom is delighted to be playing in the orchestra for. The concert will be conducted by Alex Parker and will feature a line-up of leading West End vocalists including Simon Bailey, Gina Beck, Louise Dearman, Killian Donnelly, Wendy Ferguson, Chloe Hart, Chris Howell, Adam Linstead, Laura Jane Matthewson, Jamie Muscato, Nadim Naaman, Steph Parry, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Jeremy Secomb and Laura Tebbutt. Below, you can watch some of the cast interviewed about the concert and some clips from the rehearsal.
Playing Our Part
Sunday 1 March, 6pm
Tickets: £50, £40, £30, £20
This year has brought new musical experiences aplenty, the last of which is the Harlow pantomime. Running from December 12th until January 4th (for a total of 48 shows) it truly is a laugh a minute, accompanied by an sensational score and 4-piece band made up of drums/percussion, piano/keyboard, trumpet/flugel and saxophone/flute/clarinet. Pantomime is a magical experience, being such a unique genre of theatre and entertainment, and an entirely new exploit for Tom. The schedule is taxing – over 4 weeks including rehearsals, with 14 shows per week, 6 shows every weekend and just 3 days off – but the rewards aplenty.
As of 17 August 2013, football lovers nation-wide can download The Sun's new football app 'Sun+ Goals' and watch video clips of the best moments of every Barclays Premier League match. It also includes half-time and full-time round ups, and notifications for every goal and red card. So what does this have to do with trumpet playing? Well, a rousing symphonic theme tune and some little fanfares is what it's doing here, featuring a stirring trumpet section of Paul Beniston, Paul Archibald and Tom Harrison. The music was recorded in the acclaimed Angel Studios in London, under direction of composer Tony Britten – best known for writing the UEFA Champions League theme tune. This recording session was a great moment for Tom, as it marked an important step in his dream career. A humbling experience also, playing alongside players of enormous calibre such as Paul and Paul, Eric Crees and Richard Watkins, in one of the greatest recording studios in the world.