Andrew Linham

News and Gigs

August 2020

It turned out to be a surprisingly busy August this year as despite the ongoing global pandemic there has still been so much music to make, although socially distanced.

This summer I was tasked with the orchestration of my new musical 'Never-Never' which would have been performed at Queens' Theatre Hornchurch back in July if the pandemic hadn't struck. Instead this summer became a glorious exploration of the music from the 1950's and 1960's to make the score of our show as stylistically accurate as possible. Under normal circumstances there wouldn't have been time to work through the show and score in this level of detail so the music feels so much stronger and era specific as a result. The driving force behind this project was the deadline of having booked the band on the last Friday of August to play through the show - it's amazing how much better I work when there is a deadline involved!

It was such a joy to get these musicians together to work through the show and to suddenly hear the music in real life instead of through a computer. You can see from the picture below that it was a COVID-19 secure rehearsal with temperature checks, social distancing and marking out each musicians' space on the floor. To think that normally we would be crammed together in a pit under the stage and now we need the space of a whole primary school hall to be effectively socially distanced!


A big thank you to Ardleigh Green Learning Federation who gave us the space to have the rehearsal, I am so lucky to be musician in residence in such a supportive school! They've also been allowing me to have small group jazz sessions after hours which has been so rewarding too!

My work with the Queens' Theatre Hornchurch Singalongs finished yesterday after an astonishingly long 20 week run of going live on Facebook at 11am every Thursday to bring us all together with a musical theatre song. We covered a different musical every week with a few featured weeks of Disney songs and Music Hall and it was such fun. Singing is so good for us and it is important that even though in the main it is an illegal activity (I still can't quite get my head around that) that we keep lifting our voices and our spirits even though we are apart. The videos have been watched by thousands of people all around the world and the statistics that QTH showed me about their reach was really astonishing!

You can find all the of the Singalongs on Youtube by following
this link, but embedded below is probably my favourite singalong, which was 'Be Our Guest' from 'Beauty and the Beast', which was (I think) our most popular video.

September sees me going back into some school and outreach work in a limited capacity but the live performances, whether it is functions, weddings, shows or jazz gigs are all still postponed for the foreseeable future. The big band have had their only scheduled gig of this year moved to May 2021 so I'm hopeful that by then we will be performing again.

With Ardleigh Green Learning Federation I am expanding
LyricLand as an online resource of my songs which is very exciting and the response from the staff and students has been excellent.

This next few months will be focussed on finishing 'Never Never' in the hope that by May next year we can get into rehearsals for the production - and I'm working on the next big band album too. By the time we come back to live performance there will be so many more compositions completed I am sure!

I hope you are all well and do remember to stay safe!