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A Bit About Me

Pete HarrisonI studied bassoon at the Royal College of Music, not really sure what life would hold in store for me, but certain that something interesting would come along.

Having worked with various groups and orchestras, I was asked to play in a West End show, “The Hunting of the Snark” by Mike Batt. This led to a run of different shows including “Crazy for You” “Martin Guerre” Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “Lautrec” (What do you mean, you’ve never heard of it?!)

My first real conducting opportunity came when Jae Alexander (Musical Director) left “Crazy for You”. Paul Maguire took over the position which meant we needed an extra conductor for the show, and I was offered the job. From there I carried on as assistant conductor in the subsequent shows which was a truly memorable experience.

Through my West End contacts I am now working with Andy Barnwell fixing bands for shows as well as conducting big concerts including several with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Raymond Gubbay Ltd.

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Latest Concerts Announced.

For all my latest projects and concerts please click on the News menu above or have a look under Future Events to the right of this page.


Last Night of the Christmas Proms 2014 with the BSO

Poole-Full-OrchestraIt’s my great pleasure to once again conduct the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in their Last Night of the Christmas Proms 2014. There will be usual mix of glittering Hollywood Classics, songs from the shows plus all the seasonal favourites including Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Sleigh Ride, The Little Drummer Boy, All I Want for Christmas is You, Let it Snow Let it Snow, Mary’s Boy Child, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, So Here it is, Merry Christmas and much, much more!

Joining the orchestra this year will be two fabulous singers, Louise Dearman (Wicked & Guys and Dolls) and Lance Ellington (Strictly Come Dancing) (Thursday only) and Iain Mackenzie (Saturday and Monday)

Performances will be;
Thursday 18th December – Guildhall, Portsmouth 7.30pm
Saturday 20th December – Lighthouse, Poole 7.30pm
Monday 22nd December – The Great Hall, Exeter 7.30pm

Look what happened in our rehearsal the other day…..

Heroes & Superheroes 2 with the BSO 2015

Heroes and SuperheroesAfter the tremendous successes of the 2014 Heroes & Superheroes concerts, I’ll be back with the BSO presenting more of the best film and classical scores portraying our favourite Heroes & Superheroes, including music by Wagner, Maurice Jarre, Hans Zimmer, John Barry, Jerry Goldsmith and, of course, the master of the film-score, John Williams.

Films represented include Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, Schindler’s List, The Last Samurai, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars and a reprise of the best superhero of them all – Superman. As well as heroes, this year there may also be a few villains lurking about too!

Performances will be;
Thursday 19th February 2015 – The Great Hall, Exeter. 7.30pm
Friday 20th February – Guildhall, Portsmouth. 7.30pm
Saturday 21st February – Lighthouse, Poole. 7.30pm
Friday 27th February – Colston Hall, Bristol. 7.30pm

Recent Past Events

Friday Night is Christmas Night at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

FNICN RWCMDI was invited to conduct a festive Friday Night Concert with the Royal Welsh College Concert Orchestra and Royal Welsh College Chamber Choir on Friday 12th December 2014 in their lovely new Dora Stoutzker Hall at the Cardiff based Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

An amazing hard working bunch of very motivated students who were a joy to work with. I’m sure I’ll be seeing quite a few of these guys in the future.

Concert Hall

WARCRY with Wells Cathedral School Symphony Orchestra.

Wells Warcry ConcertOn Friday 17th October I co-conducted a concert with the Wells Cathedral School Symphony Orchestra on the theme of war throughout the ages. The concert is part of their Prestige Series and reflects on wars throughout time using the spoken word and music. The readings were by various staff and students of the school.

The programme included;

Mars, The Bringer of War (The Planets) – Holst
Trojan’s Overture – Berlioz
Charge and Battle, Agincourt Song (Henry 5th Suite) – Walton
1812 – Tchaikovsky
Albinoni’s Adagio for Organ and Strings – Giazotto
Schindler’s List – John Williams
Hymn to the Fallen (Saving Private Ryan) – John Williams
Ride of the Valkyries – Wagner


Spectacular Classics 2014 with the Manchester Concert Orchestra

On the 12th April 2014 I conducted aSpectacular Classics Spectacular Classics Concert with the Manchester Concert Orchestra in Bridgewater Hall. It was a great evening with the orchestra playing beautifully, spectacular lasers and fireworks (the wall of flame gave me a sun tan at the end of the 1812 Overture!) and Stephanie Corley and Paul Charles Clarke on top form. A very energetic and full house rounded off a lovely evening for all.

This was my first concert conducting in the Bridgewater Hall and a very enjoyable experience it was too. I very much look forward to my next one – watch this space!


 Manchester Concert Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall


 Paul, Stephanie and Pete.

Adam Saunders’ latest album “Hollywood Blockbusters 2″

Having featured some of Adam’s music in both my Christmas and Heroes & Superheroes concerts, I was delighted to have been asked to help with his latest album of library music called Hollywood Blockbusters 2. This is a short video filmed by Focus Music to promote the album;

There will be a longer video and pictures once the album’s released.

Heroes & Superheroes with the BSO 2014

Heroes-Concert-in-BasingstokeThe BSO in Basingstoke

Think of all the music, both classical and from the world of film that has been inspired by some of the great heroes of all time, both real and fictional. Put them all together and you have one amazing concert!

One minute we’re in Sherwood Forest, then on board Apollo 13, riding with the Magnificent 7, visiting the world of Batman, following Siegfried’s funeral procession, Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan and battling with pirates – and that was just the first half! Hedwig took us to Spain to see El Cid, on to William Wallace in Scotland and on to Mordor. The Lone Ranger rode us to Save Private Ryan while Dr Who and The Incredibles introduced us to Superman, all wrapped up by 007!

An incredibly successful series of concerts that were very well attended and great fun to do. Heroes & Superheroes 2 next year….?

Last Night of the BSO Christmas Proms 2013

PeteWe had simply the largest and the most enthusiastic audiences for our Christmas concerts this year. Friday 20th December 2013 saw us at the Guildhall in Portsmouth and Saturday 21st at the home of the BSO in The Lighthouse Arts Centre in Poole.

The audiences were treated to a mix of light music and songs from the shows in the first half going into all the Christmas favourites in the second half.

I was once again joined by two of my favourite singers, Annie Skates and James Spilling who were on top form keeping everyone smiling throughout.

Poole-Full-OrchestraThe BSO in Poole

The programme included Pure Imagination from Willa Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Stars from Les Miserables, a fantastic Lionel Bart Celebration by Roy Moore, A Little Priest from Sweeney Todd (I do like to include a bit of Sondheim in my concerts!) music from The Nightmare before Christmas as well as a simply wonderful ‘overture’ by British composer Adam Saunders called The Magical Kingdom which for me was the find of the whole concert. You will certainly be hearing more of his music in my next concerts…..

Annie and JamesAnnie and James
Portsmouth-Full-OrchestraThe BSO in Portsmouth

Symphonic Disco Spectacular

Symphonic Disco SpectacularWhat an evening on Saturday 3rd August 2013 at the BIC in Bournemouth as we performed our Symphonic Disco Spectacular with the audience dancing in the aisles from the first to the last number. Any excuse for us all to dress up and relive those Disco days! (yes, that is me wearing the very latest in blonde afro wigs with my white sequinned suit…. The things we do for our art!

I was joined by the fantastic Annie Skates, Shèna Winchester, Lance Ellington and Andrew Playfoot as well as our very own Disco Band made up of London’s top West End and session players who joined the full forces of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Crammed full of disco tracks by the BeeGees, Earth Wind and Fire, Boney M, Donna Summer and Kool and the Gang as well as the hit songs I Will Survive, Don’t Take Away the Music and Disco Inferno.


Last Night of the Summer Proms

LNSPA fabulous night in Birmingham’s splendid Symphony Hall on Saturday 13th July where we celebrated everything summer and British. The hall was full and the audience certainly joined in with the spirit of the concert with top singing and plenty of Union Flag waving.

A great pleasure to work with Paul Charles Clark, Richard Morrison and Richard & Adam Johnson who all sang beautifully!




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