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Last Night of the BSO Christmas Proms 2013Pete

We 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 SpectacularSymphonic Disco Spectacular

What 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.

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Last Night of the Summer PromsLNSP

A 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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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.

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