I started teaching singing and performance 22 years ago. My first job was as the Individual Vocals Tutor at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, where I spent a year and a half before going freelance (I've been teaching individuals from my base in Cranleigh ever since); I've also taught songwriting at Hurtwood House School (6th form independent school). I was the singing and performance tutor at Cranleigh Arts Centre from 2000 - 2006, then from 2006 - 2010 I was the singing tutor for the West Sussex Adult & Community Learning Service which involved running courses and workshops all over West Sussex. I'm choral director for the Cranleigh Community Choir, which I set up in January 2006 (I also set up and ran the Dorking Community Choir for three years from 2011 - 2014).
I actually started out as a singer/songwriter on a semi-professional basis at fifteen playing mostly folk inspired music and then trained as a teacher. As I really wanted to be a professional singer, I moved to London in my early twenties where I was lead singer in numerous rock bands, eventually having my own band playing predominantly my own compositions. In the early eighties, I started working as a session singer at the prestigious Abbey Road Studios and was then signed for a record deal.
I took a break from singing whilst my daughter was growing up, during which time I undertook a formal classical training with Findlay Wilson of English National Opera. I returned to professional singing in 1999 and now work full-time as a contemporary singer, singing teacher, vocal and performance coach and choral director.
My classical training has given me a strong basis in terms of vocal technique and being a qualified teacher combined with quite a lot of experience, I feel that I possess a sound knowledge of how to develop good vocal technique, how to overcome bad vocal habits and of course how to develop good performance technique (as demonstrated by the successful student showcase “The Big Night Out with Bells On”, which I ran for ten years, giving me the added skill of directing and producing large, complex music shows). I of course continue to produce the Cranleigh Community Choir...and friends shows which take place twice a year and also produced Eleanore & the Lost's debut album launch in 2009.
In 2011, I was chosen as one of only two music mentors nationwide by the international charity WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) to work with young people on the charity's competition "My True Nature" as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. The brief involved working with a secondary school in Lancashire to compose the music and lyrics for a song within one day; the whole event proved to be a great success.
I'm very pleased to be able to sing with both my "natural" voice as well as in a classical sounding voice. This has meant that I'm able to teacher practically any style of music, effortlessly moving from classical to rock, r’n’b, jazz, folk, soul, bluegrass, pop etc. I love singing jazz, rock, folk, opera etc.
I've sung in numerous bands, duos, vocal groups over the years as well as working with my daughter Eleanore as a function singer. In addition to this, I sing backing vocals in Eleanore's band Eleanore & the Lost, performing Eleanore's original music as well as being the Band Manager.