Chris Rees is our Musical Director and Conductor and is busy sorting out all the technical errors Sarah has made in the score! Chris has been the resident MD at Carlton Operatic Society since 2008 working with full-scale orchestras and large casts at both the Nottingham Playhouse and for the last three years the Theatre Royal.
Chris started playing musical instruments at a very early age, graduating through tin drum and toy xylophone to recorder and then piano. As a result of the school orchestra not requiring a piano he was encouraged by his music teacher to play percussion instead, and spent many happy years holding up the second and third movements of the orchestra performances so he could retune the timpani. He took up conducting at university and had the pleasure of conducting the 110-piece Wind Orchestra, as well as playing percussion in the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and indeed any other musical group which needed someone who could bang out a tune on the glockenspiel or hit a big bass drum VERY loudly.
Always a fan of musical theatre, university also provided the opportunity to move into Musical Direction, and his first major piece was the epic through-sung Chess, with a 30-piece pit orchestra.
Since then he’s arranged South Pacific for a 9-piece band, produced several shows-in-a-weekend, played rehearsal piano for numerous groups, and even managed to squeeze in a few performances on stage, most notably playing Captain von Trapp and then Rolf in different productions of The Sound of Music separated by 10 months.
As musical director for Carlton Operatic Society, Chris has musically directed regional amateur premiers of The Producers, Sister Act and Legally Blonde, all of which have received awards. The most recent COS production, Grease, has broken all box-office records for the society.
Chris is excited to be working with Sarah again on this brand-new musical – something which is staring to become a habit, as the last time they worked together was on the premier production of the musical version of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
Outside of musical theatre, Chris works for a multi-national IT company supporting rail ticketing websites. He is married to Rachael, Choreographer for COS, and has two beautiful daughters who ensure that he has zero spare time to worry about anything else!
“It’s my first time working with a brand new piece and I am looking forward to bringing the score to life as well as working in a different kind of performance area with a smaller but highly talented cast.”
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