Singing & Theatre Arts Teacher, Musical Director, Piano Accompanist & Composer
I have been working as a musical director since 2010 and spent two years initially working with local amateur dramatic groups before moving to London where I had the opportunity to work with amateurs, students and professionals. I always aim to provide a professional, engaging and positive experience where I am approachable and flexible to the abilities of who I am working with, whether they are performers or musicians.
I have had the joy of working with some amazing professional musicians; some of who have worked with me for years and come from places such as the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Trinity and Guildhall
My main strength as musical director is my knowledge of the voice and my experience as a singing teacher working within musical theatre. I’m a supporter of the Estill model and attend regular courses led by Anne Marie Speed but I also call upon other techniques I’ve learnt from other teachers and researchers. As well as Anne Marie Speed I follow advice from Ross Campbell, Mary Hammond and Mary King who teach on the musical theatre course at the Royal Academy of Music.
My training includes my music and dance degree and a PGCE as well as private voice and piano tution and various workshops on voice and singing teaching, musical theatre and conducting. I have had opportunities to sit in pits with other professional musical directors both on and off the West End.
- Piano accompaniment for rehearsals & performances
- Excellent sight reader
- Audition Accompaniment
- Vocal Warm ups and Workshops
- Instrumental and Choral Conducting
- Keys player with Digital Stage Piano and Mainstage
- Backing Tracks & Rehearsal Tracks
- Transpositions & Arrangements
- Piano Tuning/Technician Training
For a full list/CV please click the Previous Experience tab above or click here
Musicals I have previously worked on as MD:
- A Slice of Saturday Night
- Side By Side By Sondheim
- The UK Premier of Boublil & Schonberg's The Pirate Queen
- Soho Cinders (Dep Musical Director)
Non Musicals include:
- Let's Do It: A Tribute to Victoria Wood
- A Streetcar Named Desire - Play
- Tom's Midnight Garden (and composer) - Play
- CinderElla - Play
- Animal Farm - Play
- Afterglow - Play
- A Night At The Movies - Showcase
- Westend To Broadway - Showcase
- Words Come To Life - Showcase
- Encore - Cabaret
- Aladdin - Panto
- Cinderella - Panto
- Dick Whittington - Panto
- Robin Hood - Panto
Keys and Accompanist Credits include:
- The Vera Lynn Story UK Tour
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
- Beauty & The Beast
- The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
Companies & Instituions I have worked for:
- Italia Conti Arts Centre
- The Urdang Academy
- Richmond Theatre
- Theatre Royal Winchester
- Practically Perfect Productions
- Yellow Rose Productions
- Ropewalk Theatre Company
- Production Bugs
London Amateur Theatre Companies I have worked for:
- Youth Action Theatre
- BROS Theatre Company
- Cygnet Players
- Putney Light Operatic Society
- Teddington Theatre Club
- Zodiac Musical Theatre Society
- Hounslow Light Operatic Society
- Kingston Vale Theatre Group
Other experience includes working with musical theatre and acting students with developing technique and interpreting material. I offer support working towards auditions for drama schools and other vocational courses and assisting professional performers prepare new material for their auditions. Past pupils have gone on to study at Arts Ed, ALRA, Chichester, Italia Conti, The Brit School and the Urdang Academy. Others have appeared in West End shows such as The Lion King, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
As a musical director I have a range of experience working with both amateur, professional and youth theatre companies; mostly for musicals but I have also worked on cabarets and plays with music; sometimes as a composer or arranger. My skills as a MD include being able to accompany rehearsals, sight read, lead vocal warm ups and workshops, playing keys in orchestra pits, conducting ensembles, creating arrangements and composing award winning music. My experience as a singing teacher obviously coincides with my role as a musical director and as someone who has been a performer I can understand a performer’s perspective and know how to adapt my approach in order to facilitate what needs to be achieved. I am currently the resident Musical Director at Theatre Box, Epsom.
For any queries please email
or call: 07531926132
Tom Richards 28th November 2017
James has been a fantastic pleasure to work with, teaching me an understanding of music that I did not have before, and his teachings have been extremely useful to me in the projects I have worked since. His patience, enthusiasm and skill greatly benefitted the rehearsal process for Big:the Musical and helped to make the experience that much better.
Ollie Haines 1st November 2017
James is always a pleasure to work with; thoroughly prepared, positive, reliable and all-round professional musician. You must do any production he is involved with!"
Jez Francis 29th October 2017
James employed me this week as a keyboard player for a production of Sister Act. He is a fantastic musical director, and a great guy to get along with. If you have the chance to work with him, I would thoroughly recommend you do, as you will have a very enjoyable time.
Sally Bourne 11th January 2017
James has just worked with us on PLOS production of Robin Hood and was a pleasure to work with, really engaging with the production and cast. WE all loved him, and would work with him again in a heartbeat, and the quality of the arrangements and singing was remarked on by our audience.
Elaine Hallam 27th June 2016
James is the hardest working pianist, composer, MD. He has a bank of skills most would envy and working with him is a pleasure every time.
Nick Handel 22nd October 2015
I have just had the pleasure of playing in James`s orchestra (12 piece) for the UK premiere of Boublil and Schonberg`s "The Pirate Queen". It was a very happy and rewarding experience. He is an extremely gifted musician and natural musical director whose artistic and communication skills are matched by the ability to encourage and motivate. James is a man to watch. A consummate musician/MD who understands the importance of communication and motivation. These are vital qualities in musical theatre. "Pirate Queen" is the third show I have played for him and his preparation was (and always is) examplary, he gives clear directions to orchestra and his ability to teach a difficult score to a (less experienced) cast and inspire it to extraordinary heights of performance is a joy to see. He always `goes the extra mile` and I`m looking forward to joining forces with him on his `next`. Always a pleasure, James - keep up the good work. Highly recommended.
Maggie Tolmie (Mezzo Soprano) 18th October 2015
Working with James has been an absolute joy. He is positive, energetic, professional and wise well beyond his years. I have learned much , loved every minute of it and I look forward to collaborating with him in the future. I cannot recommend him highly enough. This is one extremely talented musician who is going places and I am grateful to count him as a friend and colleague.
Maggie Tolmie, mezzo soprano.
Matthew Ives 24th December 2014
I'm a third year student studying at The Urdang Academy in London. James came in during our first rehearsal week as a Dep. Musical Director for Soho Cinders. It was great as aspiring young professionals to be treated as one. He was extrememly helpful, approachable and easy to work with. He was quick and efficient in teaching the whole show's music in just a couple of days! However, he also took the time to go over difficult harmony parts. All in all working with James was a great experience I hope to work with him again as a professional in the future!
Judy Hall - 3rd November 2014
James was our MD for Honk, with Zodiac. He was very cheerful & helpful, - the harmony line CDs were ideal. Hopefully we will see him again at some point.l
Linda Hayes 21st October 2014
I have just finised working with James as MD on a production of Honk! for Zodiac Musical Society. It was an absolute joy! James put us through our paces and strived to get the best out of us at each and every rehearsal. The rehearsals were always entertaining and the end result was met with very positive feedback.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him and I hope to work with him again soon.
Jordan Clarke 24th July 2014
James was a brilliantly creative MD, extremely professional in rehearsals and performance whilst remaining easy to get on with. He kept the job enjoyable whilst making sure we acheived an awesome musical standard - a mark of great people and musical skills that I would endorse to anyone. Congrats on a great show James, I look forward to and hope I get the opportunity to work with you again
Neil de Havilland (Drummer) 24th July 2014
I worked with James Hall within a one night only production of 'Dazzle' (July 2014). James is without question a competent and pro active Musical Director. He works well with others and got the very best out of the cast. His balance of easy going / fun and professionalism was just perfect for all including the assembled musicians. Of personal particular note was his concise conducting which was very welcome. What a positive experience I had from band call to performance. Thank you James. Neil de Havilland (Drummer).
Ivan Melo 7th January 2014
James was the MD for a pantomime we did in the end of 2013. Being a reliable, professional and light hearted person to work with, the time we had on the show was extremely positive and successful. I look forward to look with him again.
Will Franden 9th December 2013
James Hall is a very talented young MD who is always easy to get along with and professional when approaching any gig. His organisation in our last performance made my job as a musician streamlined. Also, his musicial vision covered a wide range of genres and was culpable of producing some very expressionate pieces
John Curran - Drummer, Composer, Tutor 8th December 2013
James is a very talented pianist and an excellent MD. He is easy to work with and pleasant individual. He is concise and articulate in his approach towards music and always has the best interest of the project at heart
John Curran - Drummer,Composer,Tutor
David Hannigan 28th November 2013
Working with James on "A Slice of Saturday Night" was like a breath of fresh air.....he is always encouraging whilst at the same time full of constructive comments on how to improve technique & performance.....he kis truly professional & knows how to get the best out of everybody!