Singing & Theatre Arts Teacher, Musical Director, Piano Accompanist, Composer
James Hall is a diligent and creative music professional who is immersed in Musical Theatre. He specialises in musical direction and the teaching of singing and performance techniques. As a musical director he aspires to provide an excellent musical product and experience for all. His thorough approach means that he creates a relaxed yet professional atmosphere for musicians, casts and creative teams. As a teacher he challenges students to explore a range of strategies and tools to get the best out of their voice or performance. He ensures students maintain their individuality, creative musicality and performance integrity.
As a singing teacher James specialises in musical theatre, incorporating the Estill model in his teaching. As well as leading workshops and group singing classes James teaches privately offering lessons for adults and children; both professional and amateur. As well as fundamental singing technique James also focuses on characterisation, interpretation and acting techniques to enhance the performance of songs for all styles. Some pupils take singing and music theatre exams maintaining a 100% pass rate. James offers assistance with audition preparation and applications for vocational colleges and professional courses. Previous pupils have gone onto study at Arts Educational School, Mountview, Guildford School of Acting, ALRA, The Urdang Academy, Italia Conti, The Brit School, University of Chichester and others have gone on to perform professionally around the country and in West End shows.
James’ skills as a singing teacher coincide with his work as a freelance musical director. He works with professional theatre companies, amateur dramatic groups and youth theatre groups specialising in musical theatre and plays with music. James’ skills and experience as a MD include accompanying rehearsals, sight reading (especially for auditions), leading vocal warm ups and workshops, playing keys in orchestra pits, conducting ensembles, Keyboard and Mainstage programming, creating arrangements and composing award winning music. Compositions can found in the Gallery.
Currently he is a Musical Director & Singing Teacher for Laine Theatre Arts and a Musical Director for Blue Fire Theatre Company and West Frenchies International Open Mic Events.
Nicki Hutchins (Musician) 27/02/2019
James is a fine musician. This fact gives him flexibility and an eagerness to grow as a musical director. His tone with the band and company alike is relaxed yet demanding: an ideal combination. Capable and driven, James will go far I’m sure.
Jeremy Todd (Actor) 17/12/2018
Our sessions had a considerable impact on my working year - thank you for giving me the confidence to say yes to an acting job with a demanding singing element.
Jim Trimmer (Actor) 16/12/2018
James was a steady and disciplined hand on Dick Whittington. Watching him in the wings was an object lesson in how to MD a show.
Kelly-Marie Tuthill (Performer) 16/12/2018
Having worked on Hampton Hill Pantomime, Dick Whittington- 2018 with James I would highly recommend him as both an M.D. and singing teacher. He is a passionate musician who brings a positive energy to each rehearsal and show. He is always supportive, encouraging and willing to help with any questions. He is a truly inspiring person and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with James.
Sarah Tullamore (Actress) 12/06/2018
Great working with James on Pinot The Musical. He is an MD very in tune with singers' requirements and all in a relaxed, fun atmosphere - thanks very much James !
Tom Richards (Actor) 28/11/2017
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 (Musician) 01/11/2017
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 (MD & Musician) 29/10/2017
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 (Performer) 11/01/2017
James has just worked with us on PLOS porduction 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 arrnangements and singing was remarked on by our audience.
Elaine Hallam (Producer, Director, Actor, Singer) 27/06/2016
James is the hardest working pianist,composetr.,MD. He has a bank of skills most would envy,and working with him is a pleasure every time.
Liam Buckland (Performer) 27/06/2016
Having trained part-time at Italia Conti Arts Centre, Guildford, for at least 5 years now, James has only just recently started teaching us singing, and I now wish he was there right from the start of my time there! He has not only brought a positive and energetic vibe to our lessons, but his teaching skills in technique and performance are exceptional! I have only known James for a few months now, but in those few months I have learn't so many things that a singer needs to have in the industry- such as having great stage presence, believing in your character, and applying technique to the songs you sing in order to give a fantastic performance to your audience. James has managed to help me in all these areas with my singing! In addition to this, I am not a very confident singer, being criticised a lot in the past, and James has really helped me to overcome this fear of mine and has really pushed and improved me! I would highly recommend.
Hayley Kate 19/12/2015
I started lessons with James having had a six year gap from taking lessons with the aim of completng my LCM Music Theatre grade. My previous experience of lessons involved learning how to sing a song, however, what really marks James out as a teacher is his ability to help you actually deliver it as a performer focusing on characterization, movement, mood and subject-matter. His patience, friendly personality and good humour will make your lessons an enjoyable experience. I got my first distinction in a singing exam and his focus surely had an impact on my overall grade so thank you James!
Nick Handel (Musician) 22/10/2015
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) 18/10/2015
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.
Connie Allen 17/02/2015
James prepared my daughter for her Grade 8 singing exam which she successfully passed with merit. He was always reliable, very professional and well prepared for lessons and she really enjoyed working with him. We can thoroughly recommend him as a singing teacher.
Matthew Ives 24/12/2014
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 - no relation! (Actor) 03/11/2014
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 (Actor & Director) 21/10/2014
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 (MD & Musician) 24/07/2014
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) 24/07/2014
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).
Diana Meyer 21/03/2014
I should just like to thank you very much for accompanying Amanda at her recital on Tuesday. I thought it went very well and her singing came good on the night! Thank you for the help you gave her so that she was able to perform with confidence. I will give your name and details to the Clerk of the Company in case they need a pianist in the future to play or accompany someone. I will also tell anyone I know about you who may be interested in using your services in one form or another. Of course, if Amanda needs a pianist in the future, she will know where to turn!
It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope you enjoyed doing something a little different.
With kind regards, Diana
George Hankinson (Director) 23/01/2014
James Hall's was a skillful and essential element of the success of the show, not only as a confident accompanist, but also in providing the required string of continuity throughout; and successfully blending with his two fellow musicians to provide a cohesive unit that was fully (and at times amusingly) integrated into the show
Ivan Melo (Musician) 07/01/2014
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 (Musician) 09/12/2013
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) 08/12/2013
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 (Actor) 28/11/2013
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!
Malcolm Johnson (Musician) 20/11/2013
I played Bass Guitar in the band for a recent production of "A Slice of Saturday Night" with the Youth Action Theatre at Hampton Hill Playhouse. From our first rehearsal to our final performance James was utterly excellent. He was very professional, yet could crack a joke. Nothing was too much trouble and he is clearly extremely passionate about his music. The production was very time consuming as he was working both with the band and the actors/singers. To keep the level of enthusiasm up that he did was quite something. It was an absolute pleasure to have worked with James and I sincerely hope that I get the chance to do so again. I will keep an eye on his career with keen interest!
Jack James Hunting Prior (Actor) 19/11/2013
James is one of a kind Musical director (with many other talents) and is a joy to work with! He helped everyone in the gang with his musical ear on our most recent musical 'A Slice of Saturday Night' and received great reviews! Some say it was the best show YAT (Youth Action Theatre) has ever put on! & its been established since 1970! We all say thanks, congratulate and applauded James for his hard work and efforts. Cheers and thumbs up! :)
Julie Smith (Deputy Head Robin Hood Primary School) 18/10/2013
James worked with a range of classes across the school as part of Robin Hood’s well established Arts Fortnight.
The focus of the fortnight was a whole school visit to the National Gallery, London. Each class focussed on a famous painting and staff planned cross curricular links for the fortnight. James planned activities involving dance, drama, mime, performance poetry and staged combat to compliment each year group’s work. James had a wealth of ideas of his own and used ideas from the children to come up with innovative performance pieces. The children performed to a packed audience of parents and we received excellent feedback from everyone.
I have no hesitation in recommending James. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning new skills and their confidence really grew over the course of the fortnight.
Giles Baggott (Singer) 15/06/2013
I have only positive things to say about James. I asked him to help me out a week before my final exam after another accompanist dropped out and James effectively saved the day. He was professional and extremely easy to work and get along with, and is one of the best accompanists I have had the pleasure of working with. Not only is he very talented at piano, but his playing actually enables you to perform at your best. I heartily reccomend using his services!