Chris Corcoran - Musician
Over many years, Chris has gathered a vast amount of experience in various fields of music.
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"Credit too has to go to the musical director Chris Corcoran on the piano who showed he is not only a fine musician but an accomplished accompanist – not always the same thing" - The Last Five Years, Blue Orange Theatre, March 2012 (5-star review - 'Behind The Arras' Roger Clarke)
"BMTC hosted a truly memorable production, featuring sublime direction by Terry Wheddon, terrific choreography by Sadie Turner and in my opinion, the strongest contribution from the creative team was from veteran musical director, Chris Corcoran, leading a strong orchestra who added a magical element of suspense to the show." - 'Jekyll & Hyde, Crescent Theatre, April 2016 (4-star review - UndercoverTheatre )
Musical director for over a hundred productions (see the Biography page for a full list), both amateur and professional, from operettas, to the classics of Rodgers & Hammerstein, through to rock/pop shows and new modern musical theatre.
Currently regular Musical Director for Bournville MTC, Night Project Theatre and Birmingham Youth Theatre.
Winner of the Roy Marshall Cup for Best Musical Direction in the BFAME Awards for 2012 - for Bournville MTC's 'Sweet Charity'.
Keyboard player and clarinettist in the pit orchestra for many many stage productions.
Versatile pianist and accompanist with a command of all styles from classical, through jazz and shows to pop and rock. Able to assimilate a score very quickly, with excellent sight-reading skills. Also can advise on interpretation with singers, instrumentalists and chamber groups.
Solo jazz piano for any functions.
Has a regular jazz trio, which can be augmented by vocalists, brass and sax, for any occasion.
Musical director and arranger for 'Svengali' - an 18 piece big-band tribute to the work of Gil Evans. Guest artists have included Guy Barker and Andy Sheppard.
Previous bands have included Bob Jackson's African influenced 'Kibosh', the modern jazz quintet 'Detour Ahead' and the experimental 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'.
Favourite jazz pianists include the late Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and many more. He studied with Gordon Beck and John Taylor on an extended Jazz residential course.
For many years pianist and arranger for 'Como-No', one of the U.K's first salsa ensembles. Played on-stage with Roberto Pla, Arturo Sandoval, Orlando 'Maraca' Valle, and the late Miguel 'Anga' Diaz. The band enjoyed an extensive stay in South Africa as part of the 1996 Grahamstown Festival, also having workshops with the famous Cuban band 'Irakere', Chris having the chance to work with the incredible Chucho Valdez.
Capable of arranging for most combinations of instruments taking into account the player's abilities and strengths.
Range of work is very wide, including full orchestras, pit bands, big-bands, smaller jazz ensembles, through to vocal 'close harmony' and full chorus/choral pieces. Recently he transcribed and arranged a Bollywood film theme for a small 'Bollywood' orchestra for a society wedding.
Variety of genres include classical adaptations, Broadway musical numbers, pop vocals and jazz ensembles.
Mostly jazz compositions for various ensembles, including an extended suite for Guy Barker and the Svengali big band, premiered at the Ronnie Scotts Club in Birmingham. Also some classical style chamber music pieces for specific occasions and players, including a premiere of 'Festival Concerto' for the wind ensemble 'Sweet Harmony' at Reading Festival.
Technical Music Services
Able to transcribe music from recordings to standard notation efficiently and accurately, working with many 'tribute' bands in the process! This is useful for composers not skilled in music notation, and Chris is able to liaise with them expertly and sensitively.
Chris is in demand for customised backing tracks which he can produce from scratch for particular purposes - e.g. a unique dance requirement for a concert or a theatrical production without space for a band.
An expert user of SIBELIUS software to produce vocal scores, instrumental parts and also audio rehearsal tracks in mp3 format. Transpositions, extending compositions in a given style, free composition and arranging.
Chris is a member of the Music Writers Section of the Musicians' Union, a visiting Lecturer in Musical Theatre at Dudley College and a visiting 'minstrel' at the famous 'Coombe Abbey Medieval Banquets'.