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William Drew-Batty

Composer, piano and singing teacher, theatre director

William D-B, 2nd February_edited.jpg

I believe that musicians should always keep an open mind and my early years as a session player introduced me to rock, jazz, folk and electronic music. I am passionate about music that has an intrinsic connection to the written word and love creating 'musical stories' for all ages of performer and listener. I also believe that music has the ability to help fulfil lives and am a strong advocate of working with people of all ages, backgrounds and ability.

Over the years I have composed operas, musicals, mixed instrumental ensemble pieces and choral works. I also compose to private commission, provide musical scores for film and collaborate to create audio books.

In 1997 I worked with Terry Waite CBE to produce 'Songs of Solitude', for narrator and Orchestra and have since collaborated with the writer Kevin Crossley Holland. Recently I have written music for a touring production of 'Women of Troy', the short film, 'The Day We All Came Home' and two short pieces of music theatre, 'Late Closing' and 'The World is Upside Down'. In 2021 I wrote the musical play, 'The Unknown Bird', based on the life and music of Ivor Gurney, and toured venues across Norfolk and Suffolk.
My new opera, 'Flannan Isle', a true story based on the poem by W.W. Gibson was presented at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay in September 2022.

During the first Lockdown in 2020 I was encouraged by Victoria to play live music from my open window. The house we lived in at the time had an upstairs balcony and at 7pm every evening I played music to the streets of Bungay. People soon became used to my informal concerts and timed their daily walk to coincide with the performance. I gave 71 concerts, everything from Bach to Chopin, Elton John to The Smiths, and created a live-stream video on social media. We had theme nights, musical quizzes, requests, local, national and international celebrations. My music began to be followed as far away as New South Wales, Japan and Argentina! I began to understand the importance of music and community and am now fully committed to providing music for my home town.

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