I arrived at Cuddington Club at around 5pm and was really looking forward to the evening of piano playing that lay ahead of me. The event was a 70th birthday party and I knew that John (the birthday) boy and his wife Kasumi were keen singers and were going to be showcasing their talents. Also, quite a number of the guests were members of the local choral society in Cheam. All this meant that their was a good chance that quite a number of the guests would be performing throughout the evening. With this in mind I set up a mixing desk and a few microphones as well as my digital piano.
By 6pm I had set everything up and at this point Kasumi and John arrived for little rehearsal. The guests were due to arrive from 7pm onwards so we had a little bit of time to run through the songs that they were planning to do with the piano. I had also been given a list of song that the other guests might do, but they wouldn’t have the chance to rehearse theirs.
At 7pm guests started arriving and I started to play some background jazz during this period. This was quite an unusual event for me in that I actually knew a few of the guests. I play the piano for many events throughout the country and I usually perform for complete strangers.
At around 7:30pm Kasumi and John sang a few songs individually before everyone sat down to eat. and the rest of the evening consisted of a mixture of me playing solo jazz piano and periods of singing. Lot’s of people got up and performed a wide array of music from Mozart arias and Handel to You Make Me Feel So Young and The Hippopotamus Song.
At 11pm most of the guests had gone home and I started to pack everything up. There was quite a lot of equipment to take down and put in the car so it took me quite a long time. It had been a fun evening and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.