Pianist Essex – Weddings – Chelmsford/Braintree
Last Updated on 10th April 2021 by The Editor
Essex Pianists and Weddings
My visits to Essex as a pianist for weddings are becoming more and more frequent. My name is Eugene Portman and I provide music for all types of parties and events, but weddings form the backbone of my work. I am one of many musicians who work in the East Anglia area and the competition is of a very high standard. One of the first marriages I provided music for was at Blake Hall in Ongar. I remember it well as the weather was lovely, in fact, it was the perfect day for such an occasion. I felt I was so lucky to be playing the piano at such a wonderful venue on such a lovely day.
Since then I have visited this and many other beautiful venues in the area. I would say that there’s hardly a week goes by when I don’t play the piano in one of Essex’s wonderful venues. Like so many other pianists I know, the venues I visit seem to be around the Chelmsford and Braintree areas, but I do cover the whole county. I have played the piano at many venues in Essex and I have so many memories from this lovely county.
To be honest with you, it’s not just weddings I do. I provide music for all kinds of events such as private parties and corporate events. In fact, I often find myself performing for Cockney-themed parties in the area which is something I really enjoy. This is because so many Cockneys have migrated from the East End of London to East Anglia and Essex in particular.
When it comes to playing the piano for weddings, versatility is the key factor, especially in the Essex area where the music can range from classical to Cockney sing-along. Furthermore, with weddings, it is commonplace to be asked to play music from different genres for the various parts of the wedding day. For instance, many couples like to have classical for the ceremony followed by up-tempo jazz for the drinks reception. This can be followed by easy listening music, consisting mostly of ballads, for the wedding breakfast.
My wide repertoire has developed through the many paths that my career has taken over the years. These many paths have ranged from being in a rock group and a jazz band to playing the piano at the Royal Ballet School and performing as an accompanist with classical singers. Furthermore, this experience has introduced me to new forms of music and my repertoire has grown accordingly. The range of music I now play covers many different genres and styles of music. As a matter of fact, it covers rock, pop, jazz, blues, Latin, classical, and even sing-along. This means that if you have any requests, no matter how remote or strange – I’ll be able to play.
The classical work I do has grown and from just playing a few piano pieces for a wedding ceremony, to performing for an entire evening of classical music. My early childhood training was in this genre of music and I still love the music of the old masters. The classical music I play covers piano pieces from Bach and Schumann to Debussy and Einaudi.
If you need help in finding ceremony music then please visit my other site at www.ceremony-music.co.uk.
Performing as a Sing-along Pianist in Essex
As already mentioned, Cockney-themed events are popular in Essex and I am constantly being booked as a sing-along pianist in the area. These events can be private parties, weddings, or corporate events. However, what is more popular than anything at the moment, is being booked as a sing-along pianist for Cockney-style evenings in many of Essex’s wonderful pubs. This trend is a revival of what used to be experienced in the old London pubs and it is really great to see it now happening in London, Essex and to the other Home Counties.
At first, I was a little unsure about doing this sort of thing, but I now really enjoy it and look forward to my next booking. I find that people really enjoy having a good sing-song and letting their hair down with the old sing-along favourites. However, I do find that some of these Cockney evenings can get a bit wild at times.
When I take on this role as a Cockney-style pianist, I dress to fit the occasion. This includes a Bowler hat, waistcoat, grandad shirt, pocket watch, red neckerchief, etc. I find that this helps to ceate an authentic atmospehere. It also helps if the audience joins in with this and dresses in period costume. Please see the sing-a-long page or www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk for more information about this.
Here are some of the venues in Essex that have used my services as a pianist:
- Hylands House – Chelmsford, Essex. This is probably one of the most popular venues in Essex and I play the piano here for many weddings. There is a lovely grand piano in one of the rooms and I’ve had the opportunity to play it many times.
- Crabbs Barn – Kelvedon, Colchester, Essex
- Fennes Estate – Bocking, Braintree
- Blake Hall – I have performed at this venue more times than any other venue in the county. I am one of their recommended suppliers and I always recomment them as a venue.
- Spains Hall – The Stables, Finchingfield
- White Hart (The) – Poole St, Great Yeldham, Halstead
- Leez Priory – Chelmsford
- Hedingham Castle – Halstead. This one of Essex’s finest venues and they have a really nice piano in the main house, which I have played in the past.
I work all over Essex as a pianist for weddings. Here are some of the places I cover:
- Buckhurst Hill
- Canvey Island
- Chipping Ongar
- Crays Hill
- Earls Colne
- Great Dunmow
- Kelvedon Hatch
- Marks Tey
- North Weald Bassett
- Pilgrims Hatch
- Saffron Walden
- Sible Hedingham
- South Benfleet
- South Woodham Ferrers
- Stanford Le Hope
- Stansted Mountfitchet
- Thorpe le Soken
- Waltham Abbey
- West Mersea
- White Roding
- Woodford Green