WE'RE GOING LIVE
Since she was a child, Lisa Shelmerdine Richards, has always loved composing music and this June that aspiration reaches new heights as the Pembrokeshire school teacher performs her own music on her treasured local stage. In her first evening of her own live music and entertainment show, Lisa and her supportive artists will showcase a host of her original songs in a night called ‘We’re Going Live” at The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven.
In 2020, mum of two, Lisa, a music teacher at Haverfordwest High, set herself a personal challenge to release one brand new track each month of the year. When the pandemic hit and everyone had to stay at home, Lisa worked remotely to uphold her challenge and increased the task of writing 20 new songs. This initially posed many problems especially the steep learning curve she faced when it came to recording, producing and editing. However, it also created a fantastic opportunity which allowed Lisa's tracks to be recorded across the UK and globally as digital recording bypassed any restrictions on travel.
“Living and working in isolation was challenging for so many people. As a coping strategy, I decided to face the new challenges directly and ensured to reach my 2020 writing goal by recording the Music remotely. In effect, the Pandemic opened up doors in virtual performance which certainly had and continues to have its place. You cannot beat live performance though and to now be performing the music live at the Torch Theatre is just incredible” said Lisa.
During lockdown, Lisa was commissioned to write a brand new piece of music for the West End of Wales Orchestra, a community interest company formed during the pandemic when theatres closed.
“Writing music for such an esteemed group of musicians was a wonderful experience. One of the most exciting parts of the writing process is thinking about who is going to play/sing the music,” added Lisa.
The track “Win this Fight Alone” featured on BBC Radio's Roy Noble show, Radio Cymru and ITV News also did a featured piece on the song’s release.
Thursday 1 June will be the first opportunity to hear Lisa’s music being performed live hence the title "We're Going Live", something Lisa has longed to do ever since lockdown. An 8-piece live band will play each of her diverse tracks featuring many different styles including pop, rock, electronic, country, musical theatre and classical. Joe Morgan, Sarah Benbow and Emilija Kaijaks will present the evening with a number of special guests appearing throughout the show.
Performing the Music at the Torch Theatre will be a dream come true for Lisa as she explains:
“I remember as a child going on school trips to the Torch Theatre and now I take my own children there regularly. It is one of the most prestigious theatres in south Wales and I am so excited to be debuting my own music at this magical venue.
“I talked and talked about performing the music live and then one day encouraged and supported by family and friends, I thought I’d better put my words into action and approached the Torch Theatre. Very little of my music had been written down as I’d created them predominantly by ear. I’ve now spent hours and hours writing and scoring the parts for our eight band members. The writing has been a long and time consuming process, but the end is now in sight, rehearsals booked and the creative fun side will soon take over” said Lisa who is supported by her husband Nick and two children, Cory (12) and eight-year-old Holly.
In addition to the band on stage there are many special guests including local guitar legend John Rodge, Sarah Sharpe [former Head of Music at Tasker Milward, Member of Bella Voce and The Connections and Musical Director of Haverfordwest Male Voice Choir], Bethan Harkin [Former Head of Music and Drama at Ysgol Bro Gwaun - also member of Bella Voce] and Steffan Hughes [Lisa’s music work colleague at Haverfordwest High - teacher of Music and Drama].
“I’m just hoping for a nice big audience and to see family and friends there. To actually get out there and perform in front of an audience will be amazing. A huge thank you must go to the support from the Torch, the musicians and to the people who recorded the tracks remotely bringing them all to life,” said Lisa, who, in 2019, wrote the end of season advert music for Pembrokeshire's Beach Food Company. She featured in the music video where she actually played the piano at the water's edge at Freshwater West.
We’re Going Live will be on stage at Milford Haven’s Torch Theatre on Thursday 1 June 2023 at 7.30pm. Tickets: Adults: £12/ £10 Concessions and Children and can be booked from the Torch Theatre Box Office on 01646 695267 or by clicking here.
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