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7th Jul, 2022

Music student tours with Strictly Come Dancing star’s live band

A GUITARIST who learnt his trade at Stratford College is touring with a Strictly Come Dancing star.

Richard Watson, a studio and touring guitarist, is working as part of the live on-stage band providing the music for Oti Mabuse’s solo show I Am Here.

He said the job came out of the blue after he heard from a friend the show needed a guitarist quickly, so he sent over his portfolio, so he got the job.

Even though the show was already in rehearsal and Richard would have only two days to learn his parts, he landed the job after the musical director thought he was the right fit.

He said: “The discipline aspect is interesting as everything is heavily choreographed and specific so there is a lot of responsibility as the choreography relies on the music. That makes it so fun as you must be focused.

“Also working with Oti and the show is great because of how talented and hard working all the people involved are.”

He attended the College in 2015/16 studying music – but almost didn’t make it as he had missed the submission deadline for applications.

He said: “I remember calling them up seeing if there was anything I could do, and they said if you come down to the campus we will see you for an audition. And I got in!

“I did loads of performances as part of the course and was exposed to lots of different styles.

“We also did scoring to visuals like film and cartoons and performing it live, which was so different to anything else I had done at that point. The diversity of the course and the amount of opportunities for performance and experience was great.”

Following this, Richard studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guilford and went on to begin working professionally as a guitarist and lecturer.

Follow Richard on Instagram at @deadwoodmusic

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