FaithfulChesinwnterdress DAVID HENSON MUSIC


Combining both a varied career in performance and teaching David has been involved in broadcasting, performance of oratorio, lieder, early and contemporary music both in this country and in Europe. He continues to take an interest in the performer’s platform and recently directed a new production of ‘Bollywood Rose’ at Leicester Square and as performer played the role of Everyman in a new work ‘Mankind’ by Michael Finnissy at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. David has had a rich work profile such as Educational Officer at the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and collaborating with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under the direction of Simon Rattle, directing new music and recently directly new writing in musical theatre in conjunction with Mercury Musicals at various professional venues in London, Greenwich, Kings Head and Union Theatre. He is an experienced teacher, lecturer and researcher in all aspects of the performing arts, broadcaster, director and recitalist. After leading the department for postgraduate studies in Acting Musical Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama pursued a career in directing new writing and theatrical productions in off west end venues. Currently holds the post of Head of Study in Performance, Composition and Performing Arts at London College of Music.

Throughout the past few years he has worked as an external examiner: MA in Drama and Education for the City of Birmingham University; BA Acting at Birmingham School of Acting; BA Acting at East 15, currently external for BA Creative Studies (Dance, Directing, Acting, and Music Management) at Leeds Metropolitan; BA Dance (Musical Theatre) at Middlesex Univeristy plus consultant to Bath University to their new BA Acting degree programme. Most recently taken on the role of arts consultant to University of the Arts in response to their curriculum within performance. Over the years he has run workshops and tutorial sessions at the Actor’s Centre in Covent Garden, London teaching acting, sung and spoken voice. Many of his students currently appear in the West End, TV and the media. Directing credits range from Baroque Opera to contemporary Music Theatre in a range of venues from Cathedrals to Birmingham Symphony Hall, the classical theatrical repertoire with productions at Repertory Theatre, Birmingham and several off west end venues including the Kings Head and the Union Theatre and musical theatre most recently including productions of 'Merrily We Roll Along' in Amsterdam, 'Company' and 'Into the Woods' at Watermans Theatre, Brentford, London. Recent performance work includes: 'Ordinary Days' by Adam Gwon at Lawrence Hall, University of West London, a new musical 'Alfie' by John Cameron and Eden Philips. Recent projects include some multi-disciplinary arts projects, aided by the support of the Cadbury Foundation, working with University (Modern Language) students developing communication skills and pluricultural awareness; collaborative performance work with the BCMG involving the devising of Greek myths and composition classes based around the compositional styles of composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Mark Anthony-Turnage and David Lang. David is also executive director to a film company plus instigating a new performance company to raise the profile of new writing and rarely performed musical theatre.

When not teaching/directing he has been a freelance consultant for drama and music to the Ministry of Education and University in Singapore; the CBSO; the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (working closely with Sir Simon Rattle) and the music recording industry. Recent appointments include (i) visiting lecturer in music theatre and education at Wolverhampton University; (ii) director of Theatre Studies; Voice and Acting at the Birmingham Theatre School (iii) tutor in acting at Birmingham Conservatoire and whilst in post directing ‘Venus and Adonis’ by John Blow, recreating the original staging and choreography plus ‘As You Like It’ performed at the Birmingham Old Repertory Theatre. More recently has directed a new musical theatre project 'Falls' and two original works ‘Fax of Life’ and ‘The Unit’ all performed at the Greenwich Music Theatre Festival and the home of the Water Rats in Kings Cross plus (iv) adjudicating and examining for the past 25 years at many music and drama at festivals around the country as well as continuing work for the Guild of Drama Adjudicators.

David is an experienced examiner in both music and acting and has worked for over 25 years as a visiting examiner for London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He currently works in the field of examining Drama for London College of Music Exams. He continues to take an interest in new musical theatre and is currently seeking ways and means of encouraging new musical theatre work alongside an involvement with the development of new comedy writing.

His current research interests are in the processes of the performer within musical theatre; the music of Shakespeare and specific voice related issues based within the world of performance. He has spoken on the subject and given papers at conferences regarding this area of work and has recently delivered papers at two conferences: School of Advanced Studies in April 2013 and at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in July 2013 at the Musical Theatre Symposium – Song, Stage and Screen V111. Recently organised in conjunction with HEA a day conference about the importance of new writing within the Musical Theatre curriculum in Higher Education. Doctorate studies at Oxford are closely connected to the work of Peter Slade and Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky and their contribution to the child’s world of play, children’s games, as a psychological phenomenon and its role in the development of the child.

David has witnessed the gradual development of arts education within the UK education system and has been very involved in every aspect of the assessment process within the field of performance and the arts in general. David has been creator, writer, assessor, external verifier and Chief Examiner for GCE Music and Drama, CSE Music and Theatre Arts, GCSE Musicianship and History; A Level Performing Arts; A level Drama and Theatre Arts, GNVQ Performing Arts Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced. He has also brought this expertise into the world of Higher Education and has written many undergraduate and postgraduate courses that are currently running in various important institutions within the UK. With this experience it is not surprising that he now publishes the first of a series of books based on his teaching work concerning the curriculum and the development of the actor-singer entitled Musical Theatre: A Workbook - published by Palgrave Macmillan late December 2013. David is currently working on the second book in the series Musical Theatre – A Workbook plus a new book entitled Theatre and Music.

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He has also brought this expertise into the world of Higher Education and has written and contributed to many undergraduate and postgraduate courses that are currently running in various important institutions within the UK including the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. With this experience it is not surprising that he now publishes his findings within this work. The first publication entitled Musical Theatre: Exploring the World Through Song published by Lamda Publications in 2008 plus a CD to accompany the book where David can be heard playing examples from the musical theatre repertoire.

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David Henson 2018