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Rachel is a classically trained mezzo-soprano with broad experience on the local circuit. On stage over the last twenty years she has had a go at everything from panto to opera and comedy to tragedy. Rachel travelled all over the UK and to Europe as an original member of close harmony trio American Tan.
In musical theatre, Rachel has played many, varied roles including Babe in Pajama Game, Jackie in Me and My Girl and Laurie in Oklahoma.
Rachel’s diverse vocal styles include close harmony and choral work, soul, jazz, G&S, opera and a "Marie Lloyd" act! Rachel also sings with the musical theatre quartet, VocalScore.
A very accomplished performer, Rachel has a voice once described as ‘smooth as melted chocolate’.
Joan Hocking LLCM
Joan has studied classical singing and musical theatre since she was 13, obtaining a Licentiate (Hons) in Music Theatre from the London College of Music in 1999.
She started her performing career early at Sunday School and has been a member of many church choirs and choral groups. Her first solo performance "Edelweiss" was with the Attleborough Nomads, a local touring theatre & musical group. Since then Joan was runner up for the best "Classical Performer" in Junior Startime, and has been awarded distinctions at Norwich Music Festival for Oratorio, Operatic Aria, German Leider, Music Theatre and Folk Singing.
She been a member of a number of amateur operatic societies throughout Norfolk. Joan has taken principal roles in many popular musicals including Laurie in Oklahoma, Mary Brown in Calamity Jane, Mabel in Pyjama Game, Grace in Annie, Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld and Casilda in The Gondoliers, as well as principal boy and character roles in numerous pantomimes.
Joan is also an accomplished actor winning the Breckland Festival "Best Actress" award 3 times.
She currently studies with Carole Tims (founder and director of the Broadland Youth Choir) and semi-professionally sings at weddings.
Martyn Shults ALCM
Martyn 'has a voice that is capable of impressing any West End producer' (The Stage). Martyn has performed at the Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue for Cameron Mackintosh and Trevor Nunn where he was offered the part of 'Enjolras' in 'Les Miserables'. Martyn is an extremely versatile singer; in addition to working in the UK club circuit he has performed as a guest at Norwich's Theatre Royal, and as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is a founder member and the Chairman of the Upper Octave, and holds the dubious accodade of being the only performer to have sung in every single show. Martyn has also provided voice overs for advertising campaigns and has been recently approached by Disney/Pixar.
Singing sacred music and choral ensembles with, amongst others, the Keswick Hall Choir, Gus has sung in numerous festivals in London and Paris. This work includes a number of world premieres of new pieces, and several released recordings.
Gus sung as the soloist in one of the first UK performances of Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ, and was invited to Germany to sing the bass solo in performances of Stainer's Crucifixion, and to France for Handels Messiah.
Singing the repetoire of both grand and light opera, his solo roles include Angelotti in Tosca, Yamadori in Madame Butterfly, Schaunard in La Bohème, and Tom Jones in German's Tom Jones.
Singing with Claxton Opera, Gus performed The Magic Flute in Germany.
A personal highlight for Gus was singing with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in her 2003 Christmas concert
Singing has always played a central role in Heather's life. She has sung in all grand opera, operetta, musical, oratorio and choral genres with a number of opera companies. Heather has participated in numerous productions at home and abroad, singing amongst others, Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, and Katie Brown in The Beggar's Opera.
With the Verdi, Octagon, UEA and Norwich Festival choirs, Heather has performed in all the major choral works.
Singing with the Upper Octave has given Heather the opportunity to enjoy performing songs from stage and screen. Recently Heather played Madame Thenardier in the Upper Octave's own concert production of Les Misérables, and was delighted to appear in the regional premiere of Cole!
Heather has been a member of the Maddermarket Theatre Company, giving her the chance to add stage work skills to her undoubted vocal talents.
Martyn 'has a voice that is capable of impressing any West End producer' (The Stage).