Martin Emslie

Martin Emslie, FLCM is an accomplished musical performer, composer, arranger and director, with substantial experience in a wide range of musical genres. He is frequently in demand as a freelance musical director for both classical performances and musical theatre productions.

Musical Resume

Early Musical Experience

Whilst at school in Lancashire, Martin studied music along with private tuition for piano, classical guitar and trumpet. As a teenager, Martin started playing organ regularly at churches and keyboards in the hotels, clubs and holiday centres in the Blackpool area. The work was demanding, often in front of audiences of more than 1,000 people, backing high calibre cabaret artists with no rehearsal. Martin was also very active in local operatic groups, performing many shows per year.

As a pianist, Martin was frequently in demand for playing at rehearsals with music ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan to West Side Story. By this time he had taken the role of Musical Director for 2 small, local shows, leading a 7 piece band and being responsible for all musical arrangements. He was also involved with a local drama group working backstage, learning the art of Stage Management and the techniques required to produce a show.

When he relocated to Somerset, Martin was approached by the Yeovil Scouts to help create a Gang Show and continued as Musical Director for 16 years. The Yeovil Gang Show rapidly gained a national reputation for the quality and quantity of harmony singing, involving a cast of up to 100 people and a 17-piece orchestra. Martin composed a significant proportion of the shows as well as completing all the musical arrangements. In 1995 the cast performed in the Royal Albert Hall under Martin’s direction in front of 7,000 spectators.

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Martin has composed many pieces across all genres.
Three of his larger pieces are:


Omega & Alpha

A full-length Oratorio about the events leading up to and following the crucifixion of Christ. This has been performed to great critical acclaim around the country. It is also available in three languages, namely English, German and Spanish. Three soloists are required for the performance and there are different versions of the accompaniment ranging from full orchestral to solo organ.

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hansel gretel

Hansel, Gretel and the Enchanted Forest

Hansel, Gretel and the Enchanted Forest is a modern version of the famous Grimm fairytale performed in Opera format. It is suitable for a cast of 5 singers and performed to a fully orchestral backing track. It is designed to help to encourage young people to appreciate the genre of Opera and could be performed in any location. The performance time is 65 minutes and the plot is also available in an illustrated children’s book format.

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eric the ark

ERIC The Arc

Eric the Ark is a musical comedy based on the story of Noah and the flood. Suitable for a small cast and involvement for children in the audience. The story starts when Noah is told of the oncoming flood and his plea for help is answered by a dodgy looking supernatural builder called ERIC (The Executive with Responsibility for Intricate Constructions). Accompaniment is for keyboard, bass and drums, but backing tracks are available for hire.

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Choral Direction

Martin has directed many choral groups, ranging from auditioned choirs, community choirs, church choirs, primary school singing groups and show chorus groups. His specialisation has been to encourage people into singing with little or no previous experience. Part of the learning process includes basic theory to enable people new to the art to learn how to read music. Martin promotes inclusivity in all aspects of music making, and always tries to expand people’s vocal boundaries. Martin often writes and arranges pieces to match the singing group’s capabilities.


Church Music

Martin is an experienced church organist, having played for numerous churches of all Christian denominations since the age of 18. He has worked both as a freelance organist and as a Parish Director of Music over the years. Principally being a classical organist, he provides music of a more traditional nature, but sometimes his piano and guitar skills are used when the service requires music of a more modern genre.

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