The Playroom, Arundel is home for Mike Saunders (Orchestrator and Mixing Engineer) who has written hundreds of orchestrations for shows, soundtracks, pop tunes and TV themes over the last 30 years. He has been a professional musician in the theatre world since he was 18 years old (mainly as a bass player but also in the early days as a trumpet and drummer). Previous to that, as a brass player, Mike was in the RAF and a number of touring brass and big bands.

Most often Mike works from a piano/vocal score or midi-file supplied by the client and develops the sound of the piece/show from discussions with the writer(s), including ideas for particular instruments, band sizes and musical styles often then going on to record the full score at The Playroom, Arundel using contacts in professional music and theatre.

Please contact us for further information or to discuss a project you may be planning. 

Below are details of the orchestrations that have been completed over the last few years.

Mister Humbug!! Musical
by Christian Arnold, Danny Edwards & Mike Saunders

Written and Orchestrated in a traditional musical style with subtle modern twists, Mister Humbug!! is a very accessible score and brilliant script. Mister Humbug!! is full-scale musical that tells the time-honoured and ever-popular story of Scrooge and Tiny Tim from Charles DickensA Christmas Carol.

The score is orchestrated for an 11-piece band.

Violin; Cello; Reed 1 (Piccolo/Flute/Alto Flute); Reed 2 (Flute/Clarinet/Bass Clarinet); Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Trombone; Keyboard 1 (Piano/Tack Piano); Keyboard 2 (Harpsichord/Celeste/Church Organ/Harmonium); Double Bass; Drum-Kit; Percussion (2 Timpani/Glockenspiel/Xylophone/Chimes/Tubular Bells/Tambourine/Cymbal/Bass Drum).

For further information about Mister Humbug!! check out the 32-track studio recording here

Guy Fawkes the Musical
by Ben Durkin, Terry Newman & David T Rolleston

Following the concept album called ‘Guido’ a few years previously, the finished version of Guy Fawkes involved a re-orchestration, new tracks and and all-new recording to fit the new script written by Terry Newman.

The score is orchestrated for a 12-piece band – Trumpet; Multi-Reed (Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax); Trombone; Cello; 3 Keyboards; 2 Guitars (1x Electric/and Acoustic; 1x Electric); Bass Guitar; Drum-kit and Percussion inc 2 Timpani, Glockenspiel, Marching Snare, Tam-tam (beater, metal scrapes), Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Chimes, Shakers, Tambourine.

The Baying Crowd

The Art

But do I Love Her?

More information about the show and further examples:- www.guyfawkesmusical.co.uk

Guido – The Gunpowder Plot
(the original concept album for ‘Guy Fawkes the Musical’ above)
Music by Ben Durkin and Lyrics by David T Rolleston

Guido - Rock Musical

Orchestrated for: Trumpet / Multi-Reed / Trombone / 3 Keyboards / 2 Guitars / Bass Guitar / Drum kit / Percussion

As The Knight Falls

In Our Hands – Guido

Old Palace Yard  – Guido

by Ian White and Trevor Harvey

Orchestrated for: Reed (Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax); Keyboard 1 (Piano, Electric Piano); Keyboard 2 (Strings, Hammond, Clav); Guitar (Acoustic and Electric); Bass Guitar; Drum-Kit; Percussion – Vibraphone (beaters and bowed), Glockenspiel, 2 Timpani, Suspended Cymbal, Shakers, Tambourines, Chimes, Vibraslap, Castanets.

Every Monday

Whiff Quiff

So Near And Yet So Far

Is This The Guy?

It Breaks My Heart

It’s What He Signed

Life Is Empty

Tell Me Why

Should Have Know Better

There Was An Old Woman
by Jane Haines

Orchestrated for: Reed (Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax) / Trumpet (and Flugel) / 2 Keyboards (1 Piano, 1 Strings, Hammond and others), Guitar (Acoustic and Electric), Bass Guitar, Drum Kit / Percussion (2 Timpani, Suspended Cymbal, Glock, Tambourine, Triangle, Car Horn, Shaker, Chimes).


Agree To Disagree

Heart Of Gold

Little Boy Blues

On The Edge


Please note: ‘There Was An Old Woman’, is a midi-instruments recording (with live guitar) of the orchestration made for the cast of the show to rehearse to. The performances at the theatre were full cast and full live band.