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 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 from the world of professional music and theatre.

Example:- ‘What’s The Meaning Of This? – from ‘Guido – The Gunpowder Plot’. Here is a short example of a track taken from the Concept album released in 2016 (more details below) which shows the progress of orchestration from the original midi/piano score as received from the client (produced in Sibelius), through to adding basic orchestration using computer instruments/samplers and on to the full score/recording with live instruments and voices. Further developments to this track can be heard on the ‘Guy Fawkes the Musical’ recording, which was released in 2020 (details below).

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

Below are a few excerpts from some of the orchestrations that have been completed over the last few years:-

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

Guy Fawkes the Musical by Ben Durkin, Terry Newman and 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 / Drums and Percussion (inc 2 Timpani, Glockenspiel, Marching Snare, Tam-tam (beater, metal scrapes), Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Chimes, Shakers, Tambourine).

The music behind this video is an excerpt from ‘The Final Battle’ by Ben Durkin.

The Baying Crowd

The Art

But do I Love Her?

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

Original Concept album – ‘Guido’ by Ben Durkin and David T Rolleston

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

In Our Hands – Guido

Old Palace Yard  – Guido

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

Clippings – by Ian White and Trevor Harvey

Clippings Cover Art New.png
Clippings by Ian White and Trevor Harvey

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

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

There Was An Old Woman by Jane Haines

THere Was An Old Woman
There Was An Old Woman
by Jane Haines


Agree To Disagree

Heart Of Gold

Little Boy Blues

On The Edge


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).

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 learn from. The performances at the theatre were full cast and full live band.