Founded by Rob Hickmore and Tim King, Bath Academy of Musical Theatre is a hub of talent and opportunity.

A conduit for the aspiring musical theatre performer to take their training to the next level, BAMT takes place weekly over two evenings, where students get to train intensively for a career in the performing arts. Based in the centre of Bath students are immersed in a friendly and supportive atmosphere where they are treated as professionals. Now in session for its fourth year, BAMT has kickstarted the term with a performance with Kerry Ellis (West End credits include Wicked, We Will Rock You and Les Miserables) and workshops from Oliver Tompsett (West End credits include Rock Of Ages, Wicked and Mamma Mia!) and Tim Richards, an instructor in Estill voice technique who teaches both at Arts Educational and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Oliver’s masterclass which included how to warm up the mouth, tongue and jaw ensuring the larynx is relaxed, was focussed on working on acting through song. This gave students the chance to be coached individually and receive feedback on things such as creating emotional connections with text and how to find a point of connection with the audience. ‘He allowed me to analyse my main fear with acting through song and helped me overcome it,’ one student commented.

Tim’s masterclass which focused on Estill method was another fantastic opportunity. The method itself, which is arguably one of the most groundbreaking for singers in the last 25 years, teaches performers how to have greater versatility and command of expression within the voice. ‘Tim broke it down in ways that were easy to understand and used everyday sounds to help us create changes in our voice,’ one student said. ‘It was really useful having such in depth explanation on what your body is doing when you sing a certain way and how you can shape your body to allow a better sound. It makes you more connected to the feel of your instrument.’ Another student commented, ‘Longevity is so important in musical theatre. As well as a great presentation on how the vocal folds work I learnt a great deal on how to maintain good vocal health. It was invaluable.’

Students from Bath Academy of Musical Theatre joined the West End’s leading lady Kerry Ellis on two dates of her recent tour. To perform with someone of such high stature in the musical theatre world was an amazing opportunity – and Kerry was very impressed with the quality of the students’ singing. BAMT provided choir vocals for her version of Let It Go from Frozen and a cover of Ed Sheeran’s Give Me Love.

These are just a few opportunities BAMT students experience. As well as regular workshops, the backbone of BAMT consists of lessons in ballet and jazz dance, acting, monologue preparation, acting through song, individual singing lessons as well as ensemble singing. This ensures that students are exposed to plenty of repertoire, as well as being able to blend as a group and perform individually. Other things on offer include the chance to take the Trinity Musical Theatre Diploma exam at the end of the year and a string of performance opportunities.

Open to students aged 16+ auditions for the academy are held towards the end of the academic year. This course is a must for any wanting to pursue a career in musical theatre, either to further their prospects before going onto full time vocational training or before jumping straight onto the stage itself.

Article By Natalie Bartlett