A former Chichester College student is currently touring the length and breadth of the country as part of the orchestra of a beloved musical.
Kristal Hamson, 32, is on a year-long tour of the UK with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is currently playing at Southampton’s Mayflower theatre before it moves to Dublin later this month.
She is part of the woodwind section, playing the clarinet, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet and flute during each performance.
Kristal said: “I used to love Chitty when I was a little girl, so it is quite fun to be part of the show as an adult.
“I’m very excited to be taking part in such a big UK tour, working alongside cast members Phill Jupitus, Jason Manford, Michelle Collins and Martin Kemp who have joined us from Southampton.
“I love being part of this show – the best thing about the job is performing every day and working with some lovely people who almost feel like family because you spend so much time together.”
Kristal, who is originally from Worthing, although her family have since moved to Arundel, studied music at Chichester College before taking a place at Trinity College of Music.
Since then she has played with some of the country’s finest orchestras, including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, City of London Sinfonia and London Concert Orchestra.
Kristal has also deputised for three West End musicals – Wizard Of Oz, Love Never Dies and Miss Saigon, and recently held the clarinet chair on the UK tour of Barnum from 2014-15.
She has appeared on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing, playing alongside Il Divo, and performed as part of the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Kristal also recorded clarinet solos which featured during a series four episodes of BBC drama, ‘Call the Midwife’.
She revealed: “Studying music at Chichester College was one of the best decisions that I ever took.
“I had excellent tuition for the two years that I was there, with wonderful clarinet and piano teachers who genuinely wanted the best for me and I have managed to achieve everything that I have wanted to and more.”
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