Wednesday, 10 August 2022

‘Singing with a smile’ pays off at Red Lion

“SMILE while you sing!” is what Liz Balmford asks her students to do every December.

“SMILE while you sing!” is what Liz Balmford asks her students to do every December.

At a concert on Sunday, December 13, some of Liz’s singing students performed for family and friends at the Red Lion Hotel, Henley.

The performers sang their way through pop hits like

Blank Space
, jazz standards like

Cheek to Cheek
and pieces from contemporary musicals like S

uperboy and the Invisible Girl

The programme also featured Christmas songs to get everyone in a festive mood and the evening culminated in the audience joining in with

The Twelve Days of Christmas
— including some hilarious actions.

Libby Hallows stepped in at the last moment when some of Liz’s students dropped out due to illness.

“Libby was amazing,” says Liz. “She’d originally declined taking part due to work commitments, but she came to the rescue with just 24 hours’ notice and performed brilliantly.”

In her Henley-based performance coaching practice, Sing Speak Be, Liz teaches singing and coaches for all types of performance.

From pop karaoke to musical theatre and from drama school auditions to business presentations, Liz’s coaching encompasses vocal technique, body language and performance mindset.

Liz says: “Technical lessons and practice help to improve a singing voice, but there’s nothing like performing in public to take things to a higher level.

“I regularly stage concerts to give my students the opportunity to sing live. Standing in front of an audience changes your performance — and the courage it takes increases confidence in all areas of life.

“The concert was a chance for my students to share their progress with their peers and to experiment with new material in front of a friendly audience.

“The mix of singers meant that there was a great range of age, experience and ability and they could all learn something from each other.

“We had a great evening enjoying the entertainment with a glass of wine. I’m so proud of them all.”

For more information on training with Liz, visit

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