Sue Dorey, a professional cello player of forty years, has turned her attention to building Omnibus Theatre’s music programme into one of the most unique in London’s arts scene. We sat down with Sue to get a little insight into her role as Director of Music.
OMNIBUS THEATRE: What does a Director of Music do?
SUE DOREY: I programme around 30 concerts a year for our Sunday Music series. I always liaise with Artistic Director Marie McCarthy to find out what she is programming and I then tie in the Sunday Music with themes that are going on in the theatre. For instance, this February as part of our LGBTQ+ fest I invited a group of jazz musicians who formed the group ‘Queertet’ especially for our festival.
OT: Where do you find most of your musicians?
SD: It’s been a steady process over the last five years of building up contacts and following up recommendations for performers in a wide variety of different genres, including classical, jazz and world music. During my professional performing career as a cellist I have amassed a wonderful diary of musical contacts. Sometimes I invite my musical colleagues to put together a suitable programme for Omnibus, and sometimes I contact musicians totally new to me if I am particularly interested in an area of specific programming.
OT: What is your favourite part about being a Director or Music?
SD: Arriving at Omnibus on a Sunday evening and listening to the live music. I love it! We have a great café and bar with a wonderful vibe, and acoustic and jazz musicians particularly like performing in that space. I get very excited when I arrive to a room buzzing with expectation. Upstairs we have a more spacious elegant room which suits our classical music concerts. It is slightly more formal with a high ceiling and a more resonant acoustic.
OT: What is the most challenging part about being a Director of Music?
SD: The biggest challenge to my job is choosing who to invite – there are so many amazing musicians out there. I do programme many talented young artists as it is important to give them performing opportunities at the start of their careers, and Omnibus is the perfect venue.
OT: What makes Omnibus Theatre unique?
SD: The variety of performances we can offer in our three performance spaces is special. And our wonderful programme runs throughout the year, with 25 to 30 high quality Sunday concerts. Not everyone knows about us yet, so for the moment we are Clapham’s ’hidden gem’ waiting to be discovered. Check us out!