MAKING MUSIC: Music man Ian Franklin
MAKING MUSIC: Music man Ian Franklin

Ian hitting the right notes for play time

By YVONNE McLEAN

IN the heyday of his musical career, Ian Franklin toured Australia - and several over- seas countries - as accompa- nist to such illustrious sing- ers as the late Sir Harry Secombe and the incompara- ble Shirley Bassey. From the piano he con- ducted bands and produced musical extravaganzas. During the past five years this "go go" musician has been engrossed in furthering another career as musical di- rector for the big musicals staged at local theatres. The role of music director is to basically replace an or- chestra with recorded sound, and it's not an easy task and one that requires a lot of skill, a lot of rehearing with choruses and soloists. His efforts as music direc- tor and sound designer for the Gold Coast Little Theatre's production of Sound of Music last year, won Ian an accolade last week when he was presented with a Dol- phin Award. This is an award handed out annually to the person who makes an out- standing contribution to a theatre production. "It was real highlight in my entertainment career - a moment to cherish," he said. At a time when most musicians may be contemplat- ing playing their last notes before taking it easy, Ian Franklin is deep into two more shows as musical direc- tor. He's working on the music

arrangements for Jerry's Girls, opening at the Gold Coast Arts Centre in May and produced by Kate Peters. The show is a tribute to Jerry Herman of Hello Dolly, Mame, Le Cage Au Follies and so on. Also, he is the Tweed Theatre Company's music di- rector for one of the classics of musicals - Man of La Man- cha, which the company will also tour to Byron Bay and Sanctuary Cove mid-year.

While music of a different kind dominates Ian Franklin's life, he says he gives constant thoughts to an as yet unfulfil- led ambition which is to es- tablish with associates a per- formance academy on the Gold Coast - a place to tutor all aspects of the entertain- ment industry. Always the optimist, al- ways young in his enthusi- asm, Ian Franklin believes that one day, he'll help achieve that ambition.



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