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Ian Side.JPG

Ian David Farrell was born on Sunday 19th June 1977 (Fathers Day), in Newport, Isle of wight. At the age of 7 (and after moving to cheshire), Ian started his love of singing by joining St. Luke’s church choir, Lowton as a treble under the very wonderful guidance of Mrs. Joan Baldwin. Not long after joining the church choir, Ian was accepted to sing with Northern Cathedral Singers. This allowed him the opportunity to sing at some amazing cathedrals all over the north west and the country including York minster, Coventry cathedral, Exeter cathedral.

This amazing foundation to Ian’s musicianship is where he grew his very first love of choral music. 


Throughout his childhood, Ian also played many musical instruments. First he started with the piano, then the Violin, the guitar, all of the recorders and the flute. However, it was only singing and the piano that Ian continued with on a long term basis. After gaining his music GCSE at the age of 14, Ian continued with school and went on to study A-levels in Music, Theatre studies and Art. However, after a while that combination was soon changed and he swapped Art for performing Arts (Dance). After gaining his A-Levels he went to Dartington College of Arts to study a BA(HONS) in music.

Although Ian made some of his life long friends there, he knew the degree course wasn’t right for him. So, he moved to London where he started a BMUS(HONS) at London College of Music studying Vocal studies and piano under the brilliant guidance of Eileen Price, Peter Savidge and Ranelda Mackie. After performing many concert productions, performing chorally under the directorship of Jeremy Jackman, Ian was lucky enough to play one of the lead roles in Howard Goodall’s Silas Marner in west London. Ian also performed at choral events with the choir of the orchestra of St. John’s Smith square and provided backing vocals for Kevin Rowland’s album “My Beauty”. During his time at LCM, Ian recorded his first live album of his final classical recital. This concert was to be the busiest lunchtime concert in over 25 years. Ian had the honour of being accompanied by the amazingly talented Jill Crossland. (you can listen to this recording on the music section on this website).


In Ian’s final year at London College of music, he auditioned and gained a place with the English National Opera’s “The Knack” under the tutorage of Mary King. He was also extremely lucky enough to win “The Worshipful Company of Musician’s” scholarship in 1999, to enable Ian to continue his studies however, Ian felt that he was coming to a crossroads and was really unsure of which path to take. This resulted in some (not so great - at the time) decisions being made and he completely walked away from music.


During these years, Ian started to completely self destruct (albeit still achieving amazing things). Ian worked for Sir Cameron Mackintosh Ltd at his gorgeous head office in the west end but in 2007, Ian checked into rehab for the first time for addiction to alcohol. After a weeks residential and six weeks clean, unfortunately Ian returned to drinking. Over the next 18 months, things became very dark and destructive for Ian however, in the spring of 2009, Ian started a three month day release rehab course with the amazing charity - Turning Point, after a few set backs, severe mental health issues as a result of the alcohol, Ian finally stopped drinking on 22nd August 2009.


After completing rehab in 2009, Ian said to a friend “I want to do three things! I want to return to my other love, which is Hairdressing, I want to see the world and I want to sing”. So, Ian has (over the years) worked in a central Mayfair salon, assisted with London fashion week, lived and worked as a stylist out in Marbella, won a competition which meant he was flown out to Las Vegas to work with the Paul Mitchell Team and worked all over the South East as a successful hair stylist.


In 2015, Ian finally decided it was time to see the world. He started working as Cabin Crew for British Airways flying out of London Gatwick. This experience was Insane!! He got to go to Table mountain in Cape town, Zip wire over the Costa Rican jungle, bounce around the Caribbean on a regular basis, return to the brilliant Las Vegas, Island hopping in the Maldives - Just to name but a few!!!! 


In 2018, Ian decided to stop flying as he genuinely felt a pull back to music. He joined Brighton Festival Chorus under the directorship of James Morgan, and has been lucky enough to sing at the Royal Albert hall, back in St. Johns Smith square and at the Brighton Festival. Over the years, Ian has continued his singing lessons and although original trained as a baritone, his voice has naturally gone higher, so has had to work incredibly hard to learn a completely new technique. He currently studies under the fabulous tutorage of Stefan Holmstrom, and continues to progress vocally.


Ian always uses the term “Magic wand time” (what you could have if you had a magic wand). For Ian, it would be simple. To sing beautiful songs, with amazing orchestras / musicians all over the world. To record brilliant albums, sing at Proms in the park - to name but a few…Fingers crossed hey!!!

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