For over twenty years Rachel Hayward has been delighting audiences throughout Britain and Europe with her eclectic mix of calypso, soca, pop, ska, jazz, reggae, MOR and popular classics. She performs extensively at a wide variety of corporate, civil and private functions, parties, balls and recitals, and has many repeat bookings with such diverse clients as Debenhams, Eurotunnel, the British Army and Navy, Oakwood Theme Park (Wales) and Wyevales Garden Centres. She has provided music for the annual Cranleigh Lions Carnival, Cowpie Country Show and Princes Mead Shopping Centre (Christmas Celebrations) for over a decade.
If you are interested in engaging Rachel to play at your event please enquire as early as possible. Summer is the busiest season and gets booked up early! Rachel has extensive experience of performing at weddings — processional music can be provided on request — also during the signing of the register (please enquire for details) and also for cocktail receptions, birthday parties, barbeques, Caribbean events and beach parties of all types, even wakes and pirate ships!
Rachel normally performs a mixture of lively calypso, soca, reggae, ska, pop and MOR with her own pre-recorded backing tracks, giving the effect of a full acoustic band which is ideal for events and venues where space or budget are limited. These tracks are carefully arranged and produced making use of live percussion and pan multi-tracking, and are of a much higher standard than commercially available backing tracks. The pan is not loud and raucous and a soloist is ideal for those smaller scale venues when a band would simply be too much, the sound being more akin to that of a cocktail pianist or string quartet. Conversely the pan can be miked up and amplified, to provide music for larger-scale and outdoor events.
Please note that Rachel does not normally perform classical or purely acoustic sets. If you are interested specifically in this repertoire please make this clear in your enquiry.
Playing times are usually 2 x 45 minute or 3 x 30 minute sets, although longer times can be agreed, and refreshments are always appreciated during the breaks! Rachel requires a flat level playing area approximately 5 foot square with safe access to one electric socket; if mains electricity is not available please advise when booking so Rachel can bring her powerful Roland battery-powered PA. If your event is outdoors, the playing area needs to be shaded (direct sunlight can damage the pan) and it is advisable to have a contingency plan in the event of bad weather as it is unsafe to perform in the rain.
For larger events such as street parades, festivals and carnivals Euphoria Steel Band is available to perform throughout Sussex and the surrounding area. The band can also be booked in combination with solo sets from Rachel; please email for further details.
With over twenty years professional performing experience you can rest assured that Rachel appreciates the importance of punctuality and reliability, and that she consistently offers the highest possible standards in all areas; she will always endeavour to make your event a special event.
“Just want to say thank you so much for the music yesterday it was perfect. Everybody commented on how great it was and it really did put a great feel to the afternoon, really did make our day. Thank you so much again.” – Rob & Rachel
“Sorry for the delay in thanking you so very much for the fantastic music you played at my daughter’s wedding at Southend Barns Donnington on the 22nd August. What with the lovely weather the rum cocktails and your music it really felt like we were in the Carribean. Your music certainly added to the amazing day.” – Frances Paine
“Thank you so much for helping to make our big day so perfect! You were fantastic and will come highly recommended by us in the future” – Annie and Steve
“Thanks again for making our birthday really wonderful! Everyone said how they absolutely loved the music and for many of them it was the first time hearing live steelpan so it was really special!” – Helene Laurent
“I just wanted to thank you for making our wedding so brilliant. We had an amazing time and have had so many great comments about you.” – Anaya Rahim
“Thank you so much for your fantastic steelband playing at our wedding, everyone there was so impressed and kept saying how wonderful you were!” – Shivana and Paul
“Your playing was inspirational and everyone loved the exuberance and great sound! Such happy music and perfect for the occasion!! Thanks again so much for playing for us. You were fab!!” – Guilly, Bristol
“Rachel was a huge success and […] we are already penciling a date for next year. Rachel was a delight, her obvious skill and her obvious enthusiasm, coupled together, made a great start to our evening and we continued to discuss how well she had done through to the early hours of Sunday!” – Brian, Crew’s Hill Golf Club