Emily and Paul McCartney

Singer-songwriter Emily Barden’s date at The Chichester Inn in Chichester on Wednesday, November 9 at 8.30pm is proving the best possible of deadlines.

She’s determined that her debut solo album will be ready in time for the gig, which she will be performing as a duo with Jeff Leach.

Storrington-based Emily will be bringing to it the same passion she brings to her all-consuming day job, head of vocals with the West Sussex Music Service.

“I am all over the place with it, quite literally - sometimes in Bognor, sometimes in Chichester or Horsham or East Grinstead. The whole remit is from the early years right through to adults and community. I do a lot of work as well with choirs.

“It’s a support service to provide support to teachers. I am purely based in vocals. There has been a big push recently in getting singing back into schools. There’s a government initiative which is now in its fifth year of running and it has proved incredibly successful in getting singing back into the classroom. It’s about getting music in every single day in different ways of teaching.

“Singing is so important for so many reasons. It’s the most brilliant form of expression and getting rid of tension. It’s a real bonding thing to sing together. Singing with other people is one of the best things you can do. It makes you feel great, and physically it is good for you. It’s proven to improve learning and memory retention and with older people it is great for the memory muscle.”

Originally from Newcastle, Emily took a three-year music degree at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts which was founded by former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

“Anybody that chooses to specialise in song-writing in the third year gets a half-hour tutorial with Sir Paul. It’s the pinnacle of your career. You have got to choose a couple of your songs and he says whether they are any good or not. He liked them. I was really, really happy!

“He was just lovely, but it was so weird because he is so famous. You think ‘I know you’, but it is only afterwards that you think ‘That’s Paul McCartney!’ He is so supportive. He is really hands on with the university that he has set up.”

Tickets for Emily’s Chichester Inn gig are £10 from 01243 774641 or direct from The Chichester Inn or www.wegottickets.com.