Robin A. Smith, who was nominated for a Grammy in 2022 and has worked with artists including Earth Wind and Fire, talks about growing up in High Wycombe

The composer, who attended High Wycombe Royal Grammar School, is touring a reimagined production of Mike Oldfield's best-selling instrumental album 'Tubular Bells', in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

He described the tour, in which he plays piano and keyboard, as the thrill of a lifetime and said it was especially meaningful to play a date at the Wycombe Swan, near where he grew up.

He said: "I had an amazing teacher at my primary school in the area, who I'm still in touch with. And I'll never forget being dragged down the pathway by my mum to my first piano lesson at the age of 5 - but feeling so excited afterwards.

"I was one of the first kids to get a scholarship at the High Wycombe music centre when it opened. When I was 14, as part of the music centre, we performed the first amateur performance of 'Tubular Bells' with me on the piano.

"Touring with it now after having worked with Mike Oldfield as his Musical Director is a real full circle moment."

Robin said his introduction to music in High Wycombe gave him a broad set of abilities that helped him reach the impressive heights of his career today.

His accomplishments include a Grammy nomination for Best Arrangement and acting as a writer and composer for household names including Andrea Bocelli and Earth Wind and Fire.

"My background allowed me to widen my scope, playing everything from classical music to jazz, blues and funk. Within the people I've employed, there are rock musicians and there's also a classical opera singer."

Robin said he was looking forward to debuting his arrangement of 'Tubular Bells' in High Wycombe, which he hopes will unite different generations in its mix of genres. 

Of the original album, he said: "It was like a drone going across the history of the UK at that point, with folk influence, rock and minimalism.

"This arrangement is really a celebration of Britain and my love for the area. It feels amazing to be back in High Wycombe performing - all my mates who live around here are coming to the gig."

The 50th Anniversary tour of Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' will play at the Wycombe Swan on March 12.

Tickets start at £20 and can be purchased here.