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From pit performances to Palace stage — A pianist’s journey

Posted onPosted on 19th Jun

In a town of storied mining heritage, often labelled as rough and underprivileged, a remarkable tale of musical triumph has surfaced. This is the story of Chris Miggells, a local pianist and composer whose journey from humble roots to national acclaim defies all odds. And he is set to make his debut on the theatre stage with his show, The Piano Experience, at Mansfield Palace Theatre on Friday, 12th July.

I grew up amidst the echoes of Mansfield’s coal-mining past and, as the grandson of a miner, inherited a legacy of resilience and hard work.
In a town grappling economic hardships and social challenges, I found my sanctuary in music — I became determined to nurture my talent and turn the keys of a piano into a gateway to hope and creativity, transforming adversity into inspiration.

During the enforced global lockdowns of the covid pandemic, and as the world faced uncertainty, I picked up the fight for my creative spirit to thrive. While working at Sherwood Phoenix, the renowned piano shop based in Mansfield, I painstakingly composed and recorded my debut album, Synesthese, alone in their vacant grand hall.

This period of isolation became a crucible for my art. I had to dig deep to craft melodies, which I thought would resonate with life experiences. Hoping to take my mind back to global travels, world wonders, and adventure, I realised that many others could surely benefit from the transformative power of music and this album became a definitive pursuit.

The big crescendo of my journey so far came with the launch of Synesthese at Clipstone Headstocks, which as the News Journal reported sold out for three consecutive nights last year, to my amazement. This allowed people to experience an icon of Mansfield’s industrial heritage like never before, and these concerts would reverberate far beyond.

It was a one-of-a-kind event that certainly struck a deep chord locally and attracted national attention for its cultural significance.
These concerts also made me very aware of the universal appeal my music seems to have and how crucial it is to continue bringing it to people.


Chris is set to host his debut theatre show, The Piano Experience, at Mansfield Palace Theatre on Friday, 12th July. This performance promises a blend of his piano mastery and innovative, heartfelt compositions, enhanced by an interactive light show, and dynamic visual displays.

The concert will also feature locally-discovered talent as special guests, including internationally-renowned author and playwright Richard C. Bower, and a surprise vocalist.

Chris said: “The journey from composing my album, to three consecutive sold-out shows that brought an abandoned coal mine back to life and now to this opportunity to fill the Palace Theatre… it’s a dream come true beyond my wildest imagination.

“It’s going to be a huge night for me and my home town. To be honest, Mansfield has shaped me in many ways, and having this opportunity to give back to the community means everything to me.”

As Mansfield’s cultural landscape continues to evolve, Chris stands as a testament to the power of art to transcend adversity. His story is not just about music, but about the spirit of a community that embraces its roots while looking towards the future with hope and creativity.

To buy tickets for the evening show, go to or call 01623 633133 or drop in at the Box Office at the theatre on Leeming Street.