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- Tony Stace March 28, 2022
Born in Welling, Kent, in 1966 Rod Pooley was playing electronic organ at seven and the piano at the age of ten. His tutor was London jazz pianist James Fagg, Rod attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. It then had one of the largest school music departments in the UK. Whilst there Rod performed a solo during a concert in front of former prime minister Sir Edward Heath then the MP for Bexley.
Whilst at the Grammar School Rod formed its first jazz band.
Competition and prizewinning began for Rod while in full time education, he won many titles in the organ world. These included: 1981 at 14, Young Theatre Organist of the Year. 1985 and 1986 at 18 and 19 years of age, National Organist of the year. 1988 at 21 Yamaha Electone Festival Winner.
Rod attained Grade VIII Piano & Organ, achieved a performance diploma in electronic organ playing at 17. and was the Church organist at St Michael’s and All Angels Eastbourne for two years.
Rod’s professional career was established by the time he left school. He worked with the Joe Loss Orchestra, the Ken Mackintosh Big Band, Mike Reid and Jimmy Tarbuck. He organised and ran a successful organ and keyboard school, and now combines his busy performing and demonstrating career with a directorship of The Drawtones his ‘Funky’ Organ Classics band.