Concert Review 20th August 2018 – Mike Hall
It was the last concert of the summer for the year and we welcomed Mike Hall who opened the evening with a Jungle Book medley. We had to agree it was some years since he had played for us, a fact that he didn’t fail to point out. Mike is an advocate of the Orla range of Instruments and with him he brought two, the GT8000 and a smaller portable keyboard the KX10. During the evening he made a point of talking about these instruments and their abilities. No doubt instruments enthusiasts appreciated the detail. His music, as we would expect included variety of style and form, this of course means you cannot please all the people all of the time. Overall it was a good evening’s entertainment. We listened to the music he produced and when Mike offered to play whichever instrument, we the audience preferred, it was obvious most of us were quite surprised by what we were hearing from the smaller portable KX10, an impressive instrument, It was called for time and again. At least two members of the audience have since gone looking for one themselves.
Some of Mike’s music included. A jungle book medley, Take a chance on love, A big Band Gershwin Medley, a ‘Pipe’ organ medley, Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree’ ‘Eye level’ from Van der Valk, ‘Thinking about the things we used to do’, Smokey and the bandit – eastbound and down, The Candy man, The Kyle of lochalsh, Psalm 23, Dream – Johnny Mercer, Mack & Mabel – I won’t send roses, 76 Trombones in the hit parade, A rock and role medley, The Odd couple.
Visiting us Aug 20th 2018 – Mike Hall
Mike was born New year’s day 1954 to a musical family. His father was a saxophonist in a local band. By age three Mike was picking out melodies on the piano. The family found a teacher for him but he soon moved on to the organ. Eventually being taught by the Lowrey organ exponent Jerry Allen. Along the way… Mike at age 12 played the mighty Compton organ at the Granada Grantham, The pedals though just a little out of reach as too turning the pages of the music. It was mike who gave the last performance on that organ before it was removed to make way for BINGO? Mike’s career developed and he became associated with several Italian organ manufactures resulting frequent trips to Italy. Mike has travelled all around the UK performing and many will have heard his recitals whilst he appeared on the BBC’s The Organist Entertains. Mike now lives in Barrowby; he continues to tour the UK entertaining organ society audiences.
Visiting us 23rd July 2018 Brett Wales
Brett was born on the 23rd of August 1978 in Nottingham and raised by his grandparents Marianne and Alwyn, (He still lives and works from that same house.)
Alwyn owned an Elka 707 Organ, He returned from work one day to discover his three year old grandson playing the organ. The family felt Brett’s talent should not be wasted and arranged private lessons from a local music teacher.
Bretts talent was recognised as unusual with some considering him a ‘Boy Genius’. He later met with Wersi Stars, Klaus Wunderlich and Franz Lambert. In 1989 that meeting led to a memorable year for Brett and his family, they made a trip to see Franz live at the Felsenkeller. After hearing of Brett’s achievements, Franz requested that Brett played for him and his audience. One of the pieces Brett chose to play was one that Franz himself plays, “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes” Many were amazed at the ability of this nine year old who played seemingly without a care in the world. It brought the house down.
By the time he was twelve Brett was travelling and demonstrating for Wersi in the U.K . At fifteen Brett was accepted for Clarendon College in Nottingham to study music.
Today Brett is in demand and playing to venues all over the country.
Acknowledgement – http://www.organfax.co.uk
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Visiting us 25th June Ian Griffin
Ian Griffin, An award winning keyboard player, first appeared on BBC 1 TV at the age of twelve in a programme which featured Britain’s Young Entertainers. He played a Hammond organ and was voted back a second time by the live studio audience.
In 1980, at the age of fifteen, he appeared in Britain’s first Home Electronic Organ Festival and was voted the best player under the age of 18 by the readers of a national keyboard music magazine,
In conjunction with the then Pointinental Holidays, the same magazine produced a series of Spring In Spain festivals resulting in Ian being filmed for Spanish television.
In 1996 he was the musical director on HTV’s ‘ Friday Night Live’ – an early form of the X-Factor with famous personalities as judges on talent from Wales.