October 1st, 2017 by Steve Morl

Artiste – Visiting us 23rd October 2017 Rod Pooley

 

Rod Pooley was born in Welling, Kent, in 1966.  He began playing electronic organ at the age of seven. At the time he received early tuition from John Norris (Then the Principal of the Southern Music Training Centre Bromley). Rod added the piano to his playing skills from the age of ten. His then tutor was London jazz pianist, James Fagg, maybe the reason why Rod is now a fluent jazz player.

Rod attended Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. The school at that time had one of the largest school music departments in the UK. Whilst there Rod can claim that he performed a solo during a concert in front of former prime minister Sir Edward Heath the then Mp for Bexley.

At the Grammar School Rod formed its first jazz band. During and after leaving full time education, Rod won many titles in the organ world. These included:

1981 at 14 years of age Young Theatre Organist of the Year

1985 and 1986 at 18 and 19 years of age National Organist of the year

1988 at 21 years of age Yamaha Electone Festival Winner

Rod has Grade VIII on Piano and Organ and achieved a performance diploma in electronic organ playing at just 17.

Rod was the Church organist at St Michaels and All Angels Eastbourne for two years. His professional career was established by the time he left school, performing at many organ societies. He has performed in many forms of entertainment as both soloist and a member playing in big bands. Rod has worked with the Joe Loss Orchestra, the Ken Mackintosh Big Band, Mike Reid and Jimmy Tarbuck.

Rod organised and ran a successful organ and keyboard school; he now combines his busy performing and demonstrating career with a directorship of The Drawtones his Funky Organ Classics band.

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September 1st, 2017 by Steve Morl

Artiste – 25th September 2017 Alex Payler

Alex’s performance instrument is the state of the art YAMAHA Electone Stagea ELS-02C. As well as being the first pro-player to import this very special instrument into the UK, he is now one of the leading exponents of this particular model in the world. The state of the art Stagea ELS-02C is at the apex of technological innovation and along with its cutting-edge design, is by far the most musically expressive electronic instrument created in the world today.  Check out Alex’s YouTube Channel for special live performances…

https://www.youtube.com/alexpayler

Acknowledgement to http://www.organfax.co.uk/players/alexpayler/#close

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August 1st, 2017 by Steve Morl

Artiste – visiting us 21th August 2017 – David Harrild

 

First lessons
At the age of 9, his parents bought him his first organ which was a Bontempi from Woolworth’s, unfortunately his persistent practising on the Bontempi stretched his parents tolerance until they could stand no more, so he was given the option of attending lessons and a new organ.

Throw Away The Books
After 1 year’s tuition, he decided that he would throw away the teaching books and play by ear. At least that way, he could progress to more exciting material other than “Merrily We Roll Along”.

Through the years
Through the years David was inspired by  his idol, Harry Stoneham, this encouraged him to form his Trio that consisted of  Drums, Tenor Sax and Organ. The Trio become familiar  faces  with local  Working Men’s Clubs, Bowls Clubs and then on to Masonic Ladies Festivals, Social Evenings and Dinner Dances.

Ability to play by ear
Many of you who have heard David in concert will know that he never carries music with him. David’s concerts are performed by his ability to play by ear. This ability enables him to choose his material, listen to it once or twice and then play it. David is now known around the country for performing at Music Festivals, Dinner Dance, Masonic Functions, Organ and Keyboard Clubs.

Acknowledgement  http://www.organfax.co.uk/players/davidharrild/#close

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July 25th, 2017 by Steve Morl

 

Concert review – Matthew Bason 24th July 2017

 

Our concert of the 24th July 2017 was the first with the new start time of 7.45pm, at least that was the intention. There had been an accident on the nearby A12 with the road effectively blocked all the way to Chelmsford, diverted traffic was then passing outside the hall. The audience was arriving for the night’s performance yet there was no Matthew Bason! To the relief of all though he did appear after an extensive diversion and the concert started only five minutes later than intended.

Multi talented Matthew gave us a taste of his “One-Man Musical Variety Show”. During the evening he not only played the Roland atelier AT350 punctuated with his own brand of humour, but a Yamaha piano, the accordion and we listened to his excellent singing voice. Matthews rendition of bring him home brought part of the audience to their feet. Mathew introduced differing stiles into his music; we heard music played on his Roland emulating a Hammond, a selection of gospel music, Classical, orchestral, and film music, to mention a few.

Matthew introduced us to Helga whom he produced form a suitcase, Helga the Piano accordion. On Helga he played for us his Brexit medley collection each piece relating to an EU country. The medley included, Tulips from Amsterdam, O soli Mio, amongst others.

Amongst just some of the music played by Matthew were. Blue tango, blue waltz, blue bossa, Misty, Amazing Grace, I’m all shook up, lets twist again like we did last summer, Brahms lullaby, 12th street rag,  A selection from Abba including, Dancing queen, Mama Mia, tragedy, and thank you for the music. Other pieces included, the Rudetzky March. Hebrew slaves, Duke Ellington’s Caravan, River Kwai march,  Bring him home, A homage to Dean Martin  (who would have been 100 this year) included among others, Every body needs somebody, and sway. We also heard, somewhere over the rainbow, all the things you are, and Circus Renz.

Matthew’s “One-Man Musical Variety show” certainly fulfilled its promise of variety and was well applauded.

Matthew’s Roland Atelier AT350 and Yamaha Piano

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