Artiste – visiting us 21th August 2017 – David Harrild
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.
It was a warm summer evening with a good number of attendees in the audience for our evening concert performed by Elizabeth Harrrison. She began by introducing herself as a farmer, a driver of big machines and goods vehicles. Elizabeth’s boyfriend, also a farmer but their two farms were she said, 26 miles apart. Elizabeth made an appeal to the audience, she was a collector of tractors, at one time she had 13 but presently only 8, she did however want to find a Massey Ferguson 35, 3 cylinder tractor, and appealed to anyone in the audience who may have one for sale. There was much amusement but no offers. Elizabeth hadn’t had much luck with a shopping trip either, out for vacuum cleaner bags she returned home with a dog instead. The dog, a black and white border collie needed a new home, its owners were emigrating.
So the music started for an audience already amused. Unusually for an artiste, she performed facing us; throughout the evening she punctuated her performance with facial expressions that were themselves quite entertaining. Elizabeth is an accomplished entertainer with a performance repertoire that included something for everyone. Amongst the music she played were; themes from west end shows, strangers in the night, Choo Choo Samba, Too Beautiful To Last, A 1960s Selection including Three Steps To Heaven, I Only Want To Be With You, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Its A Heartache, Georgie Girl. Marches- Out Of The Blue, Dancing Dustman. Viennese Waltz Selection including Over The Waves, Ciribiribin, Chrysanthemum Waltz, Nights of Gladness. Classical – Prelude In Classic Style, and House of dreams. We were also led in a sing song that featured well known cockney and wartime favourites, My old mans a dustman, Ain’t she sweet, Run rabbit run, when your smiling and Bring me sunshine.
Elizabeth’s instrument was a Roland ATELIER Combo AT-350C with Pedal board and a “Tower Organ in a box” module.
Nicholas Martin B.E.M
Monday 22nd May 2017, the lighter evenings were with us, and no need for heating. Our Artiste for the evening, Nicholas Martin, had travelled down from Leicester together with his father and son, both of whom helped Nicholas stage the evenings performance. We were first introduced to a sense of humour that carried on throughout the evening, ‘A lorry’, said Nicholas, ‘shed its load of onions on the motorway, police advised motorists to use the hard shoulder, to cry on’ we were reminded that it was ten years since he had last performed for us, with a wry smile, he suggested some were still sat in the same seats, his good humoured jokes brought ‘groans of laughter’ throughout the evening, and so to his music.
The performance opened to Hey Look Me Over, Nicholas’s signature tune. His music varied in styles, such as ‘The Blackpool Style’ and the way it was performed, including ‘cascading or water falling keyboards’, which to my uneducated eye was full of impressive movement. There were many other formats. Music performed included classical, hymns, jazz, film, waltzes, and Susa marches and of naturally Blackpool tower music. With his instrument he emulated single organs to full orchestras. In places the music was delicate and silky smooth, elsewhere full on and commanding. An accomplished performance with music to suit everyone. The variety of the performance attracted much applause and Nicholas was recalled for an encore.
Very kindly Nicholas provided me with a list detailing many of pieces that he played during the evening.
Sig Tune: Hey Look Me Over
Marches: Vienna Forever / Stars & Stripes Forever / The Thunderer
Classical Waltzes: Love theme from Romeo & Juliet / The Ashokan Farewell / Oh Mia Babbino Cara
Contrasts: Skaters Waltz / Eleanora / Intermezzo from: Cavalleria Rusticana
“Les Miserables” Medley: Master of the House / Bring Him Home / Do You Hear the People Sing? / I Dreamed a Dream
Music from Nick’s Latest CD: Take Me Home, Country Roads / Music, Music, Music / Zip a Dee-Doo-Dah / No Matter What / Peanut Polka / I Vow to Thee My Country / Bluebell Polka / Clarinet Polka / 12th St. Rag
Latin American Medley: Brazil / Cumana / Enjoy Yourself / Maria Elena / Till / Jealousy / Sway / The Girl from Ipanema / Tico-Tico
You Raise Me Up / Amazing Grace
Showtime Medley: Mamma Mia / Shall We Dance? / March of the Siamese Children/ I Won’t Send Roses / Gigi / Get Me to the Kirk on Time / I Could Have Danced All Night / All I Ask of You / Willkomen / Cabaret / This Nearly Was Mine / Happy Talk / Hello Dolly / Music of the Night / Be A Clown / No Business Like Showbusiness
Frank Sinatra Remembered: New York, New York / All the Way / Fly Me To the Moon / My Way
Decades of Melody: A Walk in the Black Forest / Lady of Spain / Mack the Knife / It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie / Always / All My Loving / Can’t Buy Me Love / Yesterday / Around the World / Fascination / For All We Know / Lullaby of Birdland / Georgia / Muskrat Ramble / Rosalie / Anything Goes / Getting Sentimental Over You / Sunny Side of the Street / When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful / Opus One / Pennsylvania 65000 / Little Brown Jug / In the Mood.
Tiger Rag / Widor’s Toccata
Some wondered why Nicholas had been awarded the BEM by the queen. The honour was in recognition for work done by Nicholas in forming the children’s autism charity, ‘Miracles to believe in’. The charity has a website at the following address. http://www.miraclestobelievein.moonfruit.com/ At the end of the concert provision was made to accept donations to it. I received the following written comment from Nicholas, “I was delighted we raised £55.12 for our “Miracles to believe in” charity at the close of the concert. Please put a thank you in your newsletter for me regarding that.”
Nicholas instrument, a Technics GA3 organ, With believed a Roland Fantom XR module for the Theatre Organ sounds