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- Concert Review – Mark Thompson 27th Sept 2021 October 22, 2021
Mark’s playing of the Electronic organ began at age seven. He joined the Technics Academy at nine; He worked his way through his grades whilst along the way entering local competitions and reached the area finals in 1999. Mark was a pupil of Chiho Sunamato at the Yamaha School of Music; and was performing in concerts by the age of fifteen. Mark then travelled the UK and abroad playing the Yamaha EL90 for organ societies, festivals and private functions. In 2002 Mark won the ‘Young Theatre Organist of the Year’ competition and has subsequently performed on many of the UK’s most prodigious theatre organs. Mark also plays in a 60s and 70s band, ‘Wallstreet’, on keyboards and providing backing vocals, he is also the musical director or rehearsal pianist for many North East musical theatre societies. Mark’s other works include that of, vocal coach, accompanist or Music Director for many North East stage schools, and musical theatre colleges in both Blackpool and Leeds. Mark plays ‘cocktail piano’ at hotels and restaurants across the North East, also for weddings throughout the year. He plays with ‘The Fab Dakers Boys’ jazz band at Newcastle United’s football ground, ‘St. James’ Park’, and features in the ‘The Ratpack Vegas Spectacular’ band, for shows at theatres around the country.
photo – wephoto.co.uk Info – OrganFax.co.uk
David won holiday camp talent competition at the age of ten, this was his catalyst for becoming a professional organist. He initially explored performing in local charity concerts, he soon found that he was in great demand. Family holidays taken at various organ festivals encouraged him and he won a teenage talent competition at the National Home Organ Festival at Hemsby in 1983. He was soon playing junior spots at major
organ festivals both in this country and abroad. Aged fourteen he filled semi-professional engagements at clubs in and around the Midlands. Leaving school in the summer of 1986 he realised his ambition and became a full-time professional organist. David has considerable experience, playing for dancing and backing cabaret in the clubs, has been musical director for several variety and dance shows. He has made concert appearances at organ societies and festivals all over the country. Much of David’s work is playing for strict tempo dancing where his reputation and popularity has taken him to venues throughout the UK. playing Ballroom, Latin American, Modern Sequence or Traditional Old Time. He currently plays Technics GA3, modified to make it portable, plus a Yamaha PSR8000, for both concert and dance work, To make life easier for his ‘crew’ he purchased the Orla GT8000 Compact portable and uses this mainly in upstairs venues. David also runs a small organ and keyboard teaching studio.
photo – wephoto.co.uk Info – OrganFax.co.uk
Concert review 28th October 2019 Chris Jones
We must thank Chris for stepping in at the last minute to replace David Lingwood who was unable to attend. Chris brought a Yamaha AR100 organ (personally customised) plus Ketron SD40 Expander Module, used for additional sounds and Rhythms. He provided a full concert with comprehensive variety and while perhaps we take for granted that all our attending artistes are accomplished, we should recognise that Chris at ‘the drop of a hat’ put together a professional evening of entertainment for us. He very much settled in by the second half and the music provided after the interval was even more rounded and entertaining, His humour – camp brought a smile and not a ‘little titter’ as Frankie Howard would say.
1st Half Everything is in rhythm with my heart, Put on a happy face, Somewhere out there, I only have eyes for you, Im in the mood for love, sleepy time girl, Liberty bell march, Sheep may safely graze, me & my teddy bear, the teddy bears picnic, portrait of my love, (Matt Monroe) walk away, someone to watch over me, time after time, say wonderful things to you, (Sung by CHRIS). If I were a rich man, match maker, yellow river, A time for us, Feelings, TV theme selection, I could have danced all night,
2nd Half Orange coloured sky, Any dream will do, Oh bla dee Oh bla da, Deep in the heart of Texas, On the way to San Francisco, roundup, your the cream in my coffee. Chris was called for an encore for which he played. Ethel Merman’s – I’ve got the sun
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