WEYHILL ELECTRONIC ORGAN SOCIETY


SOMETHING DIFFERENT

 
Mindful of the continual need to maintain an interest in its activities, and the world of electronic keyboard music in general, the Society is not afraid to attempt ‘something different’ from time to time – especially when charities can frequently benefit from their efforts.  The Club does not consist of organ aficionados: those who attend the monthly concerts simply do so because they enjoy music and live entertainment.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
 


St Thomas's Church, Charlton (near Andover) was again the venue, in November 2013, for an evening of top class electronic keyboard music performed by the popular Dutch player, DIRKJAN RANZIJN.  Dirk, as he is known to his many friends, had previously performed at the Church in December 2011.  The concert, staged in association with the Society, proved to be yet another successful and enjoyable occasion - producing a profit of around £280 for allocation to the concert venue and to St Michael and All Angels Church in Weyhill.  Feedback was very positive and all concerned enjoyed the entertainment.  Additionally, the occasion  helped to introduce a few more people to the world of the electronic organ/keyboard as well as raising the profile of the Society.

 
 
 
The Club's 'Roadshow' visited Andover on 5 June 2013, when DIRKJAN RANZIJN performed to an enthusiastic audience in the Bridge Street Methodist Church.  The concert, organised in support of Andover & District Mencap, proved to be a successful and enjoyable event.  The mix of music was ideal for the occasion and was well received by a wide age group.  Furthermore, with the help of an excellent raffle, the commendable sum of £210 was raised for the Charity.    
 
 
As part of the Club's ongoing 'Roadshow' publicity campaign, a concert was staged in Upper Clatford Village Hall, near Andover, on Saturday 17 November 2012. The artiste selected for this event was none other than the enthusiastic Dutch performer, DIRKJAN RANZIJN. Although the attendance was a little disappointing, the audience thoroughly enjoyed the evening - with Dirk providing a lively selection of music, enhanced by his usual enthusiastic repartee - and a sum in excess of £100 was raised for the hall funds.  
 
 
Always keen to forge links with the local community, the Club arranged a tuition session at the Andover College Music Academy, with PENNY WEEDON sharing her knowledge of composition with a small group of students. With a degree of interaction, they managed to compose a short piece of music and it was evident that Penny had made a most favourable impression – and one of the students presented her with a bouquet of flowers. The event, which took place on 8 October 2012, was sponsored by the Club and was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr. Mrs Janet Whiteley.      
 
 
The town of Ludgershall, just inside the Wiltshire border, provided the venue for a promotional concert part-organised by the Society in July 2012. An evening of top class music was performed by DIRKJAN RANZIJN, shortly before returning back to his home in Alkmaar, Holland.  Apart from producing great entertainment for a largely 'new' audience, the event raised the excellent sum of £435 for the Memorial Hall funds and served to enhance the Society's profile.
 
In June 2012, Andover shoppers experienced the sound of music with over five hours of entertainment provided by top Dutch keyboard player, DIRKJAN RANZIJNThe entertainment was provided as part of the Chantry Centre’s Community Calendar and Dirk, as he is known to his many fans, performed tirelessly throughout the day on his electronic keyboard to help raise funds for Andover Young Carers.  Sponsored by the Society, Dirk entertained the shoppers with a varied and melodious selection of music and even obliged with a few requests, including one piece for Test Valley Mayor, Cllr. Mrs Dorothy Baverstock. Other visitors to the event included the local MP Sir George Young and former Mayor, Cllr. Mrs Zilliah Brooks.  The commendable amount of £247 was collected for the Charity and the enjoyable occasion was well supported.
 
 
 
An electronic organ concert was staged in December 2011 at St Thomas’s Church in Charlton (near Andover), with DIRKJAN RANZIJN entertaining a ‘full house’.  The event, arranged in association with the Society, realised a profit of around £500 which was shared equally between the concert venue and St Michael and All Angels Church in Weyhill.  The setting was perfect, the acoustics were great and a vibrant atmosphere was generated throughout the evening. Feedback was encouraging and all parties involved were delighted with the outcome. In addition to helping the two churches, the occasion introduced a good number of people to the world of the electronic organ and raised the profile of the Society.
 
 
In May 2011, the Club helped to promote and support a concert in aid of the Testway Transform charity at the Fairground Hall, Weyhill.  The concert, titled ‘Fairground to Broadway’ featured The Daisybelles, a talented and versatile all-female group from Southampton.  A varied programme of songs and sketches, laced with a little comedy, was enjoyed by all who attended.
 
In February 2011, the Society sponsored ELIZABETH HARRISON to entertain shoppers with a wide selection of music in the local Sainsbury’s Superstore.  Almost six hours of music was performed while a collection was made on behalf of Enham, a local charity dedicated to transforming the lives of disabled people with learning programmes and care options.  The Mayor and Mayoress of Test Valley were in attendance and the sum of £252 was raised for the Charity.
 

 

In April 2010, the Society was allotted a prime position in the local ASDA store, where DIRKJAN RANZIJN performed throughout the day, whilst teams of volunteers collected for Macmillan Cancer Support and distributed Society literature to the shoppers. An enjoyable and successful occasion saw customers and staff members alike joining in and even dancing to the music- with the commendable sum of £594 being raisedfor the Charity. In attendance were the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Test Valley, along with representatives from the local press and radio.
 
A concert in August 2009, featuring MICHAEL WOOLDRIDGE, included live musical accompaniment to a black and white comedy film, evoking memories of the ‘Silent Movies’.  This idea was well received and  it is hoped similar entertainment can be  repeated at a few of the Society's future concerts.
 
On two separate occasions the Society has staged a New Year’s Viennese Evening to launch its annual concert programme. In 2005, the Society welcomed PENNY WEEDON and Liesl Muller, the latter an Austrian-born cabaret singer who performed a few songs in her native language.  Then, in 2010, a concert performed by Chris Stanbury was preceded by some brief films of Vienna and surrounding countryside. Although the Club’s usual venue cannot accommodate the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – or even replicate the wonderful features of the famous Musikverein in Vienna – the performances of the respective guest artistes have proved to be more than ideal substitutes.
 
By way of variation, the Society staged a ‘Sixties Evening’ in April 2007, performed by PENNY WEEDON (ably assisted by her husband, Tony Kerr), with a wide-ranging selection of music spanning the entire decade, music particularly appropriate for the age group the Club is seeking to attract.  By ensuring that the music is 'fresh', the Society aims to build up and maintain the interest it is able to generate.
 
Christmas concerts are always ‘fun evenings’, involving audience participation with a little carol-singing.  With the aid of video projection equipment, words to the various carols can be displayed on the Club's large screen - thereby encouraging everyone to join in.  Furthermore, the venue is suitably decorated and special seasonal refreshments are provided ... so it's no wonder these concerts are usually sold out!
 
Publicity is an essential part of the Society’s operations and various means of advertising are constantly being sought.  Colour brochures have been produced and most of the usual methods of drawing the Club’s activities to the attention of the local community have been explored.  For example, the window of the Andover Library, located in the town centre, has been used for publicity purposes – to make more people aware of the excellent value-for-money entertainment on offer.
 
 
 
An early innovation was the commissioning of memorabilia, bearing the Club’s name and logo.  Mugs, keyrings, travel clocks, model vehicles and ball-point pens are among the items produced and subsequently used as audience loyalty rewards.  A number of visiting artistes have also taken a keen interest in these limited edition items!