17 OCTOBER 2019

Concert review to follow:


The Club’s September concert featured TONY STACE, a very popular player from Northallerton in North Yorkshire, making his sixth appearance for the Club. 

Whilst still a young teenager, Tony gained entry into a prestigious European competition in Frankfurt where he gained second place, winning a brand new keyboard which he used for the next three years.  At the age of seventeen, he was given the opportunity to perform at a UK festival, after which his career took off.  Bookings began arriving and in the following year he performed around thirty concerts, convincing him to go full time. 

As ever, Tony produced a scintillating concert with music ranging from polkas to pop with a wide variation of styles and sounds.  Along with his friendly, engaging and occasionally cheeky personality, he ensured that everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Opening with a selection of lively German marches and a few Shadows’ hits – Guitar Tango, Kon-Tiki and Wonderful Land.  Tony continued with an Italian medley, beginning with the national anthem and followed by Volare, That’s Amore and Funniculi Funnicula.   Expressing his love of Classical music, Tony then performed Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata and Bach’s Ave Maria – before introducing Sousa’s King Cotton march and the the Pizzicato Polka (Strauss Jr.). 

Ragtime music was then represented by a couple of Winifred Atwell tunes – Jubilee Rag and Coronation Rag – whilst the first half concluded with a trio of Tom Jones hits – namely A Boy From Nowhere (from the musical ‘Matador’), I’ll never Fall In Love Again and Help Yourself – followed by another polka, Bel Viso (Pietro Frosini), performed with an appropriate accordion sound.

Tony selected another Strauss polka, Excursion Train, to resume the music, before playing a medley of Elton John hits; the songs selected were Your Song, Daniel, Song For Guy and Crocodile Rock.  Another Frosini polka, Hot Points, came next in the programme before a couple of Classical pieces were introduced – the well-loved Meditation (Massenet) and Romance from ‘The Gadfly’ (Shostakovich). 

By way of contrast, the audience was then treated to an extended medley of pop hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Amongst the selections were such songs as Devil Woman (Marty Robbins), Three Steps To Heaven (Eddie Cochran), I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles), Puppet On A String (Sandie Shaw),  In The Summertime (Mungo Jerry), Great Balls Of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis) and Runaround Sue (Dion).

A selection of songs from The Carpenters was predictably well-received: after all, it's unlikely anyone could forget Karen’s voice and such hits as Only Yesterday, Close To You, Jambalaya and On Top Of The World.  The evening had elapsed all too soon as Tony introduced his finale, for which he had chosen a delightful feast of Disney songs – including Some Day My Prince Will Come, Hi Ho, Hi Ho and Whistle While You Work (all from the film ‘Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs’), We’re Off To See The Wizard (‘Wizard Of Oz’) and Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (‘Pinocchio’).  However, there was no way he would be allowed to leave the stage without an encore!  Thus, a medley of well-known tunes to which the audience sang along completed the evening’s entertainment.


15 AUGUST 2019

Guest performer at the August concert was TIM FLINT from Belper in Derbyshire, making his sixth appearance for the Club. 

As a schoolboy, Tim showed a flair not only for playing but also for communicating with his audience and this ability remains with him today.  Upon becoming professional he soon gained popularity on the circuit and over the years has played at most of the electronic organ and keyboard clubs around the UK, as well as performing at many of the festivals, both in the UK and abroad.  He is highly respected as a musician and as an entertainer –famed not only for his excellent musicianship but also for his quick-fire wit. Tim was once well known for producing his own range of successful music festivals and holidays at hotels throughout the UK but abandoned the project a few years ago when he decided to take up full time teaching.

The concert contained a wide variation of music and sounds, interwoven with a selection of jokes in Tim’s inimitable fashion, producing applause and laughter in equal shares.  The first half began with Irving Berlin’s Cheek To Cheek, in the style of George Shearing, and a selection of Lounge Music, including The Shadow Of Your Smile and Stardust, involving appropriate string sounds.  The refrains of the Cinema Organ were employed for Somewhere Over The Rainbow and The Trolley Song before Tim increased the tempo with the well-known Tiger Rag.   

A Classical favourite of the audience was then introduced, namely Mascagni’s Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana, followed by Robert Farnon’s Portrait Of A Flirt (which was used as the theme for the BBC radio programme ‘In Town Tonight'.  To conclude the first half Tim selected another Classical piece – Voices Of Spring (Johann Strauss Jr.) – which he performed in the style of André Rieu.

The entertainment resumed with the sound of a Brass Band – and a tune aptly titled Bandology – after which Tim played a couple of slow jazz items, When Joanna Loved Me (a Tony Bennett hit) plus Polka Dots And Moonbeams (Frank Sinatra).  Another Classical piece was next to be introduced – Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, performed in the style of Louis Clark – and the music continued with Erroll Garner’s Misty, featuring piano, saxophone and orchestra (all produced from one instrument!), followed byThe Wedding Samba (an Edmundo Ros recording).

Memories were then challenged with Jerry Allen’s The Hedge Hopper – the signature tune of the ATV programme ‘Lunch Box’ – after which Tim played the theme from the film Out Of Africa, an emotional piece of music composed by the late John Barry.  The concert ended with a Traditional Jazz number,Muskrat Ramble (a Kenny Ball hit), complete with the sounds of trumpet and piano.  In keeping with tradition, the audience demanded an encore, for which Tim appropriately performed Comedians’ Galop – even succeeding in replicating a little trumpet ‘triple tonguing’ in the process! 


18 JULY 2019 

Former ITV's ‘Britain's Got Talent’ finalist JEAN MARTYN, made her first appearance on the organ/keyboard circuit for eighteen months when she performed for the Club’s July concert – and it was soon clearly obvious why she is a firm favourite wherever she plays.  Even the evening’s uncomfortable humidity failed to deter her as she entertained the audience with a varied selection of music.

An international concert pianist and organist, Jean has been invited to garden parties at Buckingham Palace on several occasions and has met most members of the Royal Family.  She performs each year on grand piano at St James's Palace, once having accompanied Dame Vera Lynn in a charity concert for war veterans, the Not Forgotten Association.  She has entertained crowds of up to 32,000 at the Wembley and 02 Arenas but still enjoys playing for smaller appreciative audiences as at Weyhill.

The concert opened with the Hammond sound, selected for the Percy Sledge hit, When A Man Loves A Woman, before Jean – the only female artiste to have been recorded playing on the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer organ – used the instantly recognisable refrain to bring a taste of the seaside to the audience with Somewhere over the Rainbow andLet's Face the Music and Dance, Twelfth Street Rag and Chattanooga Choo Choo.  Jean then played a James Last medley, beginning with Amor – a Latin American number also associated with Julio Iglesias and Dean Martin – followed by Ralph McTell’s Streets Of London and concluding with the late bandleader’s familiar signature tune, Games That Lovers Play.

A further change of style brought Dixieland to proceedings, with Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home (featuring the banjo sound), When The Saints Go Marching In and Mama Don’t Allow, before a guitar sound was employed for the José Feliciano hit,Light My Fire.  The tempo relaxed for Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto De Aranjuez and Rachmaninov's popular Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini.  The pace increased once more with a selection of marches, including The British Grenadiers, Colonel Bogey (no doubt reviving memories of the film ‘Bridge On The River Kwai’) and Blaze Away.

To conclude the first half – which had simply flown by – Jean performed a selection from the popular ‘Les Miserables’ musical – including Do You Hear The People Sing, I Dreamed Dream,Master Of The House and Bring Him Home.  “"It's lovely to be back here," Jean was heard to remark during the interval. "You have a wonderful, friendly club here and are very lucky to have such a good committee and back-up team."

After a quick change, Jean returned to the stage with her usual broad smile, opening the second half with Jean Michel Jarré’s Oxygene (complete with the sound of the synthesizer).  She then performed a selection of the many ABBA hits, such as Mamma Mia, Fernando, Super Trouper and Dancing Queen, followed by This Is My Lovely Day, The Anniversary Waltz and I Could Have Danced All Night (from ‘My Fair Lady’).  In complete contrast, Jean’s instrument then took on the guise of a brass band for The March Of The Cobblers (from the film ‘Brassed Off’).

Elvis then entered the building … musically speaking, as Jean performed a medley of a few of his many hit numbers; the selections included All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, Can’t Help Falling In Love and An American Trilogy.  A novelty item, The Ugly Duckling, was then inserted (with appropriate sounds) before the piano and saxophone sounds were utilised for Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable, followed by September Song in the style of Stéphane Grappelli.

Oh, My Beloved Father (‘O Mio Babbino Caro’), for which voices could be heard, preceded the final selection of the evening, a medley of Disney songs – The Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You (both from ‘The Jungle Book’), Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah (from ‘Song of the South’), Whistle While You Work (from ‘Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs’) and ending with Circle Of Life (from ‘The Lion King’).  Unsurprisingly, an encore was demanded … and Jean duly obliged – utilising an accordion sound for a couple of Scottish tunes, Scotland The Brave and Loch Lomond.  The rapturous applause left Jean in no doubt that her return to the club scene was truly welcomed and that retirement was still some distance away.

20 JUNE 2019

Guest performer for the June was CHRIS STANBURY, a highly qualified and talented musician from Sutton in Surrey and one of the busiest and most versatile keyboard players on the UK professional circuit.  He holds various prestigious musical qualifications from the London College of Music, including Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees.  As a music examiner for the LCM, his work takes him all over the world, providing presentations and workshops to teachers and students; he also works in the musical instrument industry as a piano and keyboard product specialist and demonstrator. 

The evening began in rousing fashion with Leroy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday, followed by Stevie Wonder’s You Are The Sunshine Of My Life and the Thunder And Lightning Polka (Strauss Jr.).  A brief Rock’n’Roll selection – including Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock (featuring a dominant saxophone sound) and Let’s Twist Again (Chubby Checker) – preceded As If We Never Said Goodbye from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’ musical.  Big Band music was represented by a medley of Glenn Miller hits, such as Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug and In The Mood, and a Count Basie recording titled Shiny Stockings.  Chris then tested a few memories with a number of past radio programme themes: these included Puffin’ Billy (‘Children’s Favourites’), Coronation Scot (‘Paul Temple’) andDevil’s Galop (‘Dick Barton- Special Agent’).

A few Max Bygraves songs were then revived – You’re A Pink Toothbrush, The Ballad Of Davy Crockett, Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'be and Tulips From Amsterdam – following which Chris introduced a couple of appropriate  tunes – The Anniversary Waltz (Vera Lynn) and Together (Connie Francis) – to celebrate the Diamond Wedding of two of the Club’s volunteers who were in the audience (rather than celebrating elsewhere!).  The first half was concluded with a selection of well-known pop songs from the 60s – Apache (The Shadows), Telstar (Tornados), Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison) and A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Procol Harum).

After the break, Chris resumed with a lively march tune, namely Raiders Of The Lost Ark (John Williams), before introducing On A Clear Day (Matt Monro), performed in Latin American style.  The audience could then be heard singing along to a number of memorable tunes from ‘The Sound Of Music’, including the title song, Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss, My Favourite Things and Climb Every Mountain.  A brief medley of tunes, performed in rumba style, consisted of I’m In The Mood For Love, Perfidia and More, whilst a selection of songs associated with Dusty Springfield were performed in the piano style of Bobby Crush (with whom Chris had appeared on several occasions) – songs such as I Only want To Be With You, Island Of Dreams and You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me. 

The ever-popular Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was well received, as were two Big Band pieces – Hot Toddy and East Of The Sun – both in the style of the Ted Heath Band.  The concert was completed with various hits selected from the BBC TV show, ‘Juke Box Jury’, starting with the appropriately named programme theme – a John Barry Seven recording titled Hit And Miss.  Also included in the selection were Let’s Dance (Chris Montez), Bobby’s Girl (Susan Maughan), Poetry In Motion (Johnny Tillotson) and Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen (Neil Sedaka). The entertaining evening was rounded off with a customary encore, Circus Renz, a rapid-fire tune primarily composed for the xylophone! 


16 MAY 2019 

The general consensus of opinion of those who attended this concert clearly indicated that the evening was one of the very best.  Guest artiste was MARK THOMPSON, from Durham, who entertained the Club’s biggest attendance of 2019 with a great blend of music and displayed amazing dexterity when playing the high tempo selections of his programme.  If one word could describe this performer it would undoubtedly have to be ‘talent’ – yes, sheer talent.

Mark, who was making his fifth appearance for the Club, began with Bring Me Sunshine, with a traditional jazz section – reviving memories of Morecambe and Wise, except that he played all the right notes in the correct order! Wonderful World aroused thoughts of Louis Armstrong whilst The Bare Necessities brought Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ film to mind.

The concert programme provided great variety and next to feature was a Latin American  tune titled Mas Que Nada, followed by Always On My Mind (Elvis Presley), Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton) and Somewhere Out There from the animated film ‘An American Tail’.  The next two items presented Mark with a distinct challenge – firstly The Bumble Boogie (based on Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Flight Of The Bumblebee’) and then with Leroy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday, both with appropriate sounds and both negotiated with surprising ease.

Providing Mark with a degree of mental and physical relief was David Foster’s The Prayer – a duet recorded by Celine Dion with Andrea Bocelli and also with Josh Groban – before a ‘Rat Pack’ tribute, consisting of songs that were hits for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.  The selection included Strangers In The NightLuck Be A LadySwayThat’s AmoréEverybody Loves SomebodyThat’s Life and New York, New York

Contrastingly, Mark then introduced a brass band arrangement of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, as utilised in the film ‘Brassed Off’, before ending the first half with a trio of Rock’n’Roll tunes – Twistin’ The Night Away (Sam Cooke), Rock Around The Clock (Bill Haley) and Blue Suede Shoes (Elvis Presley).

The entertainment was resumed with a Dixieland medley of songs from the shows, including Has Anybody Seen My GalAnything GoesIt’s De-Lovely and I Got Rhythm.  Mark then switched to orchestral mode for Voices Of Spring (Johann Strauss Jr.), along with Katie Melua’s Closest Thing To Crazy and Debby Boone’s You Light Up My Life.  The Trish Trash Polka (another Strauss composition) preceded a selection of well-known pop songs, namely I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor), My Girl (The Temptations), Living Doll and Do You Wanna Dance (both Cliff Richard hits), There Goes My First Love (The Drifters) and The Wonder Of You (Elvis Presley).

Mark then played a trio of Jazz standards – The Nearness Of You,Hit The Road Jack and Mack The Knife – and utilised excellent vocal refrains for Puccini’s ever-popular Nessun Dorma (from the opera ‘Turandot’), before rounding off the evening with a Latin American medley.  The selections were Bésame MuchoPerfidiaMambo JamboCuando Calienta El Sol (an Engelbert Humperdinck hit under the title Love Me With All Your Heart) and Tico Tico.  

Predictably, the enthusiastic audience called for an encore and Mark duly obliged with La Bamba and Johnny Be Good.  A return visit from such a talented performer would obviously be most welcome … sooner rather than later!


18 APRIL 2019

The audience at the Club’s April concert was well entertained with an excellent selection of music performed by guest artiste, BRETT WALES, from Nottingham.

Brett has performed concerts in Germany, Holland and throughout the UK, delighting audiences wherever he performs with his own unique style and sound.  He has his very own studio, where he continues to work on new recordings and where he strives to produce the fantastic sounds that are so much appreciated by his fans.  He is constantly in demand and playing to packed venues all over the country, with bookings already confirmed for 2020.

Now We Are Free, Hans Zimmer’s theme for the film ‘Gladiator’, got proceedings off to a great start and set the scene for an enjoyable evening.  After a brief up-tempo medley, Including Good GoodyOn The Street Where You Live and Mack The Knife, Brett introduced a Don McLean ballad, And I Love You So (recorded by such other performers as Perry Como and Elvis Presley).  This was followed by Paper Roses (Marie Osmond) and the well-loved Classical piece, Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni). 

The tempo increased with Take On Me (Ah-Ha) and a selection performed as a tribute to, and in the style of, Klaus Wunderlich – The Moon And IMore and I Could Have Danced All Night.  Super Trouper (Abba) preceded another Hans Zimmer composition – the theme from Pirates Of The Caribbean, utilising a grand orchestral sound, whilst the first half concluded with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Memory (from the musical ‘Cats’) and the Frank Sinatra hit, New York, New York.  

The entertainment resumed with Herb Alpert’s rhythmic tune A Banda, followed by Apache (The Shadows) and The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore (Walker Brothers).  Brett continued to perform a wide variety of music, including Red River ValleyRock Around The Clock and the popular Queen number, A Kind Of Magic, before including a Mozart composition, Rondo Alla Turca, an André Rieu arrangement of In A Persian Market and Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous Flight Of The Bumblebee – the latter being a challenge for any keyboard player!.

The Weyhill audience clearly appreciates popular songs and Brett did not disappoint as a further selection included Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash), Sound Of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel), Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley) and finishing with Whitney Houston’s emotive One Moment In Time – a song originally produced for the 1988 Summer Olympics.

A medley of lively hoedown-style music, such as Oh! Susanna and Deep In The Heart Of Texas, provided the inevitable encore to end an evening enjoyed by all … and Brett’s popularity continues unabated. 


21 MARCH 2019 

The combination of a Welshman from Bristol performing on a German instrument was the source of entertainment for the Club’s March concert.  Taking the stage, dressed in a sparkling white suit, was BYRON JONES who provided a varied selection of music to please most tastes.

Byron, who was making his fourth appearance at Weyhill, is a very accomplished artiste and has played on most of the major theatre pipe organs in the UK, including the famous Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer.  For many years he has also supported various charities within his local community, for which he was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2018.   

Proceedings began with two marches – Imperial Echoes and Aces High – followed by a couple of popular tunes from the 60s, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (The Shirelles) and There’s A Kind Of Hush (Herman’s Hermits).  A selection of songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals was then introduced: the selection included Jesus Christ SuperstarI Don’t Know How To Love HimAny Dream Will DoNo Matter WhatMemory and Music Of The Night.  Byron then utilised the sound of piano and orchestra for I’ll Be Seeing YouOn The Sunny Side Of The Street and, albeit a month early, All In The April Evening.  He followed this with a singalong style of tunes employing the theatre organ sound – including such tunes as Put On A Happy FaceFascinationI’ll Be Loving You AlwaysWho’s Sorry NowHappy Days Are Here Again and Sussex By The Sea – before closing the first half with an orchestral version of the Elvis Presley hit, Can’t Help Falling In Love.   

After the break the concert resumed with the popular Radetzky March (Johann Strauss Sr.) – with the audience, in keeping with tradition, clapping along – followed by The Second Waltz (Shostakovich).  A couple of waltz tunes precededAve Maria and a medley which includedThe Happy Wanderer and The White Horse Inn.  The music continued with Wind Beneath My Wings, before a selection of well-known dance tunes, including I Hear Singing and Charmaine

Byron’s heritage was represented by Men Of Harlech and Sospan Fach whilst the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana was, as always, well received.  The theatre organ sound was reintroduced for a selection which included the Tiger Rag (Hold That Tiger) and a selection of tunes reviving memories of the Black & White Minstrels TV shows – songs such as SwaneeApril ShowersLily Of Laguna and Mammy.  The evening closed with There’ll Always Be An England and We’ll Keep A Welcome, followed by an encore When I Grow Too Old To Dream.

21 FEBRUARY 2019 

By way of variation, the entertainment provided at the Club’s February concert included a comedy film as well as the usual feast of music.  Guest artiste was MICHAEL WOOLDRIDGE from Littlehampton, making his seventh appearance for the Club.  

Michael has performed numerous concerts in Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Australia and has worked with bands in Ireland and Dubai.  For the last two summers he has been Principal Accompanist for the International Silent Film Festival at Berlin's Babylon Cinema.  He is Resident Organist on the mighty East Sussex National Wurlitzer, the largest in Europe, and also has a close association with the fabulous Worthing Wurlitzer.  Michael has been engaged as Musical Director on countless theatre tours, summer and Christmas seasons, musicals and has worked with many of the stars he grew up enjoying on television, including Syd Little, Paul Daniels, Bobby Crush, Dana and stars of the Black and White Minstrel Show.

Michael’s love of musicals was evident as the concert opened with Judy Garland’s Get Happy, followed by What I Did For Love, the latter being from ‘A Chorus Line’.  The Wurlitzer sound was then introduced for a medley which included such numbers as There’s No Business Like Show Business (from ‘Annie Get Your Gun’), A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, I’ll Be Loving You Always, Lullaby Of Broadway and Blue Skies.  Michael then recounted the numerous times he had appeared in productions with Syd Little (of Little and Large fame) and how Syd had performed the songs of Buddy Holly; he then provided the audience with memories of that star by playing a selection of his hits, including That’ll Be The DayPeggy Sue, True Love Ways, Raining In My Heart and Oh Boy.

A special surprise item was then introduced as Michael played along to a silent comedy movie titled ‘One Week’, featuring Buster Keaton, leaving just enough time for a selection of songs from the 60s and 70s – with the audience joining in with such songs as Summer Nights (from ‘Grease’) and Amarillo – before the arrival of the interval.

Opening the second half, Michael selected Sousa’s Liberty Bell march followed by a trio of memorable tunes, namely Snow Coach (composed by Trevor Stanford, aka Russ Conway), Mornings At Seven(James Last) and Pop Looks Bach (better known as the theme music for the BBC ‘Ski Sunday’ programmes).  Next to feature was How To Handle A Woman from ‘Camelot’ followed by the BBC TV ‘Songs Of Praise’ theme, Toccata For Organ, before the sound of the Wurlitzer was reintroduced for a selection of music from Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver’.  The familiar songs included Consider YourselfAs Long As He Needs MeYou’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or TwoWho Will Buy and I’d Do Anything.   

Billy Joel’s lively Root Beer Rag preceded an extensive medley of Beatles hits – Can’t Buy Me LoveNorwegian WoodLady MadonnaShe Loves YouYesterdayYellow Submarine and Hey Jude – before Michael closed the programme with a number of Glenn Miller favourites, including Chattanooga Choo ChooPennsylvania 6-5000Moonlight Serenade and reserving In The Mood for his encore.  So ended yet another enjoyable evening of music – performed by a player of immense talent and versatility.



17 JANUARY 2019 

The Club’s 2019 concert programme began in excellent style, thanks to guest artiste MATTHEW BASON, from Wellingborough, making his third visit to Weyhill.  

Originally classically-trained on the piano, Matthew began to teach himself the organ at the age of twelve and began his performing career in 1994. Four years later he went on to study Music and Education at the University of Reading where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours.  Amongst his other achievements, he was the ATOS Young Organist of the Year in 1999.  He has had a varied career in music - both as an organist and pianist - as a soloist, accompanist and teacher.  Amongst his freelance work he accompanies music students for examinations, plays for choirs and provides backing for cabaret and solo artistes.  In addition, as displayed to his audience, he plays accordion and is a more than competent vocalist.  Consequently, the Weyhill contingent was able to enjoy three different types of entertainment. 

Matthew began the concert with an early Johnny Mathis number, I’m In Love For The Very First Time (from the film ‘An Alligator Named Daisy’) and followed on with a jazz standard, Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man, and a jazz-like Samba De Orfeu.  The style changed with a selection of Italian music, including Come Back To SorrentoO Sole Mio and Tarantella in D Minor, before moving on to a well-known Latin American number, Amor, Amor, Amor.  To the delight of the audience, Matthew then introduced a medley of popular Country music; a few would-be vocalists joined in with tunes such as Top Of The WorldJambalaya (both hits for The Carpenters), Oh Lonesome Me (Don Gibson), Ring Of Fire (Johnny Cash), You’re My Best Friend (Don Williams), Achy Breaky Heart (Billy Ray Cyrus), Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell), Paper Roses (Marie Osmond) and Young At Heart (The Bluebells). 

Matthew’s talent as a vocalist was then demonstrated as he sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Music Of The Night from ‘Phantom Of The Opera’, drawing extra applause from the audience; then, to conclude the first half, he introduced his accordion to perform a trio of polkas – Pennsylvania PolkaLiechtensteiner Polka and the Bluebell Polka.

Following the interval, a lively item titled Circus Renz (named after a large Dutch touring circus) was performed, after which a couple of Classical pieces brought another style to proceedings.  Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach) was followed by Grieg’s Norwegian Dance No.2 before Matthew again delighted the audience with his fine singing voice with Bring Him Home (from ‘Les Miserables’) and, by way of contrast, a medley from the musical ‘Oklahoma’.  The selected songs were Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’The Surrey With The Fringe On TopPeople Will Say We’re In Love and Oklahoma.     

Ed Sheeran’s Perfect preceded what Matthew described as ‘memories of a misspent life’ with a lively Rock’n’Roll medley – consisting of Let’s Twist Again (Chubby Checker),Do You Wanna Dance (Cliff Richard), Y.M.C.A. (Village People) and Can’t Buy Me Love (The Beatles), to bring the programme to a close.  The Radetzky March (Strauss Snr.) proved to be a suitable encore for the Club’s first concert of 2019, considering the tune is a traditional feature of the Vienna New Year’s concerts.   


20 DECEMBER 2018 

Performing for the Club’s Christmas concert was the circuit's 'Minister of Mirth', ANDREW NIX, making his fifth appearance for the Club.  Andrew, from Selby in North Yorkshire, is well established on the organ and keyboard circuit – not only as a musician but also as an entertainer. His varied musical repertoire along with his Yorkshire wit has made him one of the country’s favourite performers.  The evening consisted of several popular medleys and a mixture of music, interlaced with the kind of humour for which Andrew is so well known and which was entirely suited to the festive occasion.


The concert got off to an excellent start with a lively march titled Wien Bleibt Wien (Vienna Forever), followed by the popular Adele hit, Make You Feel My Love, with the piano sound predominant.  A couple of polkas, theBluebell Polka and the Beer Barrel Polka – featuring the accordion sound – preceded the James Bond Theme’  Andrew continued with John Barry’s themes for From Russia With Love andYou Only Live Twice, with trumpet and violin sounds to the fore, before introducing an excellent selection of music composed by Sigmund Romberg.  The medley included The Drinking Song (from ‘The Student Prince’), followed by The Desert Song (from the operetta of the same name), When I Grow Too Old To DreamStout Hearted Men and Lover Come Back To Me (the latter two from the operetta ‘The New Moon’).      


Lovers of Irish music were then treated to a collection of well-known tunes, such as the Londonderry Air, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, McNamara’s Band, If You’re Irish and Lord Of The Dance. Andrew completed the first half with a selection from Noel Gay’s musical, ‘Me And My Girl’ – including Leaning On A Lamp Post and The Lambeth Walk.


A break for festive refreshments was ended as Santa Claus (alias Andrew Nix) returned to the stage – and although his freshly acquired beard and moustache amusingly muffled his speech he was able to resume the music with a medley of tunes, some seasonal, to which the audience sang along.  The mixed selection consisted of It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The YearSomewhere Over The RainbowPack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit BagWe're Going To Hang Out The Washing On The Siegfried LineDonald, Where's Your TroosersDeep In The Heart Of TexasSleigh Ride and Jingle Bells.  


The ever-popular Highland Cathedral, complete with the familiar sound of the bagpipes, came next – and it was then time, in keeping with the Club’s traditions, for a selection of traditional Christmas carols to be performed, with everyone in full voice.  Andrew had chosen Oh Come All Ye FaithfulHark! The Herald Angels SingSilent Night and Good King Wenceslas.  A couple of traditional jazz numbers were performed - Bei Mir Bist Du Schön and Midnight In Moscow - before an extended finale of Christmas music, featuring Walking In The AirWhen A Child Is BornMary’s Boy Child (in steel band calypso style), Walking In A Winter WonderlandLet It SnowThe Christmas SongJingle Bell RockRudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.

White Christmas was chosen as the encore to complete a most enjoyable evening – an evening containing a wide variety of music, liberally sprinkled with an array of festive joviality.  




15 NOVEMBER 2018

From the reaction of the audience, it was obvious that the entertainment provided for the Club's 200th concert was totally suited to the occasion, as the best attendance of the year welcomed guest artiste NICHOLAS MARTIN, BEM, from Markfield near Leicester.  Indeed, it was Nick (as he is known to his fans) who helped to launch the Club by performing its very first concert in July 2002.


In 1981 Nick was offered the post of resident organist at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool – at just seventeen years of age – and went on to play there for seven days a week during the 1981 and 1982 seasons.  Quite literally, his dream had come true!  Another major highlight of Nick's musical career was an initial offer (in 1985) to perform in concert on the West Coast of Florida.  Since that first visit he has continually been asked to return and has made over thirty trips across the Atlantic, where he has performed to large audiences.


Sadly, Nick has two sons who are both afflicted with autism and their condition inspired Nick and his wife to found a charity in 2001 to help autistic children and their families – a charity the Weyhill club has supported on many occasions.  Nick is the main fundraiser for the cause, collecting donations at many of his musical engagements, and since the charity’s inception well over £400,000 has been raised. For his charity work in the local community, Nick was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in 2015.



The Weyhill concert, which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Test Valley, Cllr. Ian Carr MBE and his wife Beryl, was pre-planned to include several items which, for a number of reasons, had links to the Club and its history.  However, the first piece of music had to be Nick’s signature tune, Hey, Look Me Over, followed immediately by a few marches in recognition of the recent Armistice Centenary – including Colonel Bogey.  Unsurprisingly, Nick had to include a cheeky reference to his beloved Leicester City winning the Premiership in season 2016-17 as he performed Queen’s We Are The Champions(or, as he freely admitted, were the champions!).

Next to feature was Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight from ‘The Lion King’, followed by The Second Waltz (Shostakovich) in the style of André Rieu.  Considering the significance of the evening, Nick then played the Club’s signature tune, the Weyhill Overture (previous versions of which being titled ‘Weyhill Fair’ and the ‘Weyhill March’), adding to the celebration with Congratulations (Cliff Richard) and the Anniversary Waltz (Anita Harris and others).  The piano sound was predominant for Royal Event – a 60s hit for Russ Conway, with whom Nick had previously performed – and Ron Goodwin’s Aces High (from the film ‘Battle of Britain’).  Even the Warsaw Concerto (theme for the film ‘Dangerous Moonlight’) was appropriate considering that the composer, Richard Addinsell, had once briefly lived in nearby Appleshaw Manor.  Apparently, Addinsell was contracted to provide the music as Rachmaninov was unavailable at the time.

Some excellent orchestral sounds were employed for a trio of similarly themed tunes – Make Me A Channel Of Your PeaceHighland Cathedral (a German composition) and How Great Thou Art – before the first session was concluded with a selection of songs – such as Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant MajorApple Blossom Time and Why Not Take All Of Me – which encouraged the audience to join in. 

The second half began with a medley of Latin American numbers, including Tico Tico, clearly demonstrating Nick’s dexterity on the keys, followed by the ever-popular Blue Danube Waltz (Strauss Jr.).  The trumpet sound was then clearly heard for Angel In Blue, an appropriate selection being that it was this tune that led to the Club’s formation (details of which are included on the Club’s website).  The March Of The Toreadors (from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’) produced a thundering sound whilst Meditation (composed by Massenet) provided a complete contrast with serene violins.  Nick then performed his party piece, namely Twelfth Street Rag, with the tempo gradually increasing to a crescendo; then, allowing himself a little respite, he performed the delightful Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni).

With the Armistice Centenary in mind once more, Nick then brought the evening to a close by performing a selection of traditional wartime songs, such as Rule BritanniaThere’ll Always Be An EnglandWhite Cliffs Of DoverI’ll Be Seeing YouWe’ll Meet Again and Land Of Hope And Glory.  Unsurprisingly, an encore was demanded and Nick duly obliged with I Dreamed A Dream from ‘Les Misérables’.


Undoubtedly, a return visit from Nick would be welcomed but whether his wish to be considered for the Club’s 300th concert (in around eight years’ time) can be fulfilled is entirely in the ‘lap of the gods’!  


 Note: An exit collection for Nick's charity produced the commendable sum of £91. 


18 OCTOBER 2018

The entertainment for the October concert was provided by JAMES GOFF from Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, making his third visit to Weyhill.  Apart from being an accomplished pianist, keyboard player and recording artiste, James also has his own 20-piece band. He writes all the arrangements and orchestrates the music to suit the mood and occasion, with styles ranging from the Big Band era to the present day.  Over the years, he has accompanied many top showbiz stars and, along with his band, has performed on cruise ships as well as at numerous Mecca International nightspots.   

The evening consisted of a wide range of music with over 50 different tunes being performed – freely interspersed with numerous jokes that the audience clearly enjoyed.  Fittingly, a version of the Club’s signature tune – Weyhill March – opened proceedings, followed by a Big Band number, the Woodchopper’s Ball and a Ragtime tune, Twelfth Street Rag.  James continued with a trio of well-known Cha Chas, Tea For TwoWheels and Tangerine.  A medley of favourite instrumentals included Deep PurpleAutumn Leaves and Perfidia, whilst Ted Heath’s Hot Toddy provided another tune for Big Band enthusiasts.

The music then switched to South America, with a trio of Sambas – Brazil,Tico Tico and Quando Quando – before a selection of London-themed songs which many members of the audience clearly knew; Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner was followed by Strollin’ and The Lambeth Walk.  James then cleverly combined Ennio Morricone’s haunting theme from Once Upon A Time In The West with some well-known hymn tunes – a surprisingly effective blend – and, by way of a further change, The Liberty Bell March (Sousa, naturally!).  As the interval approached, a couple of well-known ballads were performed, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square and the Beatles’ song, Yesterday.  The first half concluded with As Time Goes By – from the film Casablanca and the more recent TV sitcom of the same name – and another Big Band number, Take The A Train.  

The concert resumed with another Morricone classic, the memorable theme from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, complete with the authentic film sound, followed by a brief session of Disco music, comprising of Love Is In The AirIt’s A Beautiful Day and Una Paloma Blanca.  Then followed an extensive selection of music composed by Israel Beilin – better known as Irving Berlin.  Such tunes as Change PartnersIsn’t This A Lovely Day and I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm were featured … but perhaps James should have included the Richard Rodgers song, ‘I Didn’t know What Time It Was’, because he also played Easter Parade and White Christmas

The Classical genre was then introduced as James performed a medley of waltz tunes from The Merry Widow (Franz Lehár) before another Big Band tune, Pennsylvania 6-5000 – a well-known hit for Glenn Miller.   Utilising the theatre organ sound, James then performed a typical sing-along selection, including such songs as I’m Forever Blowing BubblesDaisy Bell and Spanish Eyes.  A couple of songs from the age of the Twist no doubt refreshed a few memories – with Let’s Dance and Let’s Twist Again – preceding a delightful collection of hits recorded by The Seekers, tunes so rarely heard on the circuit, such as Georgy GirlI’ll Never Find Another You, A World Of Our Own and The Carnival Is Over served to remind the audience of this popular Australian quartet, whilst a few more pop favourites – Black Is Black,Do Wah DiddyFrom Me To YouA Hard Day’s Night and Amarillo – brought the evening to a close … well, not quite, because the concert went into extra time for a suitable encore – We’ll Meet Again– a prediction the audience would no doubt wish to be fulfilled.



The Club welcomed guest player PHIL BROWN, from Derbyshire, for its September concert; he was making his fifth visit to Weyhill and proved to be as popular as ever – and by performing around sixty different tunes during the evening his reputation was further enhanced.  Phil, who resides near Derby, has a very busy life, performing throughout the UK and teaching students in his local area.  In recent years, each September, he has played in front of a 30,000 audience, along with the East of England Orchestra, at an open-air concert in the park, organised by Derby City Leisure Services.

Highlights of his career include playing as supporting act with the late Joe Loss and his Orchestra and with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra at the Derby Assembly Rooms.  He has been resident at this particular venue for over twenty years, performing for social and tea dances, but still finding time to perform in the USA, Spain and Germany.  Phil is also a very accomplished pianist, having played the piano since he was sixteen, and having achieved numerous qualifications and diplomas.  Apart from his concerts throughout the UK, he has performed in the USA, Spain and Germany.

As is customary with his concerts, Phil began with a ‘wake-up call’, in the form of the Richard Strauss composition, Also Sprach Zarathustra – the well  known opening theme for Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.  A Scottish tone was then introduced and the familiar refrain of the bagpipes could be heard with The Skye Boat SongMull Of Kintyre and Amazing Grace.  The journey continued with a typical Irish tune titled Up To The Races followed by a visit to Greece for a couple of Demis Roussos recordings – Forever And Ever and Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun.        

A medley of popular songs then prompted a degree of audience participation; the selection consisted of  accompanied Amarillo (Tony Christie), I Only Want To Be With You (Dusty Springfield), Rivers Of Babylon (Boney M), Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell) and Never Can Say Goodbye (Jackson 5 and Gloria Gaynor).  The tempo was decreased for The Lonely Shepherd, a James Last composition for which Gheorghe Zamfir contributed the haunting sound of the pan flute.  Film themes always seem to be popular with the Club’s audiences and it was only natural to recall the image of Steve McQueen leaping the fence on a motorcycle as Phil performed the march theme from The Great Escape.    

The concert continued with Mack The Knife (Bobby Darin) – a tune which evolved from the Theme From The Threepenny Opera, Danke Schoen (recorded, somewhat surprisingly by Brenda Lee, amongst others), Where Or When (various artistes) and Hello Dolly (Barbra Streisand and Louis Armstrong).  As the interval approached, Phil opted for a collection of marches – Blaze AwayWashington Post,Funiculi Funicula (a Neapolitan tune), 633 Squadron and The Dambusters – by which time he was entitled to a well-earned rest.         

With everyone suitably refreshed, the second half opened with an ever-popular ABBA medley consisting of Dancing QueenLay All Your Love On MeMamma MiaSuper TrouperMoney,Money,MoneyDoes Your Mother Know and Waterloo.  The next tune, Angel In Blue, was especially significant, being the initial catalyst for the Club’s formation in 2002 (as explained on the Club’s official website); the trumpet sound replicated the original General Lafayette version.  Phil then introduced a beautiful Classical piece – Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro (Oh My Beloved Father) before playing a Samba medley, with Amor, Amor, Amor (a Julio Iglesias hit), AmoradoEl CumbancheroThe CariocaMas Que Nada, and Brazil.

No concert of melodic music would be complete without a John Barry composition and Phil complied with Somewhere In Time, from the film of the same name, after which another Classical item, The Second Waltz (Shostakovich), was performed.  Lovers of the Big Band sound were then treated to a selection of tunes, including many Glenn Miller favourites: the following popular numbers were heard – In The MoodCherokeeAmerican PatrolSing,Sing,SingI’ve Got My Love To Keep Me WarmJohnson Rag,Don't Be That WayLittle Brown JugZing! Went The Strings Of My HeartTake The 'A' TrainString Of Pearls and a reprise of In The Mood.

The sound of the trumpet returned for Il Silenzio (a Nini Rosso 1965 solo hit), followed by Unchained Melody – theme for the little-known prison film Unchained in 1955, popularised by the Righteous Brothers some ten years later and featured in the film Ghost in 1990.  In complete contrast, Phil decided to end the evening with a lively Rock’n’Roll selection, during which he further displayed his talent with a drum solo (on the keyboard) and deft pedal skills.  The hall resounded to Rock Around The ClockThis Ole HouseGreen Door and See You Later Alligator – prompting the audience to call for an encore.  Phil duly obliged with the delightful theme from Missing (composed by Vangelis) – a piece which has become synonymous with his performances.  So ended another enjoyable evening - an evening which the Club will no doubt wish to repeat, provided the artiste's very busy diary permits.       


16 AUGUST 2018

Performing for the Club’s August concert was IAN HOUSE from Milton Keynes, making his fifth appearance for the Club.  When Ian first visited Weyhill in 2008 he was, at the age of nineteen, possibly the youngest player to have ever been booked by the Club and it was a pleasure to witness the incredible progress he had made during the past ten years.  After being employed by a large UK music store, he was invited to work with a major instrument manufacturer and in 2011 he was appointed as that company’s national piano and keyboard specialist.  Having worked for the marketing department, demonstrating throughout the UK and Europe, he is now employed by the company’s European division where he is focused on the development and promotion of their instruments. Naturally, the Club is delighted to have been involved, albeit in a small way, with Ian’s success.  

His selection of music clearly met with wholehearted approval, beginning with James Last’s signature tune, Games That Lovers Play, followed by Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, a hit for Frankie Valli and Andy Williams. By way of contrast, Home From Home (James Galway and Phil Coulter) provided a few relaxing moments before a little Rock’n’Roll was introduced – Lay Down Sally (Eric Clapton) and These Boots Were Made For Walkin’ (Nancy Sinatra). Moving more up to date, Ian then introduced Adele’s popular Make You Feel My Love (a Bob Dylan composition) and the audience was further entertained with the music of Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass, by way of A Taste Of Honey. 

The selections were continued with a Jazz ballad, That’s All (as recorded by Nat King Cole), featuring the saxophone sound, and John Denver’s famous hit, Annie’s Song – for which Ian employed an André Rieu arrangement, predominantly utilising guitar and orchestra.  Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (recorded by The Shirelles and Dusty Springfield) preceded a Big Band number, Count Basie’s Shiny StockingsBuona Sera (a Dean Martin hit) and to bring a Western flavour to proceedings – Red River Valley.  All too soon, the interval had arrived almost unnoticed – such was the enjoyable atmosphere.

The excellent variation of music – which Ian suggested as being ‘erratic’ - was maintained throughout the second half, beginning with the well-known film theme, 1492:Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis).  The tempo was further enlivened by Sugar Baby Love (a Rubettes release in 1974), before taking on a relaxed mood with the serene Benedictus (Mass For Peace), a Karl Jenkins composition featuring strings and voices.  Amazing Grace, also augmented with voices, maintained the atmosphere until Aquarius from the rock musical ‘Hair’, lifted the pace once again.           

The Young Ones, a Cliff Richard hit recording, set the toes tapping before Ian played Rhythm Of The Rain (Cascades) and Theme For Young Lovers (The Shadows – without Cliff). Elizabethan Serenadecame next, in the style of Mantovani, whilst the march Blaze Away was performed with an André Rieu arrangement.  Members of the audience could be heard singing along to Stevie Wonder’s popular song, I Just Called To Say I Love You, and were encouraged a small contributed to the final item - a performance of Tequila (a 60s recording by The Ventures). 

Sadly, the evening had elapsed far too swiftly but there was enough time remaining for Ian to provide an encore with his own unique arrangement of Tico Tico, merging the sounds of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.  Ian obviously enjoys his music and, although he spends a considerable amount of time demonstrating a multitude of keyboards on behalf of his employers, on this particular evening he fully demonstrated his undoubted talent as a concert performer – much to the pleasure of a most appreciative audience.


19 JULY 2018

Guest artiste for the Club’s July concert was DAVID THOMAS from Thetford, making his fifth appearance at Weyhill.  In common with several other players on the circuit, David is fully aware of the other side of entertainment, having been responsible (along with his wife) for the establishment and development of a similar electronic organ club near to his home. However, it was not just his excellent ability as a keyboard player on display but also his skill and experience in creating additional screen graphics,  In fact, he provides film coverage for some of the UK's largest keyboard festivals and finds himself in demand at many events as both a player and technician.

The audience was certainly spoiled for choice – listening to the music, whilst viewing David’s playing via the Club’s large screen and glancing across to accompanying film on the artiste’s own screen.  Indeed, the concert began with Irving Berlin’s Cheek To Cheek, featuring a film of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing along in time.  The range of music covered a wide area and the sounds produced included orchestral, piano, classic organ, Hammond organ and even a few voices.  

Rather aptly, David continued with a great arrangement of What A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, featuring piano and orchestra – a song recorded by Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis – and followed this with a selection of tunes performed in Latin American style, such as Forever And Ever (Demis Roussos), Raining In My Heart(Buddy Holly) and Burt Bacharach’s composition, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.   

The Hammond sound was employed for Somewhere Over The Rainbow and The Lady Is A Tramp, whilst the Classical Organ sound followed for Pachelbel’s Canon in D.  Technical wizardry was deployed for the next item as the audience could hear the recorded voice of Jim Reeves, singing Welcome to my World, and view his image on the large screen, as David played the accompaniment.  Petula Clark’s Downtown  was familiar to everyone and memories of Acker Bilk were revived with Stranger on the Shore, complete with the familiar clarinet sound, whilst the first half was completed with Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (To Me You Are Beautiful) – performed in Traditional Jazz style. 

The entertainment resumed with the sound of the brass band, complete with film, for the DHOS March – a tune which David had composed himself – followed by Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Tommy Dorsey’s I’ll Never Smile Again, a number incorporating backing vocals.  Besides performing concerts for clubs and festivals around the country, David also plays for dancing – as he then portrayed by utilising piano and orchestral sounds for a medley including Hello Dolly and True Love.  A variety of dance music was then played, with Pasadena,Anything Goes and The Black Bottom, followed by Nat King Cole’s When I Fall In Love.  Then, to add a little humour to the occasion, Van McCoy’s The Hustle was performed whilst screen images featured chimps dancing in unison and babes on roller skates! 

To bring the show to a conclusion, David introduced his party piece’ – a duet with an on-screen Bing Crosby!  With the aid of technology and excellent timing, he sang and spoke the part of Frank Sinatra with Cole Porter’s Did You Evah, from the film ‘High Society’.  The popular Bert Kaempfert hit, Bye Bye Blues, was selected for an encore, cheekily incorporating Show Me The Way To Go Home.  As David clearly demonstrated, the electronic instruments of today are capable of providing a much wider selection of musical entertainment and sounds than can ever be produced by the more conventional organs – as the Weyhill audiences are fully aware.  



21 JUNE 2018

Most, if not all, musical tastes were satisfied when DANIEL WATT, from Northampton, made his fifth visit to Weyhill to perform for the Club’s June concert.  Daniel has many years of professional experience as a concert musician and has appeared on the international stage alongside many of the top organ and keyboard stars - in Germany, Spain, Holland, Canada and the USA.

The evening began with ABBA’s lively Dancing Queen followed by a slower tempo for Make You Feel My Love – a Bob Dylan song which became a big hit for Adele. Daniel continued with the variations by performing a Big Band number, Fly Me To The Moon, and a Latin American tune titled Mas Que Nada, always associated with Sergio Mendes.  The sounds of strings and brass were prominent for My Funny Valentine, a song recorded by John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra, after which a typical James Last arrangement of What Now My Love was heard.    

Daniel then introduced a delightful tune not previously performed at the Club, namely Carillon – as recorded by Sky, an 80s instrumental group featuring Classical guitarist John Williams.  The Second Waltz (Shostakovich) preceded an example of the instrument’s technology as Daniel accompanied the recorded voice of Sarah McLachlan for a song titled Angel.  The programme continued with a Karl Jenkins composition titled Palladio – as performed by two all-girl string quartets, Bond and Escala.  House Of Dreams revived memories of the late Brian Sharp before the ever-popular Vangelis composition, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, brought the first half to a close.

The second half began in dramatic style as the voice of Richard Burton preceded Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War Of The Worlds.  Flute and piano featured with John Denver’s Annie’s Song whilst a performance of Mr Blue Sky reminded everyone of Jeff Lynne and ELO.  Classical music lovers would have been delighted to hear Schubert’s Ave Maria and, by way of contrast, Daniel continued with Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (as recorded by Frankie Valli and Andy Williams).  The variety of music continued with a delightful, though lesser known, Roy Orbison number titled A Love So Beautiful andPrelude In Classic Style – a 1988 composition for which Daniel introduced the sound of the Classical Organ. 

Michael Bublé’s jazz style arrangement of the Beatles hit Can’t Buy Me Love was then performed, followed by Autumn Leaves, featuring piano and orchestral sounds.  Three popular songs from the 60s were then featured – Daydream Believer (The Monkees), Downtown (Petula Clark) and Music To Watch Girls By (Andy Williams) – before Daniel introduced his final number.  He selected a rarely heard piece titled Caledonia, a beautiful Scottish song for which the sound of pipes and drums was employed.  Aquarius, from the musical ‘Hair’, was the choice of encore to round off yet another enjoyable evening in the Fairground Hall.  It was clearly evident from the applause that a return visit from Daniel would meet with full approval. 


17 MAY 2018

An entertaining evening was enjoyed by the Club's supporters as guest artiste IAN GRIFFIN, from Swansea, made his fifth appearance for the Club.  Ian first performed at Weyhill in 2006, as part of a duo, and then at The Lights in 2008, as part of a trio.  His popularity ensured that he has since made two solo appearances at Weyhill. 


Born in Neath, Ian won a talent contest produced by Swansea City Council at the age of ten.  He made his first live performance on Independent Local Radio in 1977 and followed this in 1978 by appearing twice on BBC1 Television Young Entertainers, when he was voted heat winner by the studio audience.  In the same year, he performed his first concert for an electronic organ society and soon became a regular performer on the circuit.


The concert opened in fine fashion with a medley consisting of That’s When The Music Takes MeI Love How You Love MeThis Is My Song and You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – songs associated with Neil Sedaka, Bobby Vinton, Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield respectively.  This was followed by a couple of Latin American numbers, Ramona and Mambo Jambo, and another Sedaka composition, The Miracle Song.  Ian then introduced a trio of Frank Sinatra numbers – I’ve Got You Under My SkinIt Had To Be You and the lesser-known Cycles – before performing the Solomon King 60s song, When We Were Young


To conclude the first half, Ian played a selection of familiar songs from the musicals, consisting of If I Were Rich Man (from Fiddler On The Roof), I Dreamed A Dream(from Les Miserables), Phantom Of The Opera theme, Ol’ Man River (from Showboat), As Long As He Needs Me (from Oliver) and I Don’t Know How To Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar).    


During the interval, as is a customary feature of Ian’s concerts, the audience was invited to write down requests for him to play during the second half,  Exactly one hundred options were submitted, with film themes and music from the 60s proving to be the most popular, and Ian bravely managed to include thirty tunes in a non-stop sixty minutes performance, without recourse to any sheet music.  The range was quite extensive but members of the audience were cheekily warned in advance that if they didn’t enjoy the selection it would be their own fault!


Van McCoy’s The Hustle led the way, followed by Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings and Cavatina (which was used in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter).  Eye Level, the theme for the 70s TV series Van Der Valk, was recognised by most, as was Spanish Eyes (also known as Moon Over Naples), whilst Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing, from the 50s film of the same name, was covered by a number of vocalists including Al Martino.  Take Me Home, Country Roads – a 70s song first recorded by John Denver and later by Olivia Newton-John – came next in the programme, followed by Give A Little Love and Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight.


Henry Mancini’s Moon River (from the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s) preceded Say It With Flowers (a Dorothy Squires number) and a couple of 60s hits recorded by The Shadows – Theme For Young Loversand Atlantis.  The theme from the musical Whistle Down The Wind was next to be heard and then Telstar, a big 1962 keyboards hit for The Tornados.  No doubt everyone knew the title of the next request – Acker Bilk’s Stranger On The Shore – and possibly Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade as well.  Ian then played another keyboard favourite – producing the Hammond sound of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade Of Pale.    


Arguably, one of the best ever Western films was brought to mind as Ian played Ennio Morricone’s iconic theme to Once Upon A Time In The West, following this with Puccini’s memorable Classical aria Nessun Dorma (from the opera Turandot) and another delightful piece of music, Lara’s Theme – Maurice Jarre’s composition for the film Dr Zhivago.  The audience had obviously chosen well as the next items on the list was James Last’s Mornings At Seven and Verdi’s Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves (from his opera Nabucco). Film themes appeared to dominate selections as Ian continued with the Vangelis theme for 1492: Conquest Of Paradise.  It was no surprise to find that an ABBA tune had been requested – on this occasion the selection was the 1981 release Andante, Andante

As the concert approached its conclusion, John Lennon's Imagine was performed, followed by Simon and Garfunkel's popular Bridge Over Troubled Water.  Understandably, a Welsh song had been selected - Bread Of Heaven (Wales Forever) - before yet another film theme, My Heart Will Go On (from Titanic) and finally Paul Anka's My Way (a massive hit for Frank Sinatra).  Ian somehow found enough energy for an encore - Pop Looks Bach (theme for the BBC Ski Sunday television programme).  The non-stop second half was quite an achievement and was well-deserving of the acclaim that rang out at the end of the evening. 




19 APRIL 2018

Making a welcome return for the Club's April concert was the very popular Japanese star, CHIHO SUNAMOTO, on this occasion supported by Jon Smith, her stage partner in recent years and her husband since  March 2017.  The popular couple, who live in North Shields, performed to a responsive audience and in front of the Club’s invited guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of Test Valley, Cllr. Carl Borg-Neal and Mrs. Maria Neal.  


Chiho, originally from Matsuyama, in the South of Japan, has often been described as the Vanessa Mae of the keyboard world and always brings a breath of fresh air to the music scene.  Apart from her abilities as a keyboard player and pianist, Chiho has an excellent singing voice, a smile that would melt Mount Fuji – and a gentle sense of humour not to be underestimated.


From the very first number a strong bond was evident between Chiho and Jon, as well as between the artistes and the audience.  The duo opened with a Big Band selection – Strike Up The BandSatin DollStory Of A Starry Night and Stardust – before Chiho performed a couple of film themes, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (a film featuring David Bowie) and Star Wars.  She followed this with the popular Classical composition, Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, and employed a powerful  orchestral sound for Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue.


A Quincy Jones arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man provided a little Jazz, whilst Tequila and Mambo Jambo brought a Latin flavour to proceedings.  Chiho then played and sang Beauty And The Beast (which she cheekily suggested was the couple’s signature tune!); Jon then returned to the stage to sing a Frank Sinatra number, It Happened In Monterey, along with Chiho’s accompaniment.  The couple then combined to sing and play the Elvis Presley hit, Love Me Tender, after which – by way of variation – Jon introduced his melodica to perform Misty as Chiho continued on keyboard.  The first half ended with both performers playing another Jazz item, the Battle Hymn Of The Republic.            


After the interval, the duo opened with Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean A Thing before Chiho performed Moonlight Serenade, complete with the familiar Glenn Miller sound, along with a couple of Stephen Foster compositions – Yankee Doodle Dandy and Camptown Races.  The tempo eased as she then featured the sound of violins for the well-loved Meditation from the opera ‘Thais’ (Massenet), followed by the heavier sound of Finlandia (Sibelius).  The audience easily recognised Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Music Of The Night (from ‘Phantom Of The Opera’) but Chiho’s next choice, the Brazilian tune Mas Que Nada, was perhaps not so well known.     


Jon then returned to the stage and, with Chiho’s accompaniment, sang You Make Me Feel So Young, before the two instruments combined once more for a Samba, La Cumparsita, and a Tango, El Cumbanchero.  To close the evening’s entertainment the couple performed Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered, a song from Rodgers and Hart’s ‘Pal Joey’, followed by The Last Night Of The Proms, with the two instruments in unison.  An appropriate encore was requested – and Chiho responded by accompanying Jon as he sang Nat King Cole’s That’s All.  Sadly, far too soon, that was all … but a return visit would no doubt be warmly welcomed.  


15 MARCH 2018

Performing for the Club’s March concert was CHRIS JONES from Orpington in Kent, making his third appearance at Weyhill. Chris has enjoyed a varied musical career, including a spell as deputy organist at Streatham Ice Rink.


A well-balanced concert programme was notable for the number of medleys performed, interspersed with a selection of melodic solo melodies.  In fact, Chris opened with a medley consisting of Put On A Happy Face,So What’s New (a Herb Alpert hit), Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart (Judy Garland) and Everything’s In Rhythm With My Heart. Next came the delightful theme for the film ‘An American Tail’ – Somewhere Out There (recorded by Linda Ronstadt, separately with James Ingram and Peabo Bryson). Another medley comprised of Witchcraft (Frank Sinatra), Sleepy Time Gal and I’m In The Mood For Love, before Chris introduced a trio of tunes replicating the traditional sound of the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer – Sousa’s Liberty Bell MarchHey Look Me Over and Pass Me By


The appropriate refrain of the Baroque organ was employed for Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze, after which Chris performed a light-hearted, ursine-related contrast – Me And My Teddy Bear and The Teddy Bears’ Picnic!  I Will Give You The Starlight and Waltz Of My Heart, from Ivor Novello’s musical ‘The Dancing Years’ portrayed the composer’s renowned talent, followed in quick succession by Someone To Watch Over MeOnly You and Time After Time.  Chris then played and sang Happiness, as a tribute to the late Sir Ken Dodd, following with songs from another musical, ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ – If I Were A Rich Man and Matchmaker –and a performance of Bobby’s Girl (a 60s hit for Susan Maughan) to bring the first half to a close.


The entertainment resumed with a couple of lively songs from the 70s – Yellow River (recorded by Christie) and Figaro (Brotherhood of Man) – before Henry Mancini’s arrangement of A Time For Us, the beautiful theme from ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and Feelings (Morris Albert).  Chris then introduced two more themes, The Thorn Birds and Eye Level (theme for the TV series ‘Van der Valk’), and a couple of Matt Monro hits, Portrait Of My Love and Walk Away, before something completely different – titled Tyrolean Whistler. A selection from ‘My Fair Lady’ enticed the audience to join in with Chris – singing along to With A Little Bit Of LuckI’ve Grown Accustomed To Her FaceWouldn’t It Be LoverlyOn The Street Where You LiveI Could Have Danced All Night and Get Me To The Church On Time.  


Following a medley of Big Band music – Orange Coloured SkyCome Fly With Me and It's Nice To Go Trav'ling – Chris played the popular song, Any Dream Will Do, and then increased the tempo with Deep In The Heart Of TexasAmarillo and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, accompanied by audience singing and clapping. As the entertainment drew to a close, Chris performed a Dixieland medley, with a prominent banjo sound; the toe-tapping session included You’re The Cream In My CoffeeIf You Knew Susie and Alexander’s Ragtime Band.  Unsurprisingly, an encore was invited – for which Chris selected I Got The Sun In The MorningShaking The Blues Away and Doing What Comes Naturally.  So ended another enjoyable evening with satisfaction all round.



15 FEBRUARY 2018

Loyal supporters of the Club who defied the February weather were rewarded for their efforts with an evening of variety provided by  PAUL CARMAN.  Paul, who had travelled from Leicester, entertained the audience with a wide range of electronic keyboard music and a few vocals, interspersed with a number of jokes – in the cabaret style for which he is well known.


In his younger days, music was not Paul’s only passion and as a keen footballer he had a trial for Leicester City on the same day as school friend Gary Lineker.  However, he decided there was more potential in music on the basis that only a chosen few made a successful career in football. Obviously, had he made it to the top in football he would have been earning a lot more money than he is today!


The programme began with a Latin American number titled Amor (a hit for Julio Iglesias in the 70s), followed by James Last’s Morning In Cornwall, featuring the pan flute sound, and the Godfather Theme (aka Speak Softly, Love), employing mandolin, accordion and strings.  The sounds of piano and trumpet were featured for the Demis Roussos song, Forever And Ever, before Paul introduced All In The April Evening, with the realistic sound of a Salvation Army Band – and such are the capabilities of these electronic instruments, that the church bells could even be heard in the background!  He then played Concerto For One Voice before performing his first vocal of the evening, Smile, as recorded by Nat King Cole (who, coincidentally, had died exactly 53 years ago).  Concluding the first half, Bye Bye Blues - in the style of Bert Kaempfert – preceded an intriguing orchestral version of the Moody Blues hit, Nights In White Satin.


Another Latin American tune, this time Quando Quando, continued the entertainment after the break, followed by the Don McLean hit, Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), utilising guitar and harmonica.  Paul then performed the well-known cha cha titled Perfidia before introducing his second vocal, The Most Beautiful Girl – a country music 70s hit for Charlie Rich.  In complete contrast, the classic organ sound was appropriately selected for Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach), followed by What I Did For Love – a Marvin Hamlisch composition from his musical, ‘A Chorus Line’.  Herb Alpert’s popular Tijuana Taxipredominantly featured the trumpet, of course, and Paul then performed another vocal – the Ricky Nelson hit, Hello Mary Lou, which enticed the audience to join in.  A couple of Big Band tunes – Duke Ellington’s Don’t Get Around Much Anymore and The Birth Of The Blues - were played before a powerful orchestral sound was employed for the final item of the evening, the often requested Vangelis film theme, Conquest Of Paradise.  For the customary encore Paul chose to sing the Jim Reeves hit, He’ll Have To Go … well, after all, it was time to go home!


Despite its name, the Club does not consider itself to be a traditional organ society – but a club that regularly provides a varied selection of music and value-for-money entertainment. 


18 JANUARY 2018

The Club’s 2018 programme was opened by talented musician STEVE HUBBLE, from Broadmayne in Dorset, performing the January concert.Steve was making his third appearance at Weyhill and provided the audience with a varied and entertaining musical evening. 


Originally from Birmingham, he was aged 18 when he won the Midlands Organist of the Year Contest and this launched him into his professional career as a concert organist and keyboard player.  He now tours extensively throughout the UK, playing for clubs and at festivals, where he is especially noted for his excellent musical arrangements, his orchestral style of playing and his pursuit of top quality sounds.  He has also appeared many times on radio, including BBC Radio 2 and Radio WM. 


From Steve’s opening number – his own arrangement of the Weyhill Overture (the Club’s signature tune) – through to his final item, it was obvious to the listeners that each piece had been thoroughly prepared to produce the best possible sounds and to ensure that most musical tastes were satisfied.  Next to feature was the Frank Sinatra hit, Come Fly With Me, followed by the popular Neil Diamond song, Hello Again, from the 1980 film ‘The Jazz Singer’. George and Ira Gershwin’s composition, ‘S Wonderful, from the ‘Funny Face’ musical preceded a Brazilian tune, Mas Que Nada, whilst the unforgettable theme from ‘The Mission’ met with deserved approval.  Unsurprisingly, for this tune, titled Gabriel’s Oboe, the composer Ennio Morricone was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score and earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.    


A rarely heard Stevie Wonder song from the 70s, Sir Duke, was performed before the introduction of another beautiful theme, Through The Eyes Of Love, a Marvin Hamlisch composition for the skating film titled, ‘Ice Castles’.  The tempo was promptly uplifted as Steve then played a selection from ‘Grease’ – including Summer LovingGreased Lightnin’ and You’re The One That I Want.  Orchestral strings were utilised for Here’s That Rainy Day and for Soul Coaxing (Raymond Lefèvre) – the latter being a theme once frequently used by Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg.  To conclude a thoroughly enjoyable first half, Steve performed an excellent arrangement of The Impossible Dream from the musical and film ‘Man Of La Mancha’.  


After the interval, the high standard was maintained with an updated piece of Classical music, namely the rock band Sky’s version of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.  Steve then briefly turned to the 30s with The Way You Look Tonight and I’ve Got You Under My Skin before reviving memories of James Last with The Lonely Shepherd (complete with the predominant sounds of pan flute and trumpet).  The Blue Danube Waltz (Johann Strauss II) provided another delightful melody then, in contrast, the programme continued with the Top Gun Anthem (from the Tom Cruise film). Next to feature was Wichita Lineman, the Jimmy Webb composition recorded by Glen Campbell, before Steve played a great favourite from his repertoire, namely the haunting theme to the classic Western film, Once Upon A Time In The West.  


A Dusty Springfield song from the 60s, The Look Of Love (composed by Burt Bacharach), was performed before Steve announced his concluding item of the evening – an extensive selection of music from ‘Phantom Of The Opera’.  This particular medley, loudly applauded by the audience, included the main overture and such songs as Think Of MeWishing You Were Somehow Here AgainAll I Ask of Youand Music Of The Night. whilst the chosen traditional encore was the toe-tapping, Dixieland-style Muskrat Ramble.  The entire ‘music of the night’ had met with resounding approval – certainly full value entertainment!            




21 DECEMBER 2017

The Club's December concert featured the ever-popular CHRIS POWELL from Derbyshire.  Chris was making his seventh appearance for the Club and actually performed for its very first Christmas concert in 2002.  Such was his musical talent that by the time he was 18 he had successfully auditioned to join the team of organists playing for dancing at the famous Tower Ballroom, Blackpool.


Naturally, the evening included a good mix of Christmas music, blended in with a wide selection of popular songs from shows, film themes and familiar pop tunes.  In fact, the tone was set with the lively festive song, Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin’ Stevens) followed by the powerful carol, O Holy Night


Chris then performed a Glenn Miller selection, comprising of Pennsylvania 6-5000Moonlight Serenade and In The Mood before a medley of Tom Jones hits such as It’s Not UnusualGreen Green Grass Of Home and Delilah. The audience heard reminiscences of his visit to the Folies Bergère, Paris, which led into his performance of the famous Can-can (from Offenbach’s operetta Orpheus in the Underworld).  Buddy Holly was the next pop star to feature as Chris played a well-known selection consisting of HeartbeatTrue Love WaysRaining In My HeartThat’ll Be The Day and Oh Boy.


The popular Titanic theme, My Heart Will Go On, reduced the tempo somewhat before another Christmas tune, Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, was performed.  Yet another favourite, You Raise Me Up – written by the duo Secret Garden and recorded by such stars as Josh Groban and Westlife – came next, whilst Chris ended the first half by employing the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer sound for a medley including Who’s Sorry NowSilver BellsPortrait Of My Love and (perhaps alluding to Prince Harry?) Love And Marriage.           


Suitably refreshed by sausage rolls and mince pies, the audience welcomed Chris back for the second half and, in keeping with the Club’s usual custom, joined in with selected traditional carols –The First NowellAway In A MangerHark The Herald Angels Sing and O Come All Ye Faithful.  The music continued with Wien Bleibt Wien (Vienna Remains Vienna) in the popular style and sound of the James Last Orchestra.  A well-chosen collection of songs from the shows and films came next on the programme – You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two and Food Glorious Food (both from Oliver), Any Dream Will Do(Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat), John Dunbar Theme (Dances With Wolves), Bring Him Home (Les Miserables), Do-Re-Mi and Climb Every Mountain (both from The Sound Of Music).


Returning to the festive theme, Chris then performed Jingle Bell RockWalking In A Winter WonderlandI Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus and the great Bing Crosby hit, White Christmas.  Another medley centred on some memorable songs from the 50s – such as Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino), The Great Pretender (The Platters), Mr Sandman (The Chordettes), La Bamba (Richie Valens),Magic Moments(Perry Como) and At The Hop (Danny and The Juniors).


The Wurlitzer sound was reintroduced for My Old ManDeep In The Heart Of TexasShe'll Be Coming Round The MountainSecret LoveDowntownBless ‘em AllDaisy Bell, and completing the selection with Twelfth Street Rag.  The performance was concluded with a Last Night Of The Proms medley, including The Sailor’s Hornpipe and Land Of Hope And Glory.  With 2018 fast approaching it was quite appropriate that Chris opted for the Radetzky March as his encore, considering that the composition (by Johann Strauss Snr.) is a traditional part of the televised New Year’s Day concert from Vienna.

16 NOVEMBER 2017

The Club’s November concert featured ELIZABETH HARRISON, who was making her fifth visit to Weyhill.  Elizabeth, who lives on a farm near Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, is arguably the busiest player on the circuit, performing for clubs as well as for ballroom and sequence dancing. As if that was not enough she also organises, and performs at, several festivals and numerous successful fund-raising charity concerts.  Even then, she still finds time to occasionally milk the cows!


As one might reasonably expect, dance rhythms were employed for a number of Elizabeth’s medleys although an extensive variation of music was performed, including several ballads and marches.  The show began with a trio of unrelated tunes – Scotland The BraveThe Radetzky March and A Spoonful Of Sugar, before introducing a lively piece entitled The Parrot (originally performed by Ethel Smith).  Then came a selection of titles purposely containing the word ‘heart’, such as Young At Heart and I Left My Heart In San Francisco, followed by a number of theme tunes from radio and television.  Many members of the audience would have recognised Out Of The Blue (from Saturday evening’s ‘Sports Report’), In Party Mood (from ‘Housewives’ Choice’) and What’ll I Do (from TV’s ‘Birds Of A Feather’). 


Elizabeth continued with Runaway (a 1961 hit for Del Shannon), a tango titled Pirouette and Leroy Anderson’s Belle Of The Ball, before producing the familiar pipe organ sound for Gordon Young’s Prelude In Classic Style. Continuing the variety of music, Elizabeth then played a couple of well-known Nat King Cole favourites, When I Fall In Love and Unforgettable, plus two songs from musicals, namely Memory from ‘Cats’ (as recorded by Elaine Paige) and Any Dream Will Do (from ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’).  Don’t Laugh At Me probably evoked memories of Norman Wisdom whilst Never On Sunday is probably most associated with Greek singer Nana Mouskouri. Two more dance tunes followed (both Cha Cha rhythms), Wheels and Tea For Two, preceding Frank Sinatra’s Strangers In The Night and Hey(a Julio Iglesias recording).  Finally, to arrive at the interval, Elizabeth played the popular James Last signature tune, Games That Lovers Play.     


Suitably refreshed, the audience welcomed Elizabeth back for the second half, which opened with Cilla Black’s Something Tells Me, followed by A Kind Of Hush (a hit for Herman’s Hermits).  Samba Cariocawas followed by a delightful performance of Music Box Dancer before, in complete contrast, the familiar march, Blaze Away (fortunately nobody was heard to be singing along with the incorrect lyrics!).  Very few people would have known that the next piece, titled Non Stop, was the original theme tune for ITV News At Ten but everyone recognised White Christmas, which Elizabeth decided was not too early to perform.  Audience thoughts were then transported in to the maritime world with Sailing (a Rod Stewart hit) and Always There, the theme for the BBC 80s drama series ‘Howards’ Way’ – much of which was filmed on the River Hamble and The Solent.    


The name Norman ‘Hurricane’ Smith is rarely mentioned on the electronic organ and keyboard circuit but when it is the title Oh Babe, What Can I Say? surely comes to mind.  This was followed by The Loveliest Night Of The Year, as sung by Mario Lanza in the film ‘The Great Caruso’ and the delightful Somewhere My Love (Lara’s Theme), composed by Maurice Jarre for the film ‘Dr Zhivago’.  Elizabeth continued her programme with a couple of waltzes – the Gold And Silver Waltz (Franz Lehár) and Nights Of Gladness – whilst a medley of hits from the 60s was bound to please the listeners.  The selection included such songs as Three Steps To Heaven (Eddie Cochran), Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (The Shirelles), I Only Want To Be With You (Dusty Springfield), Georgie Girl (The Seekers) and Nothing But A Heartache (The Flirtations).


As the evening drew to a close, Elizabeth performed the enchanting theme from the film ‘Nicholas and Alexandra’, Too Beautiful To Last (recorded as a vocal in the 70s by Engelbert Humperdinck), before a brief sing-along medley and – as if to prove her stamina – ending with More and I Could Have Danced All Night (or should it have been ‘played all night’?).  Of course, artistes are rarely permitted to escape without an encore … and We’ll Meet Again seemed more than appropriate!


19 OCTOBER 2017

An excellent attendance awaited DIRKJAN RANZIJN the dynamic Dutchman, making his sixth concert appearance for the Club, including a show at The Lights theatre in Andover in 2011.  His undoubted popularity in the area has been enhanced by his previous performances for local charity events organised by the Club.


Born in Alkmaar, 50 kilometres north of Amsterdam, Dirk (as he is known to his many fans) has been in music-showbiz for over twenty-five years and, apart from the UK, his touring now takes him throughout Europe and he has frequently performed on international television – most recently in Denmark and Holland – as well as on radio and for corporate events.

A concert that varied in content and tempo began with Amigos Para Siempre (Friends For Life) – a 1992 hit for Sarah Brightman and José  Carreras, followed by Lugano, a tune composed by Dirk following a visit to the Italian lake of that name.  Then came a selection of Italian songs – The Drinking SongLa Donna è Mobile and Funiculi Funicula – before the Julio Iglesias hit, Por Un Poco De Tu Amor, and Volare, a song usually associated with Dean Martin. 


Dirk then introduced another of his own compositions, Spirit Of Norway, inspired by his recent holiday in that country and, continuing his desire to bring ‘new’ music to his audience, he followed on with Carnavalito– in the style of the late German bandleader Günter Noris – and a cha cha titled A Night Like This, as recorded by Dutch pop singer Caro Emerald.  The popular Let It Go, from Disney’s Frozen received acclaim before Dirk ended the first half by performing his well-known Circus Medley, consisting of The Man On The Flying TrapezeSend In The Clowns and Join The Circus


The opening of Also Sprach Zarathustra (R Strauss) heralded the second half and the introduction of a tune for which Dirk is especially known on the continent, namely a reggae version of the Elvis Presley hit, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.  In an evening of contrasting music and styles, the emotive theme from the 2004 film, Ladies In Lavender, was then performed.  Following a Hammond sound rock’n’roll medley, comprising Tutti FruttiBlue Suede ShoesSee You Later Alligator and Hound Dog, Dirk then opted to play Ennio Morricone’s memorable film theme, Gabriel’s Oboe from the film The Mission –recorded as a vocal by Il Divo under the title Nella Fantasia

Disco flavoured music then featured with the Venezuelan composition Moliendo Café and a typical André Rieu style selection with Wild Rover,Tulips From Amsterdam (naturally!) and Red Rose Café These were followed by Hymne, a beautiful composition by Vangelis, whilst the Diana Ross hit, When You Tell Me That You Love Me, brought the evening to a close … well almost … as Dirk performed an Austrian medley, including The White Horse Inn and Goodbye, for his encore, accompanied by audience clapping which continued long after the music had ended.


Immediately after the concert, Dirk was on his way to Harwich to catch the ferry to Holland the next morning, before travelling to Denmark a day later for television work.  He is certainly an artiste in great demand.




Making the relatively short journey from Southsea to perform for the Society's September concert was ANDREW VARLEY – making his sixth appearance for the Club.  In additional to entertaining such audiences, Andrew plays for dancing and for private functions; he can also claim international status, having played in Germany, Belgium, Italy and Ireland.


As the main theme of his programme, Andrew performed a series of medleys ranging from the 1940s to the 1970s, most of the music being selected from pop charts of the day, with a few solo pieces inserted for good measure.  Following a Triumphant Music introduction, the 40s session opened with I’m Beginning To See The Light (an Ella Fitzgerald recording) and included such tunes as LauraBesame MuchoOpus One PerfidiaAutumn Leaves and Ghost Riders In The Sky (although this song became much more well known in later years). 


A Franz Lambert arrangement of Leibeswaltzer (Love Waltz) preceded the 50s selections which included a number of popular favourites recorded by stars like The Platters, Neil Sedaka, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Mario Lanza, Doris Day and the Everly Brothers.  To conclude the first half Andrew performed Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds, complete with the recorded voice of Richard Burton.


Resuming the entertainment, Andrew introduced the Chianti Song (an André Rieu arrangement) before commencing his medley of 60s tunes – the selection of which he had found difficult, being so spoiled for choice.  By way of variation, Andrew challenged the audience to name the artistes most associated with each song … an opportunity that was met with some enthusiasm. The 60s was arguably one of the best decades for popular music and titles like DelilahApacheWhiter Shade Of PaleMorningtown Ride, The Young Ones and My Way did not prove difficult – but Rhythm Of The Rain (The Cascades) was not easily solved.


The 70s section opened with the John Miles hit, Music, and contained songs linked with Demis Roussos, Status Quo, The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, The New Seekers and The Stylistics, before a reprise of Music. The concert ended with a lively German film theme – but time allowed for an encore, for which Andrew chose to play It Had Better Be Tonight (Los Cafres), from The Pink Panther.


As always, Andrew had produced something a little different as well as a few previously unheard tunes – and the amount of preparation was clearly evident, along with the enjoyment he derives from his music.


17 AUGUST 2017

Performing for the Club’s August concert was ALEX PAYLER – a talented young performer from Sittingbourne, making his fourth appearance for the Club.  Originality is what this artiste is all about, standing out from the crowd and having the ability to think independently with a style entirely of his own.  On one hand he is an elite musician but on the other a pioneer, dispelling the stereotypical outdated image and reputation of the instrument he plays.  Alex claims he is always keen to create and achieve something new and exciting.


The concert opened in Classical mode with Palladio, a 1995 Karl Jenkins composition with which Escala, a four-girl electronic string quartet, reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2008.  This was followed by the Bizet Flute Minuet from L'Arlésienne before the introduction of Duke Ellington’s Big Band number, It Don’t Mean A Thing, featuring some rapid pedal work, and Habanera from Bizet’s opera Carmen.  Alex then performed his ‘Phantom Connection’, including a few songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom Of The Opera – including The Music Of The Night and Think Of Me. 


The familiar sound of the Glenn Miller Orchestra was then heard, preceding Purcell’sTrumpet Tune (for trumpet and organ), after which Alex performed the well-known James Bond Theme (a Monty Norman composition, arranged by John Barry).  Disney’s Beauty And The Beast featured with Tale As Old As Time and the undoubted talent of American composer John Williams was represented by the Flying Theme from the film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.  The first half seemed to have passed very quickly but there was sufficient time for the sound of the Irish pipes for Lament and Firedance from Bill Whelan’s Riverdance.


After the interval a fanfare welcomed the Thunderbirds March and the stirring Vangelis composition, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise, combining orchestral and synthesizer sounds, whilst another Classical piece was inserted, namely Tchaikovsky’s Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy (from The Nutcracker ballet).  A selection from Bernstein’s West Side Story, including Tonight and Maria, was followed by Hello Dolly in Dixieland style and an Argentinian tango titled Libertango


The Hammond sound was used for Lean On Me whilst Arabian Nights and Friend Like Me, both from Disney’s Aladdin, added to the variation.  Ravel’s Bolero, in the style of André Rieu, brought an enjoyable evening to a close … except that an encore was demanded by the audience. Alex duly obliged with a samba titled Brazil.  Alex proved that he is a true master of his craft, impressing the audience with his considerable ability, imagination and musical interpretation.  When listening to his performance it was difficult to believe that such a full spectrum of sound could be created by just one man and one instrument.



20 JULY 2017

Performing for the Society’s July concert was MARK THOMPSON, a talented young artiste from Durham, making his fourth appearance for the Club.  He had travelled to the Fairground Hall from St Austell, where he had played the previous evening, but his time on the road had clearly not dulled his ability levels.


In addition to his engagements on the organ/keyboard circuit, Mark plays in a number of groups near his home and is musical director for several musical theatre societies.  As if all that is not enough, he also plays piano at hotels and restaurants in the North East and often plays with a jazz band at Newcastle United's football ground, St. James' Park, on match days. 


The concert contained a number of medleys, each consisting of familiar tunes, with a selection of solo numbers that were enthusiastically acknowledged by the audience.  Mark began in an upbeat mood with Bring Me SunshineWhat A Wonderful World and The Bare Necessities (from The Jungle Book). A sample of Latin American followed – Jazz ‘n’ Samba (by Antonio Carlos Jobim) – before a trio of well-known pop songs, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling (The Righteous Brothers), I Just Called To Say I Love You (Stevie Wonder) and The Last Waltz (Engelbert Humperdinck).     


Mark’s fingers simply flew across the keys for an amazing performance of Bumble Boogie (based on The Flight Of The Bumblebee) whilst, in complete contrast, John Barry’s delightful Somewhere In Time (from the film of the same name) clearly demonstrated the artiste’s versatility.  The wide variety of music even included a fairly lengthy medley that challenged the listeners to identify various parts of the body, such as Tiger FeetI’ve Got You Under My Skin and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.  Johnny Pearson’s Sleepy Shores (theme from the TV series, Owen M.D.) was the next tune to feature and the first half was completed with another medley – Devil’s Galop (aka Dick Barton theme), Danse Macabre(Saint-Saëns) and In The Hall Of The Mountain King (Grieg).


Following the interval Mark introduced a march titled Theatreland, followed by Voices Of Spring (Strauss Jr) and Gypsy Rondo (Haydn), before updating the style with Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud.  A jazz set featuring piano and saxophone sounds, consisted of The Nearness Of YouHit The Road Jack and Mack The Knife before a couple of melodic orchestral pieces, Nadia’s Theme (from the American television soap opera, The Young and the Restless) and the delightful theme from the film Brian’s Song (a Michel Legrand composition).  Mark then performed a series of hits from the 60s, including such numbers as I’m A BelieverDelilahSweet CarolineHey Jude and My Way.  A Rock’n’Roll medley was chosen to conclude the evening – Twisting The Night Away,Rock Around The Clock and Blue Suede Shoes – whilst Mark performed a Latin American number titled El Cumbanchero  for his inevitable encore.


The audience response emphatically indicated that Mark would be welcomed back.  The standard of entertainment was impressive – certainly commensurate with the Club’s recent accolade of being nominated for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.


15 JUNE 2017

Previous performers at the Society's concerts have travelled from many parts of the UK and from Europe … but, until this event, none had ever flown in from another planet!  However, BRETT WALES (alias Clark Kent?) had on this occasion journeyed south by road from Nottingham (and not from Krypton) to entertain the audience with a top class selection of music.


Brett has played concerts in Germany, the Netherlands and throughout the UK, delighting audiences wherever he performs with his own unique style and sound.  Like one of his idols, Klaus Wunderlich, he has his very own recording studio, where he continues to work on new recordings and where he strives to produce the fantastic sounds that are so much appreciated by his fans.


The evening began with Now We Are Free, Hans Zimmer’s dramatic theme to the 2000 film Gladiator, after which Brett performed a medley consisting of Goody GoodyOn The Street Where You Live and Mack The Knife.  The next songs to feature were the Bee Gees 1971 hit, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart and Blanket On The Ground (Billie Jo Spears 1975).  The hall was dark enough for Brett to believe he could see a cultured audience – at least that was his stated reason for performing a well-loved piece of Classical music, namely Mascagni’s beautiful Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana.  Returning to the pop scene, he then introduced Take On Me (Norwegian band A-ha 1985) and, by way of a tribute to Klaus Wunderlich, played another medley which included They Can’t Take That Away From MeC’est Si Bon and ABBA’s 1980 hit, Super Trouper.  The theme from Pirates Of The Caribbean, another Hans Zimmer, composition, and The Lady Is A Tramp heralded the interval – a most welcome break on a very warm summer’s night.


The Superman suit, with Brett inside, arrived for the second half – much to everyone’s amusement – and the entertainment was resumed.  El Bimbo (1974), in tango style, restarted the programme, followed by The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore (a 1966 hit for the Walker Brothers) and a brief Rock’Roll medley with This Ole House and Rock Around The Clock. Utilising authentic drum sounds, Brett then performed Africa – a 1982 hit for the American rock band Toto – and a brilliant rendition of Queen’s 1975 Bohemian Rhapsody, including voices that were amazingly close to the original version.  The Classical theme was revisited with The Marriage Of Figaro (Mozart) and the William Tell Overture (Rossini), followed by the Johnny Cash hit, Folsom Prison Blues, and The Sound Of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel). Elvis Presley’s recordings are always popular so I Can’t Help Falling In Lovewas well received, as was the theme from the 1988 Olympic Games – the Whitney Houston hit, One Moment In Time.


The evening had simply flown by but there was just enough time for an encore – for which Brett opted to perform a rapid collection of traditional American songs – Oh! SusannaDeep In The Heart Of Texas,She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain andTurkey In The Straw.  So ended a most enjoyable concert – in fact, it might more appropriately be described as a ‘Super’ concert!  

18 MAY 2017

The Society’s May concert welcomed the multi-talented PETE SHAW, from near Corwen in North Wales, making his third appearance for the Club.  His many previous assignments included work in 2007 as Musical Director for Granada TV on a live broadcast called ‘Tour of Talent’, which was staged at North West seaside resorts during the summer of that year.  Later, in June 2009, he received an invitation to play at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Bala for the Bro Glyndwr Male Voice Choir.  His quality tracks and arrangements are in great demand by fellow musicians and he continues to impress club and festival audiences with his individual style of organ/keyboard playing and vocals. 

The programme began with a selection of Sambas, including Quando Quando Quando, followed by Pete’s own arrangement of The Way We Were – a song recorded by Barbra Streisand for the film of the same name.  The theatre organ sound was then introduced for Let’s Face The Music And Dance – an Irving Berlin composition – before introducing a Bossa Nova version of More, along with vocal addition. 

However, the main feature of the first half was an extensive medley of around thirty songs which Pete referred to as Strictly Musicals and Films.  The medley included Tell Me It’s Not True (from Blood Brothers), Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book), When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio), and many other songs from such productions as Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Mamma Mia, Les Misérables, Phantom Of The Opera, West Side Story, The Sound Of Music and South Pacific.  Clever improvisation enabled Pete to play an accompaniment to the recorded voices of the aforementioned Male Voice Choir for You Raise Me Up, followed by the Thunderbird March, taking the concert up to the interval. 

The second session opened with a selection of Swing music, including In The Mood (Glenn Miller), Lullaby Of Broadway and Down By The Riverside, followed by the delightful As If We Never Said Goodbye(from Sunset Boulevard) and, with vocals, You Make Me Feel So Young – a Frank Sinatra favourite.  Pete’s next number (with oboe and strings) was Gabriel’s Oboe, the haunting theme composed by Ennio Morricone for the film The Mission.  By way of contrast, this was followed by a jazz tribute to Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt with I Got Rhythm, for which a pedal solo was also employed.  Further variations included Prelude In Classic Style (with pipe organ sound), This Is The Moment (with vocals), from Jekyll and Hyde, Black And White Rag (Winifred Atwell) and, featuring the piano sound, a stunning Barbra Streisand arrangement of Somewhere from West Side Story. 

To conclude the evening, a Battle Of Britain set was performed, with 633 Squadron and The Dambusters March, and augmented by the sounds of guns, bombs and sirens!  It was no surprise that the audience demanded more and Pete duly obliged with Rule The World, written by Gary Barlow and Take That.  Pete had once sold a keyboard to a very young Gary, with whom he subsequently became firm friends; little did he realise at the time that he had contributed to such a great musical career!


20 APRIL 2017

Top German electronic keyboard player, CLAUDIA HIRSCHFELD, received an enthusiastic welcome as she returned to the Weyhill Fairground Hall to perform for the Club's April concert. Claudia has performed concerts throughout Europe, as well as in the USA, Brazil and the Middle East, and makes frequent appearances on television and radio.  She is often referred to as the 'Prima Ballerina' of the keyboard as it seems as if she is 'dancing' on the pedals, much like a tap dancer - thus she is able to play entire melodies with her feet!

During the course of the evening she told of her friendship with the late James Last and included several of his hits in her programme.  The concert began with L’Hymne a L’Amour (adapted into English as If You Love Me), recorded by Mireille Mathieu and a number of other vocalists, followed by one of her own compositions, Villamartin.  This tune featured the sound of the Spanish guitar and was inspired by a holiday she had spent in Costa Blanca.

A Gospel medley came next, combining Michael Row the Boat AshoreHe's Got the Whole World in His Hands and Down by the Riverside.  A Nana Mouskouri 1986 hit, Only Love, reduced the tempo before the introduction of James Last’s Happy Music.  The ever-popular Highland Cathedral was performed, utilising the familiar strains of the bagpipes, and another James Last hit, A Morning in Cornwall, featured the sound of the panpipe. The vibrant Sabre Dance (Khachaturian) highlighted the artiste’s undoubted musical ability.  Claudia then introduced Merci Chérie, the winning song for Austria in the 1966 Eurovision Song Contest, after which Waltz No.2 (Shostakovich) was given the André Rieu treatment, followed by the Radetzky March (Strauss Sr.) to arrive at the interval.

The entertainment resumed with another James Last recording, Too Fat Polka, followed by a beautiful melody titled I Belong To Me (from the Austrian musical Elisabeth), and the lively Mollmannsdorfer Polka.  By way of complete contrast, Claudia then played a traditional version of I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside after which she performed her own up-tempo Techno interpretation.  Two Classical pieces, Ave Maria (Schubert) and Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Bach), preceded Vienna City of my Dreams and her final James Last item, The Last Guest is Gone.  To conclude her programme, Claudia chose a Rock’n’Roll medley in tribute to Elvis Presley; this featured Jailhouse RockHound Dog and Blue Suede Shoes.  

The resounding applause at the end of the concert clearly demonstrated how much Claudia’s performance was appreciated and shouts for an encore were answered with The Dambusters March (ironically, Claudia lives quite near the famous dams that were bombed during the Second World War!).  Without doubt, this charming and talented lady will be welcomed back to Weyhill. Meanwhile, the Internet (YouTube) contains a fine array of Claudia’s performances to please her many fans.



16 MARCH 2017

DAVE SMITH, who lives near Bolton, was guest performer at the Society’s March concert and provided an enjoyable, well balanced programme of music.  His early career included being MD in many cabaret clubs in the Manchester area and during this time he was spotted by Eric Delaney, the famous drummer and bandleader, who appointed him as keyboardist and Musical Director, a position which Dave successfully held for two years.  During that time he was MD for stars such as Morecambe and Wise, Tony Hancock and Ken Dodd, later appearing in a Royal Command Performance in the presence of HRH Princess Margaret.

He went on to form his own band, playing in theatres and cabaret clubs around the North West, including the North Pier, Blackpool; after a spell in the retail trade, he decided to follow a solo career, performing at major cabaret venues throughout the UK and making numerous appearances on the BBC ‘Pebble Mill at One’ TV show.  He is currently the Musical Director for many stars including the very successful three tenors, ‘Tenorissimo’, and The Bachelors, to name but a few. 

The evening began with a couple of film themes, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (John Williams) and Gabriel’s Oboe (Ennio Morricone) fromThe Mission, followed by a selection of popular tunes for which the theatre organ sound was employed; including Cara MiaLove is a Many Splendoured ThingI’m in the Mood for Love and True Love.  Big Band music was represented by a Count Basie arrangement of April in Paris whilst Crazy (a Willie Nelson composition) provided yet another style of music.  Next came the evocative theme from Schindler’s List (another John Williams composition) and the first half concluded with a trio of Mario Lanza hits – The Loveliest Night of the YearFuniculi, Funicula and With a Song in My Heart.     

Resuming the entertainment, Dave introduced The Rhythm of Life, from the musical Sweet Charity, and the theme from Beauty and the Beast, followed by a catchy tune titled Guaglione (a theme performed by Perez Prado and used as a TV advert).  A Strauss medley in the style of André Rieu – and including The Blue Danube – was then performed whilst Blue Moon provided a little more jazz.  By way of brief variation Dave then produced a keytar (a lightweight electronic keyboard shaped a little like a guitar) to play Amor, Amor, Amor (a Julio Iglesias hit).  Returning to his main instrument he continued with Puccini's famous aria, Nessun Dorma (from the opera Turandot) which was, as ever, much appreciated.


A well supported sing-along session preceded the concert finale – Dave’s ‘pièce de résistance’ – his own compilation which he titled ‘Armistice’; this incorporated The Last Post, the Dambusters March, the theme from the film 633 Squadron – and even the sound of air raid sirens!  McArthur Park provided an excellent encore to conclude yet another great evening – although for the artiste another lengthy journey lay ahead.


16 FEBRUARY 2017

The Society’s February concert was performed by MICHAEL WOOLDRIDGE from Littlehampton. Michael is one of England's top electronic and theatre organists, having worked with many top celebrities as well as staging his own musical productions.and summer shows.


The programme contained a number of medleys, interspersed with a wide variation of music to suit most tastes.  Opening with Button Up Your Overcoat (appropriate seasonal advice), Michael continued with What I Did for Love (from A Chorus Line) and a selection from The Sound of Music, including the main theme, along with Edelweiss,My Favourite Things and Climb Every Mountain.  The ever-popular Blue Danube (Strauss Jr.) was then performed, followed by the introduction of the Wurlitzer sound for Lara’s Theme, from the film Dr Zhivago, and Is it True What They Say About Dixie.


A collection of Buddy Holly songs met with wholehearted approval from the audience; the numbers featured were That’ll Be the DayPeggy SueTrue Love WaysRaining in My Heart and Oh Boy.  It was then time for another Classical piece, namely The Poet and Peasant Overture (Franz von Suppé), after which Michael played a Latin American medley, including The Coffee SongEl Cumbanchero and One Note Samba.  The first half concluded with You’ll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel), in the style of Gerry and the Pacemakers.


The entertainment resumed with Seventy-Six Trombones (from The Music Man), played in march time, and March of the Toreadors from Carmen (Bizet). Another popular tune, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz, preceded a Glenn Miller selection – At LastLittle Brown JugSerenade in BlueTuxedo JunctionIn the Mood and Moonlight Serenade.  Michael then introduced the church organ sound for Toccata for Organ, the theme music for BBC TV’s ‘Songs of Praise’ (Robert Prizeman).


In complete contrast, the themes to Star Trek and Star Wars were then played, with Eric Delaney arrangements, after which a little jazz was introduced by way of Sweet Georgia Brown.  Time for the finale had arrived, almost unnoticed, for which Michael aptly performed a tribute to Elvis Presley (commemorating 40 years since the artiste’s untimely death).  Songs selected were Heartbreak HotelBlue Suede ShoesTeddy BearLove Me TenderSuspicious MindsWooden HeartAll Shook UpHound DogI Can’t Help Falling in Love with You and, An American Trilogy.      


After such an enjoyable evening an encore was inevitable and Michael duly obliged with the Radetzky March (Johann Strauss Sr.).  The audience clapped along and then afforded their guest performer a well-earned ovation.

19 JANUARY 2017

The Society’s first concert of the year was well attended, considering the bitterly cold weather, and the entertainment provided by guest artiste TONY STACE did much to warm the hearts. Tony, who had travelled from Northallerton, certainly deserved the excellent welcome he was given with a well balanced choice of music and several amusing anecdotes.


The concert began with a calypso, followed by Spring Serenade (a John Walker composition) and a Louis Clark style ‘Hooked on Classics’ selection, featuring compositions of Mozart, Schubert and Purcell.  Tony then introduced a set of hits from the 50s and 60s – Bobby’s Girl (Susan Maughan), Dream Lover (Bobby Darin), Diana (Paul Anka), 24 Hours from Tulsa (Gene Pitney) and La Bamba (Ritchie Valens).  The next items in the programme were a Latin American medley, including Desifinado and Mambo Jambo, and a couple of film themes, Beauty and the Beast (TV series) and Superman


The concert continued with Ave Maria (Bach), after which the accordion sound was introduced for the Bel Viso polka.  The ever-popular Radetzky March (Strauss Sr.) was then performed and two popular James Last compositions – The Lonely Shepherd and A Morning in Cornwall – were very well received.  The first half was completed by I Know Him So Well (from the musical ‘Chess’) and the Annen Polka (Strauss Jr.). 


Tony resumed after the interval with a selection of waltzes – The Blue Danube (Strauss Jr.), The Skaters’ Waltz (Waldteufel), Roses from the South (Strauss Jr.) and Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky).  A brief medley of Harry Warren compositions, including I’ll String Along With You, preceded Klaus Wunderlich Latin American arrangements, Amapola and El Cumbanchero, and a rarely-heard Excursion Train Polka (another Strauss Jr. composition). 


The sound of the Classical organ was then utilised for Prelude in Classic Style (Gordon Young) and Tuba Tune in D Major (C S Lang). A popular Sousa march, Stars and Stripes Forever, was next to feature whilst, in complete contrast, a couple of Winifred Attwell ragtime hits – namely the Jubilee Rag and the Coronation Rag – further demonstrated Tony’s keyboard skills.   


After a brief sing-along session, it was time for an encore.  Tony opted for a collection of traditional music, such as Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, to conclude the evening’s entertainment.  He informed the audience that his travels were not yet over as he was flying off for a holiday in Lanzarote the following day – and nobody could deny that he certainly deserved the break.     



15 DECEMBER 2016


The Society’s final concert of the year had a strong Christmas flavour and understandably attracted a good attendance.  Guest artiste was NICHOLAS MARTINBEM, from Leicestershire, one of the Club’s most popular performers. 

Nick, as he is usually known, has two teenage sons, both of whom are afflicted with autism, and this inspired him and his wife to found a charity for autistic children.  Nick is the main fundraiser for the cause, collecting donations at many of his musical engagements and, since the Charity’s inception, over £300,000 has been raised to help autistic children and their families.  In recognition of his efforts he was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list on 31 December 2014 – and the Club is proud to have played a part in regularly contributing to this fun-raising. 

The audience was kept entertained throughout with a varied selection of music and by the artiste’s occasional cheeky sense of humour.  After his signature tune, Hey Look Me Over, Nick opened the concert with a couple of marches, Entry Of The Gladiators and Aces High, followed by the lively Circus Renz and Angel in Blue – a tune that had featured in the Club’s formation.   

The Warsaw Concerto, composed by Richard Addinsell (who had connections with Appleshaw many years ago), was next to be performed, introducing Classical music to proceedings.  The Wurlitzer sound was then employed for a selection of popular Christmas songs, beginning with Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin’ Stevens) followed by Silver Bells (Jim Reeves) and Mistletoe And Wine (Cliff Richard).  

Reverting to orchestral mode, Nick continued the festive theme with It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like ChristmasWhen A Child Is BornLet It SnowDeck The Halls and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. In complete contrast a waltz was introduced – Roses From The South (Strauss Jr.) – together with I Dreamed A Dream (from Les Miserables) and another popular Classical composition, Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni).  The interval was fast approaching but there was sufficient time for Nick to perform his ‘party piece’, Twelfth Street RagHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Sinatra) and the energy-sapping Dizzy Fingers.   

After a break for festive refreshments, the second half began with The Blue Danube (Strauss Jr.) and a Dixieland number, Muskrat Ramble, before continuing with the previous blend of Christmas songs and carols, along with other popular tunes, many of which prompted the audience to join in.  I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town preceded Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers) and the Skaters Waltz, followed by The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting).   Nick continued with three more seasonal tunes – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (Andy Williams), Walking In The Air (from The Snowman) and A Winter’s Tale (David Essex) – and took great delight in playing the Post Horn Galop, signature tune of his beloved Leicester City Football Club!

A brief Latin American diversion, consisting of Cavaquinho and Tico Tico, was followed by a number of traditional carols - the selection featuring O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Nowell, Once in Royal David's City and Hark The Herald Angels Sing - after which a few more Christmas favourites were performed; White Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Sleigh Ride were the chosen tunes. You'll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel) and The Holy City were follwed by a clever combination of Jingle Bells, Tiger Rag and Widor's Toccata, whilst proceedings were concluded with Frank Sinatra's My Way as an encore. So ended a most enjoyable evening, appreciated by the entire audience. 



17 NOVEMBER 2016

The Society’s November concert featured ANDREW NIXfrom Selby in North Yorkshire.  At the age of 17, Andrew was appointed Keyboardist and Musical Director for a theatre group performing at Butlins, Barry Island and he is now one of the busiest performers on the circuit.  His music is designed to suit most tastes, played in a refreshing style and presented with his own brand of light-hearted, cheeky Yorkshire humour.

The evening began with the High School Cadets march, followed by She (Charles Aznavour), Telstar (a 1962 No 1 for The Tornados) and Ghost Riders in the Sky (Frankie Laine and others).  The Chris de Burgh 1986 hit, The Lady in Red, preceded a Sigmund Romberg selection which included the Drinking SongWhen I Grow Too Old to Dream and Stout-Hearted Men.  Andrew then introduced the ever-popular Highland Cathedral, complete with the sound of the bagpipes, and Bel Viso, a lively polka often heard played on the accordion. 

The Bette Midler hit, The Rose, from the 1979 film of the same name, was then performed, followed by a medley of bird-related tunes such as The Red Red RobinA Nightingale Sang in Berkeley SquareThe Ugly Duckling,Mockin’ Bird Hill and Bye Bye Blackbird – all performed in Wurlitzer style – at which point the interval had arrived.

After the refreshments break the concert resumed with It’s Only a Paper Moon and an ABBA selection featuring Dancing QueenGimme! Gimme! Gimme!Mamma Mia and Thank You for the Music.  Continuing with music from the 70s, Andrew then performed The Impossible Dream (from Man of La Mancha) and utilising a Dixieland piano sound he went on to play The Wedding of the Painted Doll from the 1920s. 

Adele’s hit, Make You Feel My Love, was well received as were the two Shadows’ numbers, Dance On and Foot Tapper.  Another Bette Midler song, Wind Beneath My Wings, was next to feature, followed by a medley of Disney music from Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book.  All too soon the entertainment was completed, except that Andrew responded to shouts of ‘more’ with a couple of Latin American tunes – Brazil and El Cumbanchero – and sent everyone home in a happy mood.  

20 OCTOBER 2016 

An excellent attendance at the Society’s October concert – including the Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr. Karen Hamilton – witnessed top class entertainment provided by former ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalist JEAN MARTYN.  A full range of music was performed, accompanied by numerous anecdotes, mainly relating to Jean’s experiences during and after her ‘life-changing’ TV appearances.

Jean opened the concert with the rapid Circus Renz before introducing a contrastingly placid item, Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto.  Next on the musical agenda was Fools Rush In, performed in two different styles – the Larry Adler harmonica sound and, with an increased tempo, Stephane Grapelli’s violin.  A selection from The Sound Of Music brought the full orchestral sound of Jean’s instrument into play; along with the title song, the numbers played were Do-Re-MiThe Lonely Goatherd and Climb Every Mountain.

Toes were tapping as Jean performed a medley comprising When The Saints Go Marching InRock Around The ClockSweet Georgia Brown and Don’t Bring Lulu.  The next few numbers had been popularised by The Shadows, Cleo Laine, The Animals, Adam Faith and Elvis Presley – a wide enough choice to please most of the listeners – and the ‘Blackpool Sound’ (of the famous Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer) was utilised for Blaze AwayTwelfth Street RagWish Me Luck and Rule Britannia.  A tribute to Dame Vera Lynn, who Jean had accompanied on grand piano at a charity concert in St James’s Palace, consisted of Yours and We’ll Meet Again, whilst the first half ended with a fine performance of the Warsaw Concerto.

After the interval, at the request of the Mayor, Jean performed her famous BGT Great Balls Of Fire number and continued with Barry Manilow’s Can’t Smile Without You.  Her supreme talent as a pianist was clearly demonstrated by the performance of Rachmaninov's delightful Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini and an entirely different piano tune titled The Robin’s Return.  Reverting back to Classical mode, Jean then played Dvorak’s New World Symphony (also known as Going Home) before enticing a sing-along with another Wurlitzer medley.

Recounting the occasion when she appeared with Aled Jones on ‘Songs of Praise’, Jean then reprised What A Friend We Have In Jesus before playing a popular selection from Les Miserables – On My OwnI Dreamed A DreamMaster Of The House and Bring Him Home.  Time had simply flown by and the concert was reaching its conclusion, for which three popular tunes were chosen – The Way We Were (Barbra Streisand), Send In The Clowns (Judy Collins) and Your Song (Elton John). As if a reminder was necessary, Jean performed We Need A Little Christmas (a Johnny Mathis recording) followed by the inevitable encore, a rapid trio consisting of Flight Of The BumblebeeTrish Trash Polka and Offenbach’s Can Can.

Jean commented that the Weyhill club was special to her – and no doubt, after such an enjoyable evening, the audience reciprocated those sentiments.


The audience attending the Society’s September concert defied the threat of thunderstorms and were well-rewarded. Visiting artiste MATTHEW BASON, from Northamptonshire, demonstrated his various talents to provide full value entertainment. 

Apart from demonstrating his adept keyboard skills, Matthew performed on his accordion, exercised his fine tenor voice and interacted with the audience with a cheeky sense of humour. 

The first half began with a Latin American medley, including a couple of Edmundo Ros numbers – the Wedding Samba and the Choo Choo Samba – followed by The Girl From Ipanema and a trio of piano ragtime tunes, Do-Wacka-DoTwelfth Street Rag and the Black And White Rag.  Matthew then accompanied himself as he sang a selection from Oklahoma and Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.  The piano sound was utilised for The Dream of Olwen and the organ sound was employed for the Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves (from Verdi’s opera Nabucco).  

As the interval approached, Matthew performed a couple of Carpenters’ hits – Top Of The World and Jambalaya – followed by a welcome collection of popular Country music tunes; the selection included such numbers as Ring Of FireMy Best FriendYour Cheatin’ Heart and Rhinestone Cowboy.  The first half was completed with the Radetzky March (Johann Strauss Snr.). 

After the break, Matthew produced his accordion to play the Beer Barrel Polka and a Scottish reel, after which he sang Don’t Laugh At Me, a song popularised by Norman Wisdom.  The keyboard featured in a Rock’n’Roll and pop music collection – and memories were stirred by the following numbers: Nut RockerAt The HopI Only Want To Be With YouLet’s Twist AgainIt Might As Well Rain Until SeptemberStreets of LondonSong For GuyTragedyTie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak TreeMatchstick Men And Matchstick Cats And Dogs and I Will Always Love You. 

A couple of ABBA hits – Mama Mia and Thank You For The Music – preceded The Tony Christie hit, Is This The Way To Amorillo, before Matthew sang a Beatles hit, Can’t Buy Me Love, and played a Big Band medley to bring the evening to a conclusion.  Calls for an encore were answered with the lively Circus Renz – a technically demanding galop, composed in the nineteenth century essentiallyfor xylophone and orchestra.  
At times it was possible to believe that more than one person was on stage, such was Matthew's versatility.  The audience members always look forward to enjoyable entertainment ... and that's precisely what they had!  No doubt Matthew will be invited back to the Club before too long. 


18 AUGUST 2016

PHIL BROWN proved to be an extremely popular guest artiste at the Society’s August concert, with a well-balanced programme of melodic music.

Phil, from Derby, is a very accomplished pianist, having played the piano since he was sixteen, and having achieved various qualifications and diplomas. He has performed in the USA, Spain and Germany, and is also a busy music teacher. 

The concert began with the Radetzky March (Strauss Snr.), with the audience clapping to the beat, followed by a couple of tunes with a Scottish flavour – Skye Boat SongMull of Kintyre – plus Amazing Grace, for which the Band of the Royal Scots Dragoons Guards are renowned. Latin American music was next to feature, with Amor Amor Amor, after which the tempo slowed for Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto.

By way of further variety, a Western film theme was performed – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (Ennio Morricone) – followed by James Last’s version of So Eine Liebe Ggibt Es Einmal Nur (roughly translated as ‘There Is such a love only once’).  From the comparative tranquility of this delightful tune, Phil increased the pace by playing the Sabre Dance (Khachaturian) before returning to another melodic piece associated with James Last and André Rieu, Roses from The South (a Strauss Jr. composition).

A slow melody titled Amore Grande, Amore Libero preceded a couple of pop tunes – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Neil Sedaka) and Mandy (Barry Manilow), whilst the first half was concluded with a series of marches, namely Blaze Away,Washington PostFuniculi Funicula663 Squadron and The Dambusters March.

The second half opened with a lively medley, the tunes being Is This The Way To Amarillo (a Tony Christie recording), I Only Want To Be With You (Dusty Springfield), Rivers Of Babylon (Boney M) and Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell).  Puccini’s O Mio Bambino Caro was then performed before Phil introduced one of his ‘signature’ tunes, Duelling Banjos from the film Deliverance.

The concert continued with a selection of Classical pieces which included a number of different composers – Beethoven's 5th Symphony, a Chopin NocturneThe Swan (Saint-Saëns), Trumpet Voluntary(Clarke), Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni), In The Hall Of The Mountain King (Grieg), Stranger In Paradise (taken from music composed by Borodin) and Grand March from Aida (Verdi).

Phil then revived memories of Demis Roussos with a couple of his well know songs – Forever And Ever and Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun – before playing a selection of music from Phantom Of The Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber). The tempo suddenly erupted with the popular Latin American number, Tico Tico, before slowing down for the delightful theme from the 1982 film Missing (Vangelis) and a well-known Verdi operatic composition, The Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco.

A vibrant Rock’n’Roll medley concluded the concert – including This Old HouseGreen DoorRock Around The Clock, plus Phil’s pedal and drum solos (the latter performed on his keyboard).  Shouts of ‘more’ resounded throughout the hall, to which Phil responded, employing the xylophone sound for the rapid Circus Renz.  The applause accorded to the artiste at the end of the evening spoke volumes for how much his efforts were appreciated.  Clearly it won’t be too long before Phil is asked to make a return visit.


21 JULY 2016

Performing for the Society’s July show was PENNY WEEDON from South Wales; popular as ever, she was making her eighth concert appearance for the Club.

Penny (LGSM, ARCO, FLCM) has enjoyed an exciting musical career which has taken her across Europe and throughout the UK.  She has performed concerts on numerous wonderful organs, not least the Wurlitzer in the Tower Ballroom at Blackpool.  She has worked as an examiner for the London College of Music and has lectured and adjudicated at most of the major keyboard festivals.  She has made numerous radio broadcasts and also writes for the specialist music press.

A refreshing aspect of the show was the inclusion of numerous pieces that were new to the audience, whilst the programme was varied to suit most musical tastes.  The first half began with Good Morning Starshine, from the musical Hair (1967), and was followed by Edvard Grieg’s Morning.  Spring, Spring, Spring was next to feature, albeit it out of date, along with The Folks Who Live On The Hill

You could have heard a pin drop as Penny played the delightfully tranquil Benedictus (Karl Jenkins), whilst the film theme from A Bridge Too Far was comparatively stirring – and Que Sera, Sera enticed a few members of the audience to sing along.  Another Classical piece, Lohengrin - Prelude to Act 3 (Richard Wagner), was performed before Penny produced her accordion, on which she played (in her words) a German ‘beer-swilling’ song!  Returning to the keyboard, she then utilised both piano and orchestral sounds for Autumn Leaves and ended the session with Quando Quando, followed by Van McCoy’s The Hustle (1975).

Returning after the refreshment break, Penny opened with an unusual piece titled Primavera (translated as Spring), composed by Ludovico Einaudi, and performed an excerpt from Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto.  She then introduced one of John Barry’s lesser known compositions, Moviola, an emotive tune from the film Across The Sea of Time, after which she played No Honestly, the theme from a TV series with the same title.  After That’s Entertainment (from The Band Wagon), Penny played The Writing’s On The Wall, the theme from the James Bond film, Spectre (a vocal recorded by Sam Smith in 2015) and another John Barry masterpiece, the melodic Somewhere In Time, from the film of the same name. 

The audience also heard a selection from Easter Parade, followed by Kumbayah and Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life.  Penny then replicated the sound of a synthesizer to perform Reverie (from Isao Tomita’s Snowflakes Are Dancing album), followed by Wichita Lineman (a 1968 hit for Glen Campbell) and Lord of The Dance.  The Last Farewell (Roger Whittaker) was selected as the encore – although it is most unlikely to be a final goodbye as far as Penny is concerned.


16 JUNE 2016

IAN HOUSE was the guest artiste for the Society’s June concert and the audience enjoyed a masterclass of varied musical entertainment.  

Ian, from Midsomer Norton (not the scene of so many TV murders!), first performed for the Club in 2008, at the age of 19, and his progression was so pleasing to witness.  He has played keyboards since the age of seven and in 2003 won the National Young Theatre Organist of the Year competition; he also competed in the International version of the competition, winning both Junior and Intermediate divisions.  Now, not only is he an extremely proficient keyboard player but, since 2011, he has been working for Yamaha as a National Piano and Keyboard specialist.  Apart from travelling throughout the UK, performing on and promoting Yamaha keyboard products, his work has also involved several visits to Japan. 

The concert replicated sounds ranging from flute and piano to saxophone, clarinet and Big Band – and the styles consisted of ballads, musicals, orchestral, marches, pop music, film music and instrumental.  

The evening began with an excellent version of James Last’s Games That Lovers Play, followed by Aquarius from the musical, Hair.  In complete contrast came Phil Coulter’s Home Away From Home, a beautiful sound featuring piano and flute.  A further range of sounds – guitar, piano, harmonica and drums – was utilised for Lay Down Sally (Eric Clapton) and These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (Nancy Sinatra). 

Ian then opted for a march,Blaze Away, before introducing the ballad Make You Feel My Love (Adele), complete with voice.  That’s All (a Nat King Cole hit), with saxophone predominant, was next on the ‘agenda’, followed by a Big Band version of Come Fly With Me and a slightly updated performance of Elizabethan Serenade.  To conclude the first half, Ian selected his own arrangement of the lively Tico Tico, involving speedy work on the pedals. 

Suitably refreshed, Ian returned to the stage and opened the second half with 1492: Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), followed by Sugar Baby Love, a 70s pop hit for The Rubettes.  The tone then changed as Ian introduced Benedictus, from The Armed Man mass (Karl Jenkins), and Amazing Grace (aided by voices).  Dusty Springfield was remembered with I Only Want To Be With You, after which the accordion sound came into play with a polka titled Bel Viso, another rapid-fire tune. 

John Denver’s Annie’s Song was performed with an André Rieu arrangement and Fly Me To The Moon featured clarinet, saxophone and piano within the Big Band sound.  The evening had elapsed so swiftly and it was too soon time for the final piece; Dolly Parton’s Nine To Five (from the 1980 film) – except that the inevitable encore was demanded, for which Ian selected the catchy Canadian Capers (a song that Doris Day had recorded way back in 1949). 

It was obvious that Ian had carefully planned his programme to suit many tastes and he received enthusiastic acclaim at the end of the evening.  The Club certainly looks forward to a return visit from this talented and dedicated player.

19 MAY 2016

The Society’s May concert featured JAMES GOFF, a vastly experienced musician from Newport Pagnell, making his second visit to the Club.  Apart from being an accomplished pianist, keyboard player and recording artist, James also has his own band.

He began his professional career playing at Pontins holiday camps and has performed in a number of night clubs around the country, accompanying some of the big name cabaret acts such as Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse, Tommy Trinder, Billy Fury and many more.  As well as having performed on various cruises, his band was also engaged by Mecca International to play at several of their top nightspots.

Throughout the evening James interacted superbly with his audience, with a few jokes and anecdotes, and encouraged the occasional sing-a-long.  After an appropriate opening – The Weyhill March – James continued with a short medley including Put On A Happy Face and Cabaret.  This was followed by a Beatles number, Can’t Buy Me Love, and a delightful selection of Henry Mancini compositions, including The Pink Panther ThemeThe Days Of Wine And Roses,Baby Elephant Walk and Moon River.

In Big Band style, came Big Noise From Winnetka, after which James performed a couple of tunes with an Italian flavour – O Sole Mio and Volare, after which the audience heard What Now My Love (with the recurring musical pattern of the Bolero in the background).  Wonderful Land was selected to remind everyone of The Shadows and by sheer coincidence (perhaps) the Louis Armstrong hit, Wonderful World arrived immediately afterwards.

James chose to include several medleys in his repertoire and his next collection included Red Roses For A Blue LadyI Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby and Me And My Girl.  Big Band music was featured with Moonlight Serenade before Apache, another Shadows hit, was played.  A trio of memorable tunes consisted of Blue MoonMisty and Georgia and the first half was concluded with a couple of Spanish songs, Lady Of Spain and Viva España.

Following the interval, a comprehensive selection of film themes was introduced – including Star WarsMoulin RougeYou Only Live TwiceDr ZhivagoThe Countess From Hong Kong (a song titled This Is My Song written by Charlie Chaplin), Never On Sunday and Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.

A brief sing-a-long included such songs as Slow Boat To ChinaCharmaine and The Lambeth Walk, before the haunting theme from the film Once Upon A Time In The West.  Another medley consisted of Ma, He’s Making Eyes At MeBaby Face,Alexander’s Ragtime Band and If You Knew Susie, after which the audience was treated to a rarely heard collection of 60s hits for The Seekers – and who can forget Georgie GirlThe Carnival Is OverIsland Of DreamsKumbayaBlowing In The Wind and I’ll Never Find Another You?

For his final selection James returned to the Big Band sound for Hot Toddy (a favourite for the Ted Heath Band) and The A Train (Glenn Miller).  An encore was requested and the response was the Vera Lynn song, We’ll Meet Again.

21 APRIL 2016


Performing for the Society’s April concert was CHIHO SUNAMOTO, from North Shields, ably assisted by her partner, Jon Smith.

Chiho, who has often been described as the Vanessa Mae of the organ and keyboard world, always brings a breath of fresh air to the music scene.  Originally from Matsuyama, in the South of Japan, Chiho has lived in England since 1986.  She began by learning the piano at the age of three, progressing at the age of nine to the local Yamaha Music School to learn the art of organ playing.

During her time at St. Katerina University, where she studied opera singing, piano and classical organ, she became one of the youngest players to pass Yamaha's top exam, Grade 3 Music Diploma.  On two occasions, Chiho was a finalist in the Yamaha Electone (organ) Festival, which led to offers of work from Yamaha as an overseas demonstrator and contracts with two of Japan's major TV stations where she composed and performed for a variety of shows.  After leaving University, Chiho continued to tour as an overseas demonstrator for Yamaha, performing in over forty countries.

The show was opened with a selection of Big Band numbers; firstly Sing Sing Sing (a Benny Goodman recording) and then a trio of Glenn Miller favourites – Little Brown Jug,In The Mood and Moonlight Serenade.  In complete contrast was the ABBA favourite, Mama Mia, before Chiho introduced April in Weyhill, performed as April in Paris (!), followed by the Main Theme from Star Wars (John Williams).

Film music was next to feature, in the form of Cinema Paradiso (Ennio Morricone), after which Chiho paid tribute to David Bowie with Life on Mars (Rick Wakeman’s arrangement).  A Latin American flavour was added with a performance of Tequila before Chiho sang Pure Imagination, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Jon Smith then came on stage to sing You Make Me Feel So Young and Young at Heart, both accompanied by Chiho on keyboard.

Jon then took to the keyboard to perform White Cliffs of DoverYours and We’ll Meet Again – a tribute to Vera Lynn – after which he combined with Chiho, on separate keyboards, to play A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Tea for Two.  Time seemed to have passed very quickly as Chiho took the show up to the interval with a Classical piece, Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss).

The second half opened with Mame and It Don’t Mean a Thing, followed by a couple of numbers with equine connections, Comedians’ Gallop and a unique version of Camptown Races.  The Beatles are often featured in such concerts and on this occasion Eleanor Rigby and Get Back were the selections.  Jon Smith then returned to the stage to sing I’ve Got You Under My Skin (to Chiho’s accompinament), followed by Love Me Tender and What a Wonderful World, the latter being performed by Jon on his small Melodica instrument whilst Chiho amusingly mimicked Louis Armstrong with his trumpet!

With two keyboards in unison, the duo completed the concert with Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (a Richard Rodgers composition), I Got Rhythm (George Gershwin) and, for the finale, Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance.  Aptly, to calls for an encore, Jon sang and Chiho played That’s All.  Sadly, that was indeed all but the duo will hopefully be making a return visit.

17 MARCH 2016

Performing for the Society’s March concert was KEVIN GRUNILL, from Scarborough, marking the final appearance of his 25th Anniversary tour.

Kevin’s musical education included studying at a performing arts college before furthering his skills at Leeds University where, in 1994, he gained a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree in music.  Since graduating from University, he has performed at many of the country's major musical venues, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London, as well as the Opera House and Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.  In 1997 he was appointed as resident organist at the North Pier, Blackpool, where he entertained hundreds of thousands of holiday-makers until 2005. During that period he was also one of the resident organists at the Tower Ballroom. 

One of his main interests is the history and construction of the theatre organ. In 1994, he installed a Compton organ in the Penistone Paramount in South Yorkshire, where it is used on a regular basis for film and concert events and in March 2001 Pennine Yorkshire Tourism awarded Kevin's shows with the prestigious 'Visitor Attraction of the Year' award.

Kevin set the show in motion with an appropriate tune, That’s Entertainment, before introducing one of Adele’s big hits, To Make You Feel My Love, followed by a selection of Irish tunes to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.  A rarely heard song, titled I’m a Fool to Want You (written by Frank Sinatra) was next to feature, after which Kevin selected a toe-tapping Henry Mancini composition titled Pie In The Face Polka (from the film The Great Race).  Another relatively unknown song was next to be introduced – This Heart of Mine (Harry Warren) from the Ziegfeld Follies film.

The sound of the Theatre Pipe Organ was introduced for a couple of marches, followed by The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Bobby Vee), Around The World (Matt Monro) and Baby Face (recorded by Bobby Darin and Brenda Lee, amongst others).  Kevin then performed a selection from Stage and Screen to complete the first half:  If I loved You (from Carousel), Get Me to The Church on Time (My Fair Lady), Somewhere Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz) and the Theme from Phantom of the Opera.  

After the interval Kevin performed a Big Band medley, including Something’s Got to Give and Dancing Cheek to Cheek, before introducing a delightful but almost unknown ballad – Make the World a Little Younger – recorded by Shirley Bassey in 1973.  Another selection of marches was then played, prior to an excellent rendition of the Londonderry Air.  Kevin then replicated the sound of the Mighty Wurlitzer in the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool; tunes featured included I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire,I’m Forever Blowing BubblesPasadena,Who’s Sorry Now and Somebody Stole My Gal.

Suddenly, it was almost time to end the concert and Kevin decided to close with a selection from Les Miserables, including I Dreamed a DreamMaster of the House,Bring Him Home and Do You Hear the People Sing?  After such a great performance it was obvious that an encore would be demanded – for which Kevin opted for a Classical arrangement titled Hooked on Can Can. Following such an entertaining evening, there is no doubt that Kevin will be invited to return to Weyhill for a future concert.

18 FEBRUARY 2016


As expected, this concert proved to be an exhibition of supreme talent displayed by the highly qualified performer, CHRIS STANBURY 

Chris, from Carshalton in Surrey, studied at the London College of Music where he succeeded in passing his Fellowship diploma (FLCM) in June 2001.  He completed his Bachelor of Music degree a year later, gaining a First Class Honours certificate, and then went on to complete a further year of study to obtain a post-graduate MMus qualification in 2003.  In 2005, he was appointed as a Music Examiner for the College and now travels throughout the UK to music exam centres; he also teaches organ, keyboards and piano at the College on a part-time basis. 

The evening began with The Raiders March (from the film ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’) followed by Sleepy Shores, the 1972 TV theme from ‘Owen MD’. The Thunder and Lightning Polka (Johann Straus II) raised the tempo, which was further enhanced by a medley of Rock’n’Roll numbers – Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley), Blue Suede Shoes (Elvis Presley) and Let’s Twist Again (Chubby Checker).  A calmer tone was introduced by way of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s As If We Never Said Goodbye (from the musical ‘Sunset Boulevard’).    

Big Band music was represented by a trio of Glenn Miller tunes – Moonlight SerenadeLittle Brown Jug and In The Mood – and continued with a Ted Heath arrangement of Swingin’Shepherd Blues.  Chris then introduced a nostalgic selection of bygone BBC Radio tunes such as Puffin’ Billy (the theme for ‘Children’s Favourites’), Nelly the ElephantCoronation Scot (the ‘Paul Temple’ theme) and The Devil’s Galop (theme for ‘Dick Barton – Special Agent’).  Further nostalgia ensued with a few tunes associated with Max Bygraves –You’re a Pink ToothbrushThings Ain’t What They Used To BeYou Need Hands and Tulips from Amsterdam

A brilliant rendition of the difficult Brazilian piece, Tico Tico, preceded a memory-testing ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ selection,  featuring Walk Don’t Run – the ‘Juke Box Jury’ signature theme – Do You Wanna Dance,Bobby’s GirlPoetry in Motion and Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen.  Suddenly it was time for a break – although it seemed the session had hardly begun!  

The second half began with the rapid Circus Renz (an André Rieu favourite), followed by a Matt Monro hit, On a Clear Day, and the Burt Bacharach composition, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.  Rarely a concert goes by without a song from ‘Les Miserables’ and there was to be no exception –I Dreamed a Dream being the selection on this occasion.  Listeners were then transported to the Sixties and a delightful medley of Dusty Springfield hits: I Only Want to be With YouIsland of DreamsGoin’ BackI Close My Eyes and Count to Ten and You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me made up the selection. 

The music of Queen is often featured – and this time it was the ever-popular Bohemian Rhapsody – after which Chris returned to one of his favourite styles, namely Big Band.  Sing, Sing, Sing (Benny Goodman), Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael), Hot Toddy and East of the Sun (both Ted Heath arrangements) completed the set – and the concert.

Calls from the audience demanded an encore and Chris duly obliged with the ultimate Classical piece – Tchaikovsky’s1812 Overture.  The tremendous acclaim clearly suggested that this artiste would not be absent from Weyhill for too long.    

21 JANUARY 2016


The Society’s January concert undoubtedly provided a great start to the year.  The music was provided by STEVE HUBBLE, from Broadmayne in Dorset, making his second appearance for the Club, and the amazing sounds produced by his instrument clearly indicated how much preparation had gone into the programme.  Steve’s orchestral arrangements were particularly impressive from the outset and continued right though the evening.

A powerful orchestral rendition of Somewhere (from West Side Story) opened the concert, followed by a Big Band version of Come Fly With Me (a Frank Sinatra hit).  A John Barry composition was next to feature – the delightful, descriptive theme titled I Had a Farm in Africa from the film Out of Africa.  The variation of music continued with Mas Que Nada, in Samba style, after which Steve performed a Bossa Nova titled Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars).  Another Big Band item was then introduced – Ted Heath’s Hot Toddy – before the amazing orchestral sounds returned for a brief selection from The Sound of Music, namely Do-Re-MiMy Favourite Things and Climb Every Mountain.

A rarely heard tune was then performed – the theme music from the film Pearl Harbour, featuring the saxophone sound; the piece is titled There You’ll Be and has been recorded by Faith Hill.  In contrast, possibly the most recognisable clarinet tune was next to be featured – Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore – followed by another piece of film music, titled Arthur’s Theme (or Best That You Can Do), with a guitar sound to the fore.  Frankie Valli and Andy Williams both recordedCan’t Take My Eyes Off You, which was the next song to be played, whilst Pure Imagination from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film was fairly new to the audience.  Steve concluded the first half with a surprise number – his own arrangement of the Club’s signature tune.  What was originally titled Weyhill Fair became the Weyhill Overture with a vibrant rendition.   

The show resumed in dramatic fashion – with Richard Burton’s recorded voice preceding The Eve of the War (from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds). Misty, a popular tune around the circuit, began with piano, to which clarinet and trumpet sounds were added, and another rare item followed on, namely a Joe Loss number titled Papa Yo Kiero (translated as Papa I love You).  Arguably, one of John Barry’s best compositions, the John Dunbar Theme from the film Dances With Wolves, was next on the programme and Steve’s propensity for performing something ‘new’ was exemplified with an up-tempo number titled Why Haven’t I Heard From You (a Reba McEntire recording), for which Hammond organ and brass sounds were utilised.

The audience was then ‘transported’ to the Wild West as the theme music for Once Upon a Time in the West (Ennio Morricone) was played, sounding so close to the original tune.  Steve then introduced a big medley of Show tunes, which he referred to as his ‘Broadway Overture’.  Shows represented included Mack and MabelJesus Christ Superstar,South PacificSunset BoulevardLa Cage aux Folles,MameOklahomaPhantom of the Opera and West Side Story – at the conclusion of which the audience applauded and cheered loudly!

All too soon, it was time to bring the show to its finale – for which Steve selected Duelling Banjos from the film Deliverance, and then chose New York, New York for a well deserved encore.  A most enjoyable evening ... and an addition to the list of favourite artistes!

17 DECEMBER 2015


‘Entertainment’was the key word for the Society’s December concert – and guest artiste PAUL CARMAN, from Leicestershire, produced an excellent programme to delight everyone.

Initially, music was not Paul’s only passion and as a keen footballer he had a trial for Leicester City on the same day as school friend Gary Lineker.  However, he decided there was more potential in music on the basis that only a chosen few made a successful career in football.  He has spent the last twenty-three years as a demonstrator, a position that has seen him perform in Australia, New Zealand, USA, China and most of Europe.to delight everyone.

A feature of Paul’s concert was his very relaxed style and his keen sense of humour.  His anecdotes and jokes kept the audience amused throughout the evening and his choice of music, including a couple of vocal renditions, was very well received. 

The concert began with a couple of Latin American tunes – Quando Quando and Mambo Jambo – followed by the easily recognisable clarinet sound for Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore.  Next to feature was Eye Level, the theme from the TV series, Van der Valk before Paul paid tribute to the sadly-missed James Last with The Lonely Shepherd, complete with the sounds of pan pipes and guitar.  Another well known tune, El Condor Paso (Simon and Garfunkel) was introduced, along with a tune from the Dance Band era, namely Deep Purple, with saxophone and clarinet sounds predominant.

Paul then played and sang Smile – a Charlie Chaplin composition – and continued with a hit for The Carpenters, titled Top of the World.  Next to be heard was Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a seasonal song, usually associated with Frank Sinatra, followed by the Theme from The Godfather, with mandolin and accordion to the fore.  To wind up the first half Paul selected Red Roses for a Blue Lady, together with the familiar Bert Kaempfert sound.  

After the interval, during which everyone partook of some tasty Christmas refreshments, the concert continued with the Club’s traditional carols sing-a-long.  Thereafter, Paul performed a song recently revived by Josh Groban, What I Did For Love, from A Chorus Line (Marvin Hamlisch), and introduced the Hammond sound for Bésame Mucho.  Fond memories of the 60s came flooding back as a couple of hits from The Seekers were played – The Carnival is Over and I’ll Never Find Another You – plus a further reminder of James Last, with Mornings at Seven and Games That Lovers Play.

The concert continued with Nights in White Satin – a Justin Hayward 60s composition for the Moody Blues – before the Big Band sound was introduced for Birth of the Blues.  To conclude the evening, Paul chose to perform Frank Sinatra’s My Way and for his encore he played and sang Nat King Cole’s great hit, Unforgettable – certainly an appropriate title for a most enjoyable evening.

19 NOVEMBER 2015

The Society’s November concert incorporated a special video show, involving two large screens, either side of the stage.  The screens worked in unison, depicting both keyboard and pedals, plus the artiste’s own images, mainly of stars associated with the music being played. 

Guest artiste was DANIEL WATT from Northampton, who performed an extensive range of music – some tunes well known, others less so – that was well received by an appreciative audience.

It seems you can’t go wrong with an ABBA tune, especially Dancing Queen, which Daniel selected to begin the show.  This was followed by Besame Mucho, as sung by Andrea Bocelli, for which the piano sound featured strongly.  A completely ‘new’ song (at least to Weyhill) was then introduced, namely The Water is Wide, as recorded by Celtic Woman - an all-female Irish musical ensemble – before a Mozart composition,Rondo Alla Turka, was performed in the style of James Last.

The next tune needed little introduction – Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel) but the following item was perhaps a little less well known, namely Nature Boy, as recorded by Nat King Cole.  The Second Waltz (Shostakovich) had the audience swaying side to side whilst the sound of a harmonica greeted Rainy Days And Mondays, a 1971 hit for The Carpenters.  Introducing the sound of the Wersi instrument, Daniel then performed a couple of Neil Sedaka songs – Oh Carol and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

The tempo slowed for a gentle tune titled Nocturne, a 1995 Eurovision winner for Norway (and Secret Garden), and Days Of Wine And Roses, a Henry Manicini composition for the 1962 film of the same name.  The first half was brought to a conclusion with Be My Love (utilising the Big Band sound) and You’ll Never Walk Alone from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.    

Following the interval, the recorded voice of Richard Burton produced a little drama ahead of Eve Of The War from Jeff Wayne’sWar Of The Worlds, following which Daniel opted for another Carpenters’ hit, I Won’t Last A Day Without You.  A little jazz, in the style of Carol Welsman, was used for Cole Porter’s Night And Day, before another change in style in the form of Mr Blue Sky, a 1978 hit for Jeff Lynne’s ELO.  My One And Only Love, a Frank Sinatra recording from the 50s, was next to feature, followed by The Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves from the opera Nabucco (Verdi), performed in the style of James Last.      

An Irish flavour was brought to proceedings with another song recorded by Celtic Woman, She Moved Through The Fair, followed by an Andy Williams hit, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, before the sound of the Classical Organ was employed for Purcell’sTrumpet Tune And Air.  Michael Bublé’s version of Can’t Buy Me Love preceded the final item of the concert, Caledonia, a melodic Scottish song associated with the pipes of The Black Watch.  Daniel responded to calls for an encore with a rapid Samba selection, including the well known Tico Tico.

To say there was music for everyone would be well justified and the entire production did much to promote the predominant aim of the Club – to provide melodic, easy listening music for everyone.  With current admission prices having remained unchanged for six years, the concerts are clearly good value for money.   


15 OCTOBER 2015

A near-capacity attendance at Weyhill’s Fairground Hall greeted DIRKJAN RANZIJN at the October concert. 

Dirk, as he is known to his many fans, has visited the Andover area on several occasions and has become extremely popular; hence he has established quite a following.  Earlier in the year he completed a series of shows for Dutch television and his performance clearly demonstrated why he had achieved such fame and success.

Dirk delighted the audience with a wide range of music throughout the evening, beginning with his own up-beat version of Love is All (recorded by Engelbert Humperdinck and Malcolm Roberts).  Commenting on one of his recent sea voyages to the UK, he then performed Slow Boat To China, followed by The Song of Ocarina, complete with the sound of pan pipes.  A couple of Elton John compositions were next to feature – Circle of Life (from The Lion King) and I’m Still Standing – after which the tone changed for the attractive theme from the 1990 film Dances With Wolves.

By way of a tribute to his fellow Countryman, Dirk then performed the Irish song The Wild Rover in the style of André Rieu.  Another change of style was introduced with a Latin American tune, strangely titled Just Another Cha Cha.  The Power of Love – a 1984 hit for Jennifer Rush – was followed by another memorable film theme, from Exodus (1960).  The first half was closed with a trio of popular ABBA songs, Dancing QueenVoulez-Vous and Super Trouper.

The second half was opened with a fanfare and the popular Elvis Presley hit, Can’t Help Falling in Love, which Dirk had arranged in Reggae style.  Unsurprisingly, a ‘new’ piece was introduced – titled Melissa (by Argentinian composer/pianist, Raul di Blasio), after which it was time for a Rock’n’Roll medley, including Let’s Have a PartyHound Dog and Johnny Be Good.  Another Cha Cha was performed, this time Sway – a Michael Bublé recording – followed by yet another iconic film theme – Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).

Dirk then encouraged audience participation with YMCA (a hit for Village People) before performing the Kenny Rogers hit, All I Ever Need Is You, arranged in Reggae style.  Another unfamiliar but delightful tune came next – a Greek composition titled Listen (by Nikos) – after which the tempo was increased for What a Beautiful Day and Tulips from Amsterdam.  Dirk opted to close his show with a Queen medley, including Who Wants To Live Forever and We Are the Champions.

There was simply no way the audience was leaving without an encore ... so Dirk obliged with two contrasting tunes, namely Besame Mucho and Adele’s Make You Feel My Love.  Artistes with such musical passion and showmanship are a rare commodity and the standing ovation Dirk received at the end of the evening was richly deserved.  His return to Weyhill in the not too distant future is assured. 


IAN GRIFFIN travelled from Swansea to perform for the Club's September concert and, judging by the audience response, his appearance was certainly appreciated.                      

In 1990, Ian formed his own cabaret show band which has made several appearances on HTV's 'Friday Live' programme, featuring famous celebrities.  In 1997, he became Musical Director and Associate Producer for Pontins Keyboard Special Events at Barton Hall, Torquay and has since co-produced a number of UK keyboard festivals.  In 1998, he made recordings for several artistes appearing on ITV’s 'Stars in Their Eyes' and has performed at several organ festivals in Holland.    

The concert opened with the Ben E King hit, Spanish Harlem, after which Ian introduced a medley consisting of Lara’s Theme from the film Dr Zhivago, I’m Losing You(Brenda Lee) and, as a tribute to Cilla Black, You’re My World.  A couple of Latin American numbers, Ramona and Mambo Jambo, preceded the delightful Crystal Gayle ballad, When I Dream, and Neil Sedaka’s composition, The Miracle Song.  Summer Wind and It Had To Be You – both Frank Sinatra recordings – were performed in Big Band style, whilst another Sinatra hit, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, followed on.

Arguably, one of the best ballads of the 20th century, Nat King Cole’s When I Fall In Love, was performed prior to a selection of tunes from films and shows – such as Somewhere and Tonight(both from West Side Story), Bring Him Home (Les Miserables),I Talk To The Trees (Paint Your Wagon) and As Long As He Needs Me (Oliver).  Almost unnoticed, time had flown by and the interval had arrived.

The second half assumed an entirely different format as Ian had asked for audience members to write out their requests – most of which, it transpired, he was able to perform.  The selections mainly ranged from the 1950s to the 1990s, setting quite a challenge for` the artiste.  The music resumed with Is This The Way To Amarillo (a Neil Sedaka composition recorded by Tony Christie). I Dreamed A Dream (Les Miserables) and Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler).  The anticipated variation continued with Always On My Mind (Willie Nelson), Words (The Bee Gees) and Cavatina (instrumental from the film, The Deer Hunter).

An inspirational and thought-provoking song was next to feature, namely What Colour Is The Wind (Charlie Landsborough), after which a change of era brought about a couple of Glenn Miller numbers, Moonlight Serenade and Little Brown Jug.  The accordion sound was heard for True Love (from the film, High Society) – and a few members of the audience sang along – whilst the title of a lesser known ABBA recording, Andante Andante, may have puzzled some members of the audience.         

A concert favourite, 1491:The Conquest of Paradise (Vangelis), from the film of the same name, was next to feature, followed by Telstar, a big 60s instrumental hit, andUnchained Melody, a song recorded by a considerable number of vocalists.  Ian then went on to perform Whistle Down The Wind, the main theme from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, before introducing the unmistakable refrain of the bagpipes for another concert favourite, Highland Cathedral.  The accordion sound was produced for Moon River (from the film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and I Wanna Be Like You (from The Jungle Book) provided a totally different tempo.

The audience was obviously fond of film music as the next selection was the theme from The Way We Were (Barbra Streisand), before a jazzed-up version of Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino) was played.  A melody which played an indirect part in the Club’s formation – back in 2002 – namely Angel In Blue, was next on the list, followed by yet another film theme – from the memorable Western, Once Upon A Time In The West. The songs,Memory and No Matter What suggested that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s compositions were popular, after which John Lennon was remembered with the performance of Imagine.  

Perhaps understandably, the Welsh song Myfany was left until near the end, just before Frank Sinatra’s My Way.  However, shouts from the audience brought about an encore – for which the bygone Ski Sunday television theme (titled Pop Looks Bach) was selected.  Concluding the evening, Ian cheekily suggested that if the second half was not enjoyable it was totally the fault of the audience (as they had selected the music!)!  However, that was never an issue as his performance met with resounding approval.  Undoubtedly, he will be returning in the not-too-distant future when there is sure to be a ‘welcome in the (Wey)hillside’! 

20 AUGUST 2015

BRETT WALES, from Nottingham, proved to be an extremely popular player at the August concert, when he provided a lively and entertaining programme of music on his three-manual Wersi Louvre organ.

From the very beginning, when Brett performed the emotive Hymne;(Vangelis), it was clear that the music would be dynamic and the sounds produced by his state-of-the-art instryment would attract the listeners. This was followed by a Franz Lambert favourite, Dreaming Ballerina - a delightful tune and beautifully played.  Brett then introduced a medley which included On The Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady) and Mack The Knife.

A George Benson number was next to feature – Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You – followed by When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful (Fats Waller) and, in complete contrast, the delightful Classical piece, the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Pietro Mascagni).  Brett then selected another Benson song, Give Me The Night, before introducing another medley which included The Breeze And IMore and I Could Have Danced All Night.

A change of tempo was signalled by Nancy Sinatra’s hit number, These Boots Are Made For Walking, after which the popular and memorable film theme,Once Upon A Time In The West (Ennio Morricone) was heard.  As the interval break approached, Brett performed Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – a 60s Goffin and King hit for the Shirelles – and Duelling Banjos (from the film Deliverance), utilising the authentic sounds of guitar and banjo.

Returning to the stage for the second half – attired in a bright yellow suit! – Brett opened with A Banda (a Herb Alpert recording) and Apache (a hit for The Shadows), followed by The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore (Walker Brothers).  Africa, from his latest album, was next to feature, along with This Ole House (recorded by Rosemary Clooney and Shakin’ Stevens, amongst others).  Another Classical item was then performed – this time Roses From The South (Johann Strauss Jr.), a composition popularised by both James Last and André Rieu.

Great sounds were produced for Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) whilst the Johnny Cash number, Folsom Prison Blues set the toes tapping, as did the William Tell Overture (Rossini).  Frank Sinatra’s Let Me Try Again and the Elvis Presley hit, The Wonder Of You, were performed with feeling and it was more than appropriate that Music (John Miles) was selected to end the evening, as everyone had enjoyed an excellent selection of music.  Unsurprisingly, the audience called for an encore and Brett duly obliged with a medley performed in Bluegrass style, including Oh Susanna,Deep In The Heart Of Texas and She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain.

As with all shows staged by WEOS, there was music to please everyone and the variation of sounds produced by Brett’s versatile electronic keyboard instrument at times effortlessly replicated a large orchestra or band.  In addition, the styles represented many facets of music – from Classical to contemporary and many other genres in between.  These monthly concerts provide excellent value for money and are certainly worth supporting.

16 JULY 2015

DAVID THOMAS from Thetford in Norfolk was guest player at the July concert and the audience enjoyed a combination of enjoyable music and technical wizardry.

With his experience in creating screen graphics, David provides film coverage for some of the UK's largest keyboard festivals and he now finds himself in demand at many events as both a player and a technician in the yearly festival calendar.  Accordingly, the evening was enhanced by his many talents.

Proceedings began with a medley of Irving Berlin compositions – Let’s Face the Music and DanceCheek to Cheek and Puttin’ on the Ritz.  David then lowered the tempo with A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening (recorded, amongst others, by Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis), before applying a Latin American style to Never on a Sunday and Forever and Ever (a hit for the late Demis Roussos).  Next to feature was Something, a Beatles hit, followed by a selection of tunes utilising the Hammond sound – Somewhere Over the Rainbow,How High the Moon and The Lady is a Tramp.

Introducing a Classical tone, David then performed Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D, after which he performed a special item; the audience could hear the voice of Jim Reeves, singing Welcome to my World, and view his image on the large screen, as David played the accompaniment.  Memories of Acker Bilk were revived with Stranger on the Shore, complete with the familiar clarinet sound, and the first half was completed with Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (translation: To Me You Are Beautiful) – a Yiddish tune with which the Andrews Sisters earned a gold record.     

Following the break, David performed What a Difference a Day Makes (a Dinah Washington hit), Our Day Will Come and Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’.  He then introduced the DHOS March – his own composition – and I’ll Never Smile Again (another Frank Sinatra hit), before switching to the Bossa Nova rhythm for Wave and The Girl from Ipanema (two compositions by Antonio Carlos Jobin).  Manhattan – composed by Rogers and Hart, and recorded by Ella Fitzgerald – preceded the Glenn Miller sound, with Moonlight Serenade.  The programme was brought more up to date with Conquest of Paradise (Vangelis) and The Lonely Shepherd (James Last).

A contrast in dance music was then demonstrated – PasadenaAin’t She Sweet,The Black Bottom and Sweet Georgia Brown portrayed the 20s, whilst The Hustle represented the 70s.  To bring the show to a conclusion, David introduced his ‘party piece’ – a duet with Bing Crosby!  With the aid of technology and excellent timing, he sang and spoke the part of Frank Sinatra with Well, Did You Evah, from the film High Society – and for his encore he selected Bert Kaempfert’s Bye Bye Blues.

18 JUNE 2015

Guest artiste at the Society’s June concert was CHRIS POWELL from Derbyshire, a well-respected performer with a wealth of experience.  

By the time he was 18, Chris had successfully auditioned to join the team of organists playing for dancing at the Tower Ballroom Blackpool. He very soon became recognised for his musical talents, leading to a succession of invitations to perform at many electronic and pipe organ venues. In 1994 he visited New Zealand for a month-long concert tour on pipe and electronic instruments and this led to an exciting invitation to spend all of 1996 as a Resident Organist at the ‘Baycourt Theatre’ in Tauranga.  This was a unique and exciting experience in which he undertook all manner of concerts, functions and dances.  His overseas concert tours have also included Holland, Australia and USA. 

Chris began the evening with a medley of music in tribute to popular composer and bandleader, James Last, whose death occurred on 9 June.  The particular pieces selected were Vienna Forever,  Games That Lovers Play,La Cucaracha and The Lonely Shepherd.  He followed up with three Glenn Miller numbers,Pennsylvania 6-5000,Moonlight Serenade and In the Mood before introducing a selection of Neil Diamond hits, namely Song Sung Blue,Cracklin’ Rosie and Love on the Rocks, whilst the audience joined in with Sweet Caroline. 

Popular music from the 50s was next to feature, with Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino), The Great Pretender (The Platters), La Bamba (Ritchie Valens), Magic Moments(Perry Como) and At the Hop (Danny and The Juniors).  A change of sound was then introduced – that of the mighty Wurlitzer in the Blackpool Tower ballroom – with a number of well known songs, such as Who’s Sorry NowToot, Toot, Tootsie GoodbyeMoon River,Love and Marriage and Secret Love.  As the interval approached, Chris ‘transported’ the audience to Europe with a brief medley comprising of Y Viva Espana,Under the Bridges of ParisI Love Paris,O Sole Mio and Funiculi Funicula. 

Returning to the stage, Chris resumed with a selection of Cliff Richard hits – Living Doll, Summer Holiday and The Young Ones, before performing the very popular song, The Rose (Bette Midler).  Very few concerts exclude ABBA – and this one was no exception: songs selected on this occasion were Dancing Queen, I Do, I Do, I Do and Thank You for the Music.  Memories of the late James Last were again revived, on this occasion with a trio of Classical pieces performed in the Maestro’s familiar style - namely Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Offenbach’s Barcarolle and Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 

Three hits of bygone years followed on – Forever and Ever (Demis Roussos), Save Your Love (Renee and Renato) and Una Paloma Blanca (George Baker Selection) – before a recent hit entitled Sing,a song written by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.  Buddy Holly was remembered as Chris performed Heartbeat,True Love Ways,Raining in my HeartThat’ll Be the Day and Oh Boy! 

The evening seemed to have elapsed too rapidly and it was time to conclude proceedings – on this occasion with a brief version of the Last Night of the Proms, incorporating Jerusalem,Rule Britannia,Sailor’s Hornpipe and Land of Hope and Glory.  Nevertheless, an encore was demanded and Chris responded with the Radetzky March.  The audience had been well entertained and duly showed their appreciation: this top class artiste will obviously be welcomed back in the not too distant future.

21 MAY 2015

The May concert featured the very talented MICHAEL WOOLDRIDGEa player who has performed at the highest level for a wide variety of entertainment shows.

In addition to performing concerts throughout the UK, Michael has made tours of Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Australia.  He has worked with many celebrities, including comedians Syd Little, Don Maclean, Jimmy Cricket and Stu Francis, magician Paul Daniels, top pianist Bobby Crush, former stars of the Black and White Minstrel Show and Eurovision Song Contest winner, Dana.  As a producer, he has staged tours and pantomimes, as well as summer seasons in Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Blackpool and Clacton.  He also plays for dances and works as a cocktail pianist, with past venues including London's Savoy Hotel. 

A particular feature of the concert was the diversity of musical sounds produced – ranging through Orchestral, Wurlitzer, Classical organ, Latin American and Big Band.  The evening began with Get Happy, a Judy Garland number recently revived by Rebecca Ferguson, followed by Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings.  Michael then introduced the familiar Wurlitzer for a medley of well known songs – consisting of There’s No Business Like Show Business,A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square,Around The World,Lara’s Theme (from Dr Zhivago) and We’re In The Money

The tempo and mood changed for a selection of Buddy Holly hits – namely That’ll Be The DayPeggy Sue,True Love WayRaining In My Heart and Oh Boy – before the Classical Organ sound was utilised for an unfamiliar French composition titled Sortie.  Memories of Mantovani were revived with a trio of popular melodies, Lonely BallerinaSome Enchanted Evening and Charmaine, whilst The Coffee Song brought the Samba rhythm to proceedings.  The final item of the first half was somewhat innovative, with Michael performing incidental music, complete with the Wurlitzer sound, to accompany a Harold Lloyd silent movie displayed on the Club’s large screen. 

Following the interval, Michael opened with Seventy-Six Trombones (from The Music Man) and, employing the violin sound, a Classical piece titled Czardas (Monti).  In topical mode, a selection of Eurovision Song Contest entries was then performed – including CongratulationsBoom Bang-a-Bang,Making Your Mind UpAll Kinds Of Everything,Save Your Kisses For Me and Puppet On A String.  Deep Purple was performed in the style of late night music, after which the pipe organ sound returned for Beautiful DreamerOl’ Man River (from Showboat) and 12th Street Rag.  

The Hammond organ sound provided a further variation with MoreSatin Doll and Sweet Georgia Brown, whilst the popular I Won’t Send Roses (from Mac and Mabel) was well received.  To complete the evening, and to fit in with the VE Day celebrations, Michael then performed a collection of Glenn Miller hits – Little Brown Jug,Pennsylvania 6-5000 and Moonlight Serenade – before responding to calls for an encore with Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock.

16 APRIL 2015

The Club's April concert lived up to its high expectations with star artiste, top German electronic keyboard player CLAUDIA HIRSCHFELD providing an evening of truly scintillating music. Claudia, who was making her fifth appearance for the Club, has performed concerts throughout Europe, as well as in the USA, Brazil and the Middle East, besides making frequent appearances on television and radio.  It is no wonder that she is often referred to as the 'Prima Ballerina' of the keyboard:  it seems as if she is 'dancing' on the pedals, much like a tap dancer – in fact, she is able to play entire melodies with her feet!  She certainly captivated everyone with her explosive style and natural charm and her programme contained many kinds of music, including classics, pop, evergreens, films and musicals. 

TheTriumphal March from Aida was an appropriate opening and this was followed by a Viennese selection, with the delightful sounds of strings and accordions.  Claudia continued with a Berlin medley, in the style of her friend James Last, and her own composition titled Villamartin – inspired by a holiday in Spain and featuring the sounds of the Spanish guitar and castanets. 

TheSabre Dance (Khachaturian) was next to feature, after which a pleasing but rarely-heard piece of music was performed – I Belong To Me from the musical Elizabeth(Empress of Austria).  A Gospel medley comprised of Michael Row The Boat Ashore,He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands and Down By The Riverside, complemented by the sounds of the choir for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu.  To conclude the first half Claudia selected an André Rieu Viennese waltz and Beethoven’s Ode To Joy.

The interval was followed by Claudia’s own arrangement of Bach’s Toccata, after which – in complete contrast – she performed a couple of film tunes, Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and True Love from High Society.  Strangers In The Night (a Frank Sinatra hit), was followed by the theme music from the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

The next selection, a James Last traditional medley, encouraged the audience to join in – with Molly Malone, Daisy Bell and Abide With Me, all featuring the accordion sound.. A Mike Batt composition, the theme for the 1978 film, Caravans, was next in the programme, followed by the ever popular Highland Cathedral (associated with Scotland but written by two Germans).

Yet another style of music was featured , this time a Rock’n’Roll medley – with Jailhouse Rock,Hound Dog and Blue Suede Shoes – and the evening was closed with the Dambusters March (which Claudia said her German audiences didn’t know ... and which she was reluctant to explain to them!).  Coincidentally, she lives near the dams concerned!  Shouts for an encore were heeded and a popular football theme was chosen – You’ll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel).

There is no doubt whatsoever that a return visit from this talented, charming performer would be keenly welcomed.  Meanwhile, YouTube contains many of Claudia’s performances to please her fans.

19 MARCH 2015


Performing on electronic keyboard for the March concert at the Fairground Hall, Weyhill was ANDREW VARLEY from Southsea.  Andrew can always be relied on to introduce a number of unknown or rarely heard pieces in his concerts and this again proved to be the case.

In his early playing days, Andrew’s recordings were broadcast by BBC Radio Lancashire in their programme entitled ‘Organ Showcase’ and were also aired on the BBC Radio 2 programme, ‘The Organist Entertains’ (before the BBC decided to exclude electronic instruments).  As well as performing concerts for electronic organ and keyboard clubs, Andrew is also constantly in demand for Ballroom and Sequence Dancing.

Andrew began the evening with a fanfare titled Musik ist Trumpf and followed this with a selection in the style of André Rieu – comprising such tunes as Seventy-Six Trombones,The Second Waltz (Shostakovich), Two Eyes Ever So Blue (aka Two Lovely Black Eyes) – complete with a delightful accordion sound – Dreaming of New Zealand (a waltz composed by André himself), Azzurro (an Italian tune) and finishing the collection with And the Waltz Goes On.

ABBA came next – represented by WaterlooChiquititaI Do I Do I Do I Do and Super Trouper – before an enjoyable medley of Franz Lehár compositions, includingFarewell My Love Farewell,You Are My Heart’s DelightVilia and The Merry Widow Waltz.  Nat King Cole was next to feature, with hits such as Mona Lisa,Unforgettable,Too Young and When I Fall In Love, and the interval was reached with a Franz Grothe composition, Sing With Me.

The second half began with a couple of Franz Lambert recordings – Happy Organ Man and Banana Tropicana – and another Andre Rieu tune, Do Not Forget Me, before a selection of varied guitar music (all of which Andrew performed with the appropriate sounds).  The variation included Hawaii Tattoo (The Waikikis), Theme For Young Lovers (The Shadows), Nostalgia and Recuerdos De La Alhambra (Classical Guitar) and Twist a Napoli (Bert Weedon).

The mood changed as some well known music from the movies was performed, many accompanied by extra film background sounds.  The evocative Theme from Once Upon a Time In The West opened the selection, followed by the James Bond Theme and the Main Theme from Forest Gump.  Others to feature included Pirates of The CaribbeanSpeak Softly Love (from The Godfather), Conquest of Paradise,The Railway Children and 633 Squadron.

The final item was Happy Days Are Here Again (in the style of James Last) but the inevitable encore was another ‘unknown’ piece, A Friend, A Good Friend – from a 1955 film titled The Three From The Filling Station.  As in virtually all of the Society’s concerts, the evening provided music to suit most tastes and the audience should have gone home in the knowledge that they had been well entertained.

19 FEBRUARY 2015

The audience ignored the February rain to attend the Fairground Hall in Weyhill, for a concert featuring electronic keyboard player BRIAN HAZELBY – and their efforts were rewarded with an evening of enjoyable, wide-ranging, non-stop music. 

Brian, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, has spent a lifetime in music – from his early days playing the piano to three years in the 4th Queen`s Own Hussars military band in Germany, playing clarinet and piano. After leaving the Army, he set out on the long hard road of the professional musician, beginning with humble working men’s clubs. All kinds of work followed, including dance bands, and for a while he was a member of the famous John Barry Seven (at one time Adam Faith’s backing group). He then had contracts with the Geraldo Entertainment Agency, working on the RMS Mauritania for the New York voyages, and a year was spent on the island of Bermuda, performing for the Geraldo London Orchestra.

The concert began with a fanfare, followed by There’s No Business Like Show Business and Let’s Face The Music And Dance, before transporting listeners on a musical mini-tour of Europe – with such songs as Under The Bridges Of Paris,Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen and Tulips From Amsterdam.  Brian then performed Summer Tango, featuring the sounds of the flamenco guitar and accordion, before introducing Erroll Garner’s Lover, played in Jazz piano style.  

Then, with a medley of piano sounds, he continued with UnforgettableLong Ago And Far Away,The Very Thought Of You and Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered.  Switching to Ragtime, Brian performed Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer and, in complete contrast, a couple of Classical pieces – Tchaikovsky’s Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy and Dvorak’s New World Symphony.  All Of Me, in Jazz style, came next and the first half came to an end with the audience members being provided with the opportunity to engage in a little singing, along with Y Viva EspañaStrollin’ and You Made Me Love You

With everyone suitably refreshed, Brian recreated the accordion sounds and voices of the Cliff Adams Singers – with songs such as Peg o’ My HeartPretty Baby,Underneath The ArchesOn Mother Kelly’s Doorstep and Oh, You Beautiful Doll – before introducing the Big Band sound, complete with strings, for a rendition of Strike Up The Band.  The many fans of André Rieu were pleased to hear The Blue Danube (Strauss Jr) whilst Que Sera Sera inevitably revived memories of Doris Day. 

The tempo was raised with Abba’sMoney, Money, Money, followed by the catchy Popcorn (as recorded by Jean Michel Jarre) and Walk, Don’t Run, one of the John Barry Seven hits.  John Barry was again featured – this time as a prolific composer of film music – with the theme from The Quiller Memorandum, better known as Wednesday’s Child, after which Brian performed the Mantovani signature tune, Charmaine.  A quartet of television themes preceded Eddie Calvert’s Oh Mein Papa and Acker Bilk’sStranger On The Shore, both performed with their distinctive sounds.   

A few memories were stirred by the theme from the BBC radio drama, Dick Barton, Special Agent (as aired between 1946 and 1951) whilst themes from James Bond and The Pink Panther were easily recognised.  As the evening drew to a close, Brian introduce the St Louis Blues March (Glenn Miller) before bringing his performance to a close with his version of The Last Night Of The Proms, encompassing a Sea Shanty, Rule Britannia,Jerusalem and Land Of Hope And Glory.  Unsurprisingly, an encore was demanded and Brian duly obliged with the lively Root Beer Rag

There was no organ to be seen or heard!  Such is the versatility of today’s electronic keyboards that the performers are more than capable of catering for most musical preferences.  Anyone considering sampling the entertainment provided by these monthly events should not hesitate .....

15 JANUARY 2015

Opening the Society’s monthly concert programme for 2015 was NICHOLAS MARTIN from Markfield, near Leicester, making his seventh visit to Weyhill.  In addition to these performances, Nick (as he is known to his friends and fans) has also played for the Club at the Cricklade Theatre (now The Lights) in Andover for a charity event.

During a family visit to Blackpool, in 1969 (at the age of five), Nick heard the Wurlitzer organ being played in the famous Tower Ballroom and after he began learning to play the organ, at the age of eleven, it became his ambition to perform at this famous venue.  His ambition was realised in 1981 when he was offered the post of resident organist – at just seventeen years of age!  He went on to play there for seven days a week, during the 1981 and 1982 seasons.  Quite literally, a dream had come true!

One of the major highlights in Nick's musical career was an initial offer (in 1985) to perform in concert at the Kirk of Dunedin, a community church on the West Coast of Florida.  Since that first visit he has been asked to return time after time and has now made no less than twenty-nine trips across the Atlantic, where he performs to large audiences.

Nick has two sons, both of whom are afflicted with autism, and in 2001 the boys' condition inspired him and his wife, Marianne, to found a charity for autistic children, ‘Miracles To Believe In’ (a charity that the Weyhill Club has supported on many occasions).  Nick is the main fundraiser for the cause, collecting donations at many of his musical engagements and, since the charity’s inception, over £250,000 has been raised.  His efforts have just been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours by the award of the British Empire Medal for services to Children and Families.

As for the concert, Nick provided music for every taste and his excellent technical ability was evident throughout.  The evening opened with his signature tune, Hey Look Me Over, followed by a selection of well known marches.  Next to feature was a medley of film music in waltz time – the Love Theme from Romeo and JulietThe Godfather Love Theme and Lara’s Theme from Dr Zhivago.  Nick then subtly decided it was appropriate to perform Royal Event – a 1960 recording by Russ Conway (a popular pianist with whom Nick had performed on several occasions).

Another familiar piece of film music was introduced, namely Once Upon a Time in the West (an Ennio Morricone composition), before another Russ Conway hit, Side Saddle.  Nick then performed one of his favourites, Twelfth Street Rag, increasing the tempo as he proceeded, before a more serious mood took over – with Make Me a Channel of Your PeaceHighland Cathedral (complete with the sound of bagpipes) and How Great Thou Art.  A Classical tone was added to the programme with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 and then, in complete contrast an Abba selection was heard – WaterlooThank You For the Music and Money, Money, Money.  The delightful music of The Carpenters was next to feature, with Goodbye To Love (a 1972 hit), followed by The Best of Times and Can You Feel the Love Tonight (from The Lion King).  To round off the first half, Nick played Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (from Song of the South) and the signature tune of Match of the Day.

Following the interval, Nick resumed with a selection of Glenn Miller numbers – Moonlight Serenade,Pennsylvania 6-5000Little Brown Jug,I Know Why and In the Mood – before playing the popular emotive Classical composition, the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni).  In complete contrast, the next item to be heard was the Post Horn Gallop (which, as Nick was clearly pleased to point out, was the signature tune of his beloved Leicester City FC)!  Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust was followed by Young at Heart and John Barry’s delightful film theme, Out of Africa.

Boyzone’s hit, No Matter What (from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Whistle Down the Wind) was the next item in the programme, followed by the unlikely titled Pop Looks Bach – or the Ski Sunday Theme – and a medley of other familiar tunes from the past, Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer (a Nat King Cole hit),Apple Blossom Time and Fascination.  Nick then introduced the haunting but rarely heard piece, Ashokan Farewell, a tune used as the title theme of the 1990 television mini series, The Civil War, and continued with A Man Without Love (Engelbert) and I Won’t Send Roses – both in Latin American style.

The evening had seemed to flash by as the final pieces, all from musicals, were announced – You’ll Never Walk Alone,Falling In Love With Love and A Wonderful Guy – ending with a cleverly arranged combination of Hold That Tiger and Widor’s Toccata.  Winifred Attwell’s Black and White Rag provided the encore to an evening that demonstrated why Nick is one of the most popular players on the circuit.

18 DECEMBER 2014

The Society’s December concert, featuring the jovial TONY STACE, was met with unanimous acclaim – quite unsurprising, considering Tony’s ability to amuse as well as provide a great evening of music. From Northallerton in North Yorkshire, the artiste was making his fourth appearance for the club and the audience promptly warmed to his friendly banter.

The concert began with the Tip Top Polka, followed by a Harry Warren medley which included September In The Rain. Tony continued with a couple of Winifred Attwell rags – Jubilee Rag and Coronation Rag – followed by a selection of waltz tunes including Tales From The Vienna Woods,Tulips From Amsterdam and The Valeta. Moving into the 60s, a couple of Roy Orbison hits were introduced – It’s Over and Crying – before the popular march, Blaze Away. 

A tune which was instrumental in the Club’s 2002 formation, namely Angel In Blue, was next to feature, followed by the catchy number titled Nola – a composition surprisingly dating back to 1915 – and Prelude In Classic Style. The interval was fast approaching but there was just enough time for Tony to play a Mary Poppinsselection, including such songs as A Spoonful Of SugarFeed The Birds,Chim Chim Cheree and, somewhat inevitably, the tongue-twisting Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious !

After some tasty festive refreshments, the second half began with a few traditional carols – involving audience participation – following which Tony performed a medley of well known Christmas tunes. These consisted of Winter Wonderland,Have Yourself A Merry Little ChristmasWhite Christmas,Silent NightLittle Drummer BoyMary’s Boy Child,Jingle Bells and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.

A brief Classical tone was then introduced, with Chopin’s Grand Waltz, before Tony performed a trio of popular ballads – Portrait Of My Love (a Matt Monro hit), Mona Lisa (associated with Nat King Cole) and Misty (an Erroll Garner composition). A Disney selection consisted of Someday My Prince Will ComeHi Ho Hi Ho and Whistle While You Work. Two more pieces of Christmas music were played – Silver Bells and Mistletoe And Wine – before Tony gave the Weyhill ‘choir’ another opportunity to perform with a collection of sing-along songs.

Returning once again to the Christmas theme, Frosty The Snowman was followed by Here Comes Santa Claus and We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Tony needed little encouragement to perform an encore, for which he appropriately selected Auld Lang Syne, thereby concluding the Club’s 2014 concert programme. The evening’s entertainment was an ideal tonic for the festive season – and Tony proved to be an ideal artiste for such an occasion. 

20 NOVEMBER 2014

The Society’s November concert, featuring ROBERT DAVIES, was very well received, as much for the varied choice of music as for an excellent performance throughout.

Robert, from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, has a wealth of experience playing both pipe organs and electronic keyboards, in concert and as cabaret support, as well as being well known amongst the dancing fraternity.  He has featured on radio and has completed several summer seasons on the East Coast and in Blackpool, where he was resident bandleader and musical director at Pontins for four years.

The evening included a number of rarely heard pieces and different arrangements of more familiar tunes, whilst the selections ranged from film themes and songs from the shows to pop music and Latin American numbers, with a few Classical items for good measure. 

Another Opening, Another Show (from Kiss Me Kate) opened the concert, followed by the popular Nella Fantasia, Ennio Morricone’s composition based on Gabriel’s Oboe from the 1986 film, The Mission.  A selection from West Side Story included Tonight,I Feel Pretty,Maria,America and Somewhere.  Robert then introduced Night And Day, with an arrangement based on a 2010 Cliff Richard recording, whilst an excerpt from Puccini’s Tosca brought a Classical tone to proceedings.  

It Had Better Be Tonight – a Henry Mancini composition from The Pink Panther – preceded a performance of Granada, to which the audience was encouraged to shout ‘olé’ at appropriate points in the song!  Toselli’s enchanting Serenade was performed in the style of André Rieu whilst Feeling Good utilised a Michael Bublé arrangement.  As the interval approached, Robert performed Michael Jackson’s Heal The World and concluded with an orchestral version of a few Abba hits, such as Dancing Queen and Fernando. 

The entertainment resumed with a tune titled Non Stop, the original ITN News theme music, followed by Calon Lân, a song performed on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2012 by Only Boys Aloud.  It was then time for a couple of Latin American items – namely Cumana and El Combachero – before André Rieu’s arrangement of the Snow Waltz.  Robert then introduced another Michael Jackson song – this time, Gone Too Soon – before playing Petula Clark’s 1964 hit, Downtown. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu was next to be featured, preceding well known hits of The Beatles, including Eleanor Rigby,Michelle,When I’m Sixty-FourAll My LovingTicket To Ride and Hey Jude.  Continuing in the pop music vein, Robert performed Woman In Love (a 1978 hit for The Three Degrees) and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.  The evening had passed too swiftly and to bring the entertainment to a close an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley was performed – comprising music from Jesus Christ Superstar,Cats,Evita,Sunset Boulevard and Phantom Of The Opera.  Such a concert would have been incomplete without an encore ... for which Klaus Wunderlich’s lively arrangement of Disco Time-Summertime was selected.

16 OCTOBER 2014

The Society’s October concert – ‘An Evening with JEAN MARTYN’ – was staged at The Lights theatre in Andover in the presence of the Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr. Jan Lovell.  The show featured two performers as Jean was accompanied by top violinist, VICTORIA YELLOP. Jean became known to the wider public in 2011, when she was a finalist in the ITV programme ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, watched by 14 million viewers. She followed this by touring with the programme, playing to vast audiences ranging from 7,000 to 20,000 in such venues as Wembley Arena and the 02 Arena. She has performed at St James' Palace in London on two occasions, for the ‘Not Forgotten Association’, and has accompanied Dame Vera Lynn. She has also been interviewed and performed in several television programmes, including ‘This Morning’, ‘Daybreak’ and ‘Songs of Praise’.

Victoria has a wide spectrum of performing experience, ranging from playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to featuring in rock bands and providing backing to artistes such as Will Young, Vanessa Mae and Gloria Gaynor. In 2002, she was invited to play violin solo for Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor, as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, in front of a crowd of nearly 70,000 people. She loves performing in variety shows and also regularly entertains for serving and ex-serving members of the armed forces as well as appearing in shows for the ‘Not Forgotten Association’ and ‘Help For Heroes’.

Jean set the show running, performing on her electronic keyboard with a selection from the shows, followed by Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable, before inviting Victoria to the stage.The violinist immediately engaged with the audience, performing the Dambusters March, followed by a trio of Gershwin compositions – Fascinating RhythmI Got Rhythm and Summertime from Porgy and Bess.  Next came a number of toe-tapping items, including some Scottish jigs, a few rapid tunes in the style of Stephane Grappelli – such as Alexander’s Ragtime Band,Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey and Sweet Georgia Brown – and a medley which she entitled Symphony of the Seas – including the Sailor’s Hornpipe.

Jean returned with Tequila and a typical Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer selection. The next item was a cleverly contrived rendition of a brass band concert – a medley of Marches for a Windy Day. The audience was asked to imagine that a strong breeze had dispersed the music sheets and they had been re-assembled ... but not necessarily in the right order! It was virtually impossible to count or identify the number of marches in the selection, all very brief snippets, but the audience was well entertained. The grand piano was then put to use as Jean performed Erroll Garner’s Misty and Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto. To complete the first half, she returned to her keyboard to reprise her ‘BGT’ appearances with Great Balls of Fire and Nut Rocker.

Victoria opened the second half with a couple of well known favourites, We’ll Gather Lilacsand A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, followed by a brief Glenn Miller Selection. She then launched into a collection of songs associated with the southern states of the USA – such as Oh SusannaDeep in the Heart of Texas and Yankee Doodle Dandy – before closing her part in proceedings with a couple of Irish songs, Phil the Fluter’s Ball and The Irish Washerwoman – and famous Offenbach Can-Can, spinning around as she played.

Jean was welcomed back to her keyboard to perform her own special arrangement of My Heart Will Go On (the theme from Titanic). The tempo was increased for Fame and It’s Raining Men before being slowed down for the Elvis Presley hit, I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You. As the evening drew to a close, Manfred Mann’s Do Wah Diddy Diddy andMamma Mia raised the pace once more, after which Jean opted to return to the piano for her final number – George Harrison’s Something. An encore was inevitable – and the two stars reunited for Land of Hope and Glory and We’ll Meet Again.

The exit feedback was overwhelmingly favourable – the only sad aspect was the somewhat disappointing attendance. The show was more than worthy of a full house.


The Society’s concert, staged at the Fairground Hall, Weyhill, just about managed to dodge the thunderstorms. The artiste, DAVID LAST, was making his fourth visit to Weyhill and, as is customary with his performances, the audience was treated to a wide range of music.

David, who hails from Ipswich, has a fine reputation as an accompanist for sequence dancing and modern ballroom as well as for his concert work; this involves travelling around 50,000 miles a year playing for clubs and societies throughout the country.  He has made over forty albums and has been awarded a gold disc by his recording company. 

Beginning with the ABC March, David followed on with Silver Lady, a 70s hit for David Soul, and The Living Years, an 80s recording of Mike & The Mechanics.  Barry Manilow was next to feature in the programme, with Could It Be Magic and Bermuda Triangle, before two female vocalists were represented by When I Dream (Crystal Gayle) and Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack). 

By way of complete contrast, David then performed a medley of tunes in the style of Charlie Kunz – including My Very Good Friend the Milkman and Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie – before introducing a novelty march with the title Poodle in the Park.  The next piece to feature was a Mike d’Abo 60s composition, Handbags and Gladrags, a hit for both Rod Stewart and the Stereophonics.

A rarely heard Waltz, Good Old Vienna, was then introduced, followed by All In an April Evening and a Big Band version of Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.  A change of style produced Lou Reed’s Perfect Day – the 1997 BBC Children in Need charity single, after which an ABBA number, Hasta Mañana set the toes tapping.  With the interval fast approaching, David performed a novelty march entitled Wombles on Parade, followed by a Russ Conway medley, including Side SaddleRoulette and China Tea.      

The second half opened with The Anniversary Song (Oh, How We Danced), followed by Neil Diamond’s 1980 Songs of Life (from The Jazz Singer).  David then introduced a couple of Robert Stolz compositions –White Horse Inn and Yearning for You, the latter with a James Last arrangement – before performing a medley of Western film themes.  The medley consisted of the theme from The Big Country,Wanderin’ Star (from Paint your Wagon), the Ballad of Jesse James and the theme from Hondo.

Continuing the wide range of music, David then played Hopelessly Devoted to You (from Grease) and a Big Band swing version of My Kind of Girl (a 60s hit for Matt Monro), whilst a selection of Country-flavoured music included I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song (Jim Groce), If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body (Bellamy Brothers) and Just When I Needed You Most (Randy Vanwarmer).

The tempo increased for Winifred Attwell’s Black and White Rag and Autumn Leaves reminded everyone that the seasons were changing.  A Jazz version of The Lady is a Tramp preceded John Lennon’s Imagine and the sound of the theatre organ was employed for I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me.  Another change of sound – to the trumpet – was used for Eddie Calvert’s Wonderland by Nightand the programme was rounded off with Brahms’ Hungarian Dance.  Calls for an encore were heeded as David performed An American Trilogy – a song popularised by Elvis Presley.

The word ‘organ’ should certainly not be allowed to deter anyone from attending these concerts, as is clearly illustrated by David Last’s fine performance; hardly an organ sound amongst an excellent variety of music which must surely have appealed to most tastes.  Admission to the Weyhill concerts is only £5.00 – surely very good value for money! 

21 AUGUST 2014

The Weyhill Electronic Organ Society’s August concert, with Japanese star, CHIHO SUNAMOTO, was staged at the Fairground Hall, Weyhill in front of a most appreciative audience. The concert actually featured two performers and three instruments – two electronic keyboards and a melodica – plus a wide variety of music and fun. Chiho’s co-star was JON SMITH, with whom she had previously performed for the Club at The Lights in Andover in 2012.  

Often described as the Vanessa Mae of the organ and keyboard world, Chiho is originally from Matsuyama, in the South of Japan, but now lives in the North East of England, whilst Jon hails from Worksop in Nottinghamshire.  Both artistes contributed a number of vocal renditions during the evening.  The range of music was extensive and the accompanying sounds consisted of orchestral, Big Band, Hammond and saxophone, to name but a few.  

Chiho commenced the show with Copacabana (Barry Manilow) and Saving All My Love For You (Whitney Houston), before introducing her own very clever arrangement of Beautiful Dreamer.  Considering the recent D-Day commemorations, the performance of the theme from Saving Private Ryan was fitting, whereas another film theme, Mission:Impossible took on a much increased tempo. 

The Classical Organ sound was briefly utilised for a J S Bach selection, before the performance of Let It Go from Frozen, Disney’s animated musical (as recently sung by Collabro, famed for Britain’s Got Talent).  This was followed by the Jimmy Smith Hammond sound, combined with Big Band, for Billie Holiday’s Lover, Come Back To Me.  Chiho then introduced a brief Latin American medley, including Mambo Jambo, and followed on by playing and singing Pure Imagination, from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

Co-artiste Jon Smith then took to the stage and, with accompaniment provided by Chiho, sang Wednesday’s Child – a Matt Monro hit from the John Barry theme music for the 1966 film, The Quilller Memorandum – followed by Dean Martin’s Sway.  Chiho then had the audience in fits of laughter as she performed a facial impression of Louis Armstrong whilst playingWhat a Wonderful World.  Jon accompanied her for this item with his melodica (an instrument with a small musical keyboard on top which is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece)and the first half was ended with both artistes on keyboards for an unusual arrangement of Tea for Two. 

The show resumed with Chiho playing George Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm, followed by My One and Only Love (Frank Sinatra), featuring the saxophone sound, and her own arrangement of Que Sera in Bossa Nova style.  The Classical organ sound was employed for Albinoni’s Adagio and Widor’s Toccata whilst the music of Johann Strauss Jr. was represented by Die Fledermaus.  Chiho continued with a Cuban tune, The Peanut Vendor, before singing the Katie Melua hit, Nine Million Bicycles.  Jon then returned to the stage to sing I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Young At Heart before performing As Time Goes By on the melodica. 

Both keyboards were used for A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, before Chiho introduced the Radetzky March (Johann Strauss Sr.) – with Jon conducting the audience as they clapped along!  To complete the concert, the two artistes combined on keyboards for Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory; however, an encore was demanded so, with Chiho playing, Jon sang an appropriate song - Nat King Cole’s That’s All.  The quality of entertainment was excellent throughout and there is no doubt that true value for money was provided ... by two top performers, both of whom will doubtless be making return visits to Weyhill.


17 JULY 2014

Weyhill Electronic Organ Society’s August concert featured ANDREW NIX, from Selby in North Yorkshire, and for the second consecutive month the audience had to contend with a sweltering evening.  However, the top class entertainment certainly more than offset any discomfort.

At the age of 17, Andrew was appointed Musical Director for a theatre group performing at Butlins, Barry Island and nowadays, some thirty years on, he is one of the busiest electronic keyboard players on the circuit.  His music is designed to suit most tastes, played in a refreshing style and presented almost seamlessly with his own brand of light-hearted, cheeky Yorkshire humour.

The music began with a march, Vienna Forever, followed by Johnny Pearson’s Sleepy Shores (theme from the Owen MD 70s television series).  Andrew then treated the audience to a trio of hits performed by The Shadows – Atlantis,Apache and FBI – before producing an excellent laid-back rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia On My Mind, with piano, trombone and clarinet to the fore and culminating with full orchestral treatment.     

Utilising the well known Hammond sound, a medley of songs with related titles came next – On the Sunny Side of the StreetSunnyBlue Moon and How High the Moon – before Andrew introduced a selection of songs popularised by The Platters, namely My PrayerTwilight TimeOnly You and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.  By way of variation, a polka titled Bel Viso was performed using the sound of the accordion.  To conclude the first session a Walt Disney medley was selected, comprising Can You Feel the Love Tonight (from The Lion King), Chim Chim Cheree and Let’s Go Fly a Kite (both from Mary Poppins), Whistle While You Work (from Snow White), The Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You (both from Jungle Book). 

After a much-needed interval, for refreshments and a breath of moderately fresh air, the music was resumed with another march, Death or Glory, followed by the ever-popular Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler) and a collection of dance-related numbers –I’m in the Mood for DancingDance Little Lady DanceI Won’t DanceMexican Hat Dance and Lord of the Dance.  Lady in Red (Chris de Burgh), preceded a couple of Winifred Atwell hits – Flirtation Waltz and The Poor People of Paris – before yet another familiar sound was introduced, that of the Theatre Organ.

Andrew’s choice for this particular section included Button Up Your Overcoat (how appropriate!!!), I Want to Be HappyTiptoe Through the TulipsBlack and White RagA Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,CharmaineAnswer Me and Mr Sandman.  Maybe such an evening would be incomplete without songs from the Musicals so it was no surprise to then hear such well known songs as OklahomaI Won’t Send RosesDon’t Cry for MeArgentina,TonightIf I Loved You and Cabaret.  

An audience favourite, Highland Cathedral – complete with bagpipes – was next to be performed, whilst a couple of Latin American numbers, Cumana and El Combachero, brought the entertainment to a close ... or at least until shouts for an encore were heard.  Andrew duly obliged with the Bluebell Polka and The Beer Barrel Polka.  

What an evening ... great music, plenty of laughter ... and, phew! ... a warm time was had by all!

19 JUNE 2014
The Weyhill Electronic Organ Society’s June concert was a relaxed and informal occasion and proved to be very popular with the audience. This was not at all surprising, considering that the guest artiste was PENNY WEEDON, making her seventh appearance for the Club, her first visit having been in August 2002. 

Penny (LGSM, ARCO, FLCM), who lives near Llantwit Major in South Wales, won an Arts Festival Bursary to study piano at The Royal Academy, whilst continuing with her classical organ studies, and at the age of eighteen she enrolled at the Royal College of Music to study piano, organ and composition.  Other studies followed at the Royal College of Organists and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  She has enjoyed an exciting musical career which has taken her across Europe and throughout the UK, and has also worked as an examiner for the London College of Music.  She has made numerous radio broadcasts and also writes for the specialist music press. 

Throughout the evening – and particularly during the first half of the concert – Penny related her early days as a performer, interlinking her experiences with suitable and varied music.  Commenting upon the fact that few ladies were on the electronic organ circuit, she cheekily opened with There Is Nothing Like a Dame (from South Pacific) and followed this with a few popular Classical items - Für Elise (Beethoven), Meditation (Massenet), Concierto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo) and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Bach). 

Tie a Yellow Ribbon temporarily concluded the orchestral sounds as Penny opted for the less familiar sound of the bagpipes, for I Love a LassieBonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond and Scotland the Brave.  The saxophone sound was brought to the fore with Feelings before a further variation of styles – Rock Around the ClockOh Susanna and Singin’ in the Rain.  Another Classical piece, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lakewas performed, followed by theRaiders March (from Indiana Jones). 

A surprise item was then introduced as Penny opened a box and pulled out a brightly coloured accordion – with which she played La MerI Wish You Love and Boom! Why Does My Heart Go Boom.  Returning to her keyboard, she performed a lesser known Chris Thompson recording, If You Remember Me, before concluding the first half with Swedish Rhapsody and Swiss Twist. 

Immediately after the interval the audience was taken down ‘Memory Lane’ with some radio themes from days gone by – including Dick Barton Special AgentPaul Temple and Top of the Form.  The Raggle Taggle Gypsies was followed by a couple of Petula Clark hits, namely Sailor and Downtown, and the Andy Williams recording, Music to Watch Girls By. 

Two Edvard Grieg pieces were then performed  with full piano and orchestral sounds – Morning and the Piano Concerto (as featured in the operetta Song of Norway).  Dancing in the Dark was followed by a Helen Shapiro number, Walking Back to Happiness, and the delightful Girl from Corsica, a Trevor Duncan composition.  A jazz number titled Shiny Stockings brought about another change of style before the audience was invited to participate in a brief sing-a-long, with the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, to bring the evening to a close ... except that, in response to shouts for an encore, Penny produced her accordion once more to play the Spanish Gypsy Dance.

5 MAY 2014

The Club’s May concert, featuring MARK THOMPSON, was extremely well received, as testified by the applause that followed each selection. 

In addition to playing for similar clubs throughout the UK, Mark, a talented young player from Ryton, Tyne and Wear, plays in a 60s/70s band, performing on keyboards and providing backing vocals.  In addition, he is a musical director for many North East musical theatre societies and, if all that is not enough, he works as vocal coach or accompanist for a number of stage schools.  He also plays piano at local hotels and restaurants and often performs with a jazz band at Newcastle United's football ground, St. James' Park, on match days.

The reason for Mark’s popularity soon became evident as the range of music was so varied – beginning with Big Band by way of Take The A Train, followed by the Classical Organ sound with Prelude in Classic Style and the ever-popular Misty (an Erroll Garner composition).  Next to feature was a piece titled Bumble Boogie, based on The Flight of the Bumblebee and requiring immense digital dexterity.  This item drew the greatest applause of the evening and the next number,Tiger Rag, Mark’s very own interpretation – with a hint of Liberace – was equally impressive.     

John Barry’s delightful theme for the film Somewhere In Time was well appreciated, as was a rarely-heard item titled Estrella, a Japanese piece of music (composed by Kitaro) for which Mark had selected appropriate sounds.  A tune titled Theatreland evoked thoughts of the West End and Broadway whilst a trio of Classical pieces brought the first half to a close; the medley consisted of Caprice 24 (Paganini), Hungarian Dance (Bach) and the Can Can (Offenbach). 

The second half commenced with a couple of Marches – Washington Post (Sousa) and On The Quarterdeck (Alford) – and a catchy Leroy Anderson composition, Plink,Plank, Plunk.  Mark then introduced a Michael Bublé arrangement of Me and Mrs Jones before performing a couple of numbers in Jazz style – namely Moondance and Come Fly With Me.  A trio of Tarantellas was followed by a Classical Brass Band number – Aranjuez Mon Amour (Rodrigo), featuring the sound of the cornet.

Mark then performed a medley of twelve songs from different shows, inviting the audience to guess the titles and names of the respective shows.  The selection of shows represented included Mac and Mabel, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, The King and I, Me and My Girl, Blood Brothers, The Sound of Music and Barnum – not that anyone managed to remember them all!  As the evening drew to a close, Mark played A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, followed by a Latin American number, El Combachero, before launching into a Rock’n’Roll medley consisting of Crocodile Rock (Elton John), La Bamba– aided by a Steel Band sound – and Johnny Be Good (Chuck Berry).     

After such an enjoyable concert, an encore was inevitable – and Mark opted to perform My Way, more than appropriate considering that ‘his way’ had met with such wholehearted approval!  The evening contained music for everyone and little, if anything, to dislike – surely enough to encourage doubters to sample the monthly entertainment on offer!


17 APRIL 2014

The Society’s April concert – the JOHN MANN Music Show – was staged at The Lights theatre in Andover before an appreciative audience.  The show featured two performers, two instruments – an electronic keyboard and the Theatre’s grand piano – plus a variety of music interspersed with the occasional comedy routine.

John, who had previously appeared at this Theatre in 2009, is a very experienced performer who, besides playing electronic keyboard and grand piano, is equally adept when sat at the console of a larger pipe organ.  In fact, during the summer months you will normally find him entertaining on these larger instruments in theatres in Brighton, Eastbourne and Worthing.  He has appeared with many of the top-named performers of yesteryear, including Russ Conway and Ronnie Hilton, and has toured with his one-man music shows to numerous UK theatres and concert halls.  John’s special guest for the evening was Sarah Bryant, a lady who has performed professionally for a number of years, including concert tours of the UK and radio broadcasts.

Alternating between the electronic keyboard and the grand piano, John got the show under way with the Aces High march, followed by a selection of well known tunes from the 60s.  In complete contrast, the next item was Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring which was followed by a Springtime medley including Tiptoe Through the TulipsWe’ll Gather LilacsEaster Parade, The Cuckoo Waltz and Younger Than Springtime.  Donning a trilby and a suitable pair of glasses, he then gave a rendition of Arthur Askey’s Busy Bee song, followed by The Bluebell Polka – after which it was time for Sarah to be introduced, to perform an Irving Berlin medley on the electronic keyboard.

John returned to the stage to play two melodic piano solos – James Last’s Morning at Seven and Debussy’s Arabesque – before Sarah returned to join him for some well co-ordinated duets – The Second Waltz (Shostakovich) and a selection from Mary Poppins, to conclude the first half.

The Stein Song, with John at the electronic keyboard, opened the second half, following which he performed a selection of music from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky).  The piano was employed once again as John played Bilitis (Francis Lai) and Eleanora, following which Sarah came back to the keyboard to perform Gabriel’s Oboe (Ennio Morricone) – from the film, The Mission – and Le Rêve Passe (aka The Soldier’s Dream).

John and Sarah re-united, with John on piano, for Walking in the Air and Nights of Gladness (which John refers to as ‘Nights with Alice'!).  Sarah left the stage as John announced the finale – a special tribute titled Magic of the Minstrels, comprising a selection of familiar songs, including Mammy (performed with unusually long outstretched arms) and Sonny Boy (complete with a dummy and some blatantly deplorable ventriloquism!) – and employing both instruments (but not at the same time!).  An appropriate encore saw John playing and singing Ain’t You Got No Homes To Go To?  And so ended an enjoyable evening – a show that served to illustrate once again the Society’s aim to provide different styles of musical entertainment. 


20 MARCH 2014

Making his second appearance at Weyhill, for the Club’s March concert, was DAVE SMITH from Bolton in Lancashire.

Dave became fascinated with the electronic organ at the age of sixteen when he left school to work as a technician for the largest organ and piano dealers in Manchester.  Subsequently, he became Musical Director for a show at the Central Pier in Blackpool and this led to him becoming MD in many cabaret clubs in the Manchester area. 

During this time he was spotted by Eric Delaney and was invited to join him as keyboardist and Musical Director, a position which he successfully held for two years.  During that time he was MD for stars such as Morecambe and Wise, Tony Hancock and Ken Dodd, later appearing in a Royal Command Performance.

Apart from his performances on the electronic organ/keyboard circuit, Dave is currently Musical Director for many stars including the very successful three tenors, ‘Tenorissimo’ (who performed at The Lights in 2011), and has a jazz group called ‘Jeriactric Jazz’ playing in many venues around the Lancashire area.  In the company of such a talented and experienced performer, it was inevitable that the evening would be a thoroughly positive experience – hence nobody was disappointed. 

The concert began with the Theme from ET and was followed by a medley of tunes utilising the theatre organ sound – tunes such as Cara Mia (a big hit for David Whitfield), Let’s Face the Music and Dance (an Irving Berlin composition), It Had To Be You, It’s a Sin To Tell a Lie and Tea for Two.  Dave continued the entertainment with a Count Basie Big Band number, April in Paris and Crazy (Willie Nelson).  Another film theme, Schindler’s List, preceded a selection of TV sports themes – namely Test Match Special (Soul Limbo – Booker T & the MG’s), London Marathon (Main Theme from The Trap), Grandstand and Match of the Day.

Next to feature was an impressive version of the Vangelis composition, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, followed by a medley which led up to the interval – in fact, a Neapolitan style medley which included The Loveliest Night of the Year (a Mario Lanza hit), Girls Were Made To Love and KissThe Drinking SongCome Back To SorrentoFunniculi Funnicula and With a Song In My Heart

The second half was equally pleasing, commencing with a Jazz number, Rhythm of Life (from the musical Sweet Charity), a Disney number, Beauty and the Beast and a medley of Strauss waltzes – including, of course, the Blue Danube.  Blue Moon was performed in Jazz style before Dave increased the musical impact with Nessun Dorma.  Another Booker T & the MGs tune, Time Is Tight, was an audience request – and another audience favourite – Intermezzo from Cavalliera Rusticana followed on.   

The evening concluded with an ‘Armistice selection’, including Abide With MeThe Dambusters MarchAces High and There’ll Always Be an England.  Finally, for his encore, Dave selected McArthur Park – a Jim Webb composition, recorded by Richard Harris.  An excellent concert, unique in many ways, maintained the high quality of music provided by the Society.  The only disappointing aspect was the lower than usual attendance: such entertainment, at a cost of £5, is certainly deserving of wider support.  

20 FEBRUARY 2014

Supporters ignored the rain to attend the Fairground Hall for the Club’s February concert – and they were rewarded with an evening of enjoyable non-stop music performed by guest artiste, ELIZABETH HARRISON.  Elizabeth, who lives near Preston in Lancashire, is possibly one of the busiest artistes on the circuit, performing for dances as well as concerts and festivals throughout the country.

The evening comprised of a number of popular medleys – frequently with a dance beat – which met with the approval of the audience.  Selections included waltzes, polkas, Latin American numbers and marches – and a few sing-a-long numbers that produced the desired effect.   

The concert began with Nat King Cole’s When I Fall in Love and a duo of Bert Kaempfert hits – Swinging Safari and African Beat.  Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night was followed by Highland Cathedral, a tune associated with Scotland although a German composition.  Elizabeth then performed the theme from the TV series, Howards’ Way and Circle of Life from The Lion King musical, following up with an Andy Williams hit, How Wonderful to Know.

The audience was then introduced to the sounds of the Mighty Wurlitzer (from the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool) withFascinationAround the World and Answer Me.  Del Shannon’s Runaway, a big hit of the early 60s, changed the tempo before something a little more sedate in Nights of Gladness and Franz Lehar’s Gold and Silver Waltz.  Further variation was provided by the Thunder and Lightning Polka (Johann Strauss Jr.) whilst the string sounds were evident for Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust.

A medley of easy listening tunes included I Left my Heart in San Francisco,Arrivederci RomaYou Are my Heart’s DelightHere in my Heart and Moonlight and Roses.  Elizabeth continued with a brief sing-a-long medley, to which the audience responded in good voice, after which came a couple of Herman’s Hermits hits – I’m Into Something Good and There’s a Kind of Hush.  Memory, from the musical ‘Cats’, was followed by Moon over Naples (the latter being renamed Spanish Eyes after lyrics had been added) and the first half ended with the well known march, Blaze Away.

The second half began with a medley comprising of Twilight TimeAny Dream Will DoUnforgettable and Here Comes That Rainy Day.  By way of contrast, Elizabeth then played Oh Babe, What Would You Say? (an early 70s hit for Hurricane Smith) before introducing another selection, including Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White plus Wheels Cha Cha, performed using the traditional ‘Blackpool sound’.  Lara’s Theme (from the film ‘Dr Zhivago’) preceded The Loveliest Night of the YearLove Letters Straight From Your Heart and Norman Wisdom’s Don’t Laugh At Me

Another medley – mainly from the 60s – was then performed, followed by Don’t Cry For Me ArgentinaEvery Breath You Take and James Last’s Games That Lovers Play.  More variation was provided with a Latin American selection, including Quando Quando and Amor, Amor, followed by another medley of pop songs, featuring such titles as Take Me Home Country Roads (John Denver), Tie a Yellow Ribbon(Tony Orlando and Dawn) and True Love Ways (Buddy Holly).  The final tune was I Could Have Danced All Night – in which case much of the music was suitable – and the chosen encore was We’ll Meet Again (no doubt another appropriate title).

Such was the content of Elizabeth’s programme that to name every item would not be a simple process ... but the fact that around 70 different tunes were performed would indicate the extent and variety of entertainment provided.  Value for money indeed!  Why not give it a try if you have not already done so?

16 JANUARY 2014

The Club's 2014 programme got under way with a concert performed by CHRIS JONES, from Orpington in Kent.  Chris, who in his younger days was an organist at Streatham Ice Rink, entertained the audience with a varied selection of musical sounds and styles and, considering the cold and rainy weather, the event was well attended.

Beginning with a London-themed medley, consisting of  London is LondonMaybe It’s Because I’m a LondonerThe Streets of LondonLet’s All Go Down the Strand and The Knightsbridge March, Chris continued with the delightful Pure Imagination from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  The audience was then introduced to the Tyrolean Whistler before the first Classical pieces of the evening – Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze.

Spain was the next destination, with the Spanish Gypsy DanceY Viva Espana and Valencia – before the style was changed once again for a selection from the musical, My Fair Lady.  Most of the favourites were included, such asWith a Little Bit of LuckI’ve Grown Accustomed to Her FaceWouldn’t It Be LoverlyOn the Street Where You LiveI Could Have Danced All Night and Get Me to the Church on Time.

Chris continued to display his liking of medleys with a selection performed in the style of Ray Conniff – namelyMr SandmanS’WonderfulIt Don’t Mean a ThingWhen You’re Smiling and Bring Me Sunshine – before his final numbers of the first half, Ennio Morricone’s Chi Mai (the theme for the 1981 TV series, ‘The Life and Times of David Lloyd George’) and Pop Looks Bach (the music for TV’s ‘Ski Sunday’).  

The second half began with an ABBA medley, a few of the lesser known songs, Gimme Gimme GimmeHoney Honey and Does Your Mother Know, followed by Lou Reed's Perfect Day and the Theme from Love Story.  The memorable sound of The Shadows was recreated for Apache,AtlantisRiders in the Sky and Foot Tapper, leading into another medley by way of popular songs from Ivor Novello’s Dancing Years – including I Can Give You the Starlight and Waltz of My Heart.       

It was then time for another Classical piece – Pachelbel’s Canon, performed in the style of James Last – before the introduction of a brief Latin American selection.  Chris then included another London-themed medley, consisting of The Westminster WaltzLondon By Night and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.  A Dixieland selection included You’re the Cream in My Coffee and Alexander’s Ragtime Band, whilst the finale comprised of a number of well-known songs from the musical, Oklahoma – The Surrey With the Fringe on Top, Oh What a Beautiful Morning, I Can’t Say No, People Will Say We’re in Love and Oklahoma.    

The weather outside was truly miserable but the audience was happy – having enjoyed an evening of music to suit most musical tastes.  It is difficult for any artiste to please everyone but Chris certainly did his best.