WEYHILL ELECTRONIC ORGAN SOCIETY

CONCERT REVIEWS


21 NOVEMBER 20

 
Concert review to follow:

17 OCTOBER 2019

Unsurprisingly, the Fairground Hall was packed as DIRKJAN RANZIJN returned for the Club’s October concert.  Dirk (as he is known throughout the electronic keyboard world) has become a firm favourite at Weyhill since he first appeared there some fifteen years ago. Apart from his visits to the UK, he tours throughout Europe and makes regular appearances for concerts and television shows in Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and, of course, in his own country of Holland.

 Once more, he entertained the audience with an excellent choice of music, combining energy and feeling in equal quantities, with his selections ranging from Classical to Contemporary – with many other genres for good measure.

The concert opened with Love Is All (recorded by such artistes as Malcolm Roberts, Engelbert Humperdinck and Joe Longthorne) and continued with Norway’s winning 1985 Eurovision song - Let It Swing (Bobbysocks).  Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – a hit for Alexandra Burke – was followed by Nana Mouskouri’s Never On Sunday and a medley of Viennese tunes, in the style of André Rieu.  The selection included The Blue Danube, Wiener Blut and Roses From The South (all Johann Strauss Jr. compositions), together with Lippen Schweigen and Vilja Song (both from Franz Lehár’s ‘The Merry Widow’ operetta).     

A total change of style was introduced as Dirk performed a Peruvian-sounding tune by the title of Despacito (a Justin Bieber recording) and Spirit Of Norway, which he himself had composed, inspired by the time he had spent amongst the fjords of that country.  Next came a tribute to John Denver with Take Me Home, Country Roads, followed by Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (a Doris Day hit) and Ed Sheeran’s Perfect.  To conclude the first half Dirk took the audience on an expansive musical journey by performing a medley of tunes from Bavaria, Austria, Italy, Spain, France – and finishing up in Las Vegas, USA.   

After the interval, Dirk resumed with a Beatles selection, including Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Yellow Submarine, followed by I Know Him So Well (from Chess) – a hit for Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige – and The Second Waltz (Shostakovich), another tune favoured by André Rieu.  Next to feature in the programme was the Piano Theme from the film ‘Forrest Gump’ and a European 70s hit titled Taka Takata.  Possibly the highlight of the concert was I Belong To Me, an emotive song from the musical ‘Elisabeth’, preceding The Girls From Paramaribo, providing a calypso-style variation.  Next to feature was a familiar Russian gypsy tune, complete with balalaika sound, which became well-known in English as Those Were The Days (recorded by Mary Hopkin) – and, as the concert neared its conclusion, Dirk performed Tequila Sunrise, a 1973 hit recording by The Eagles.   

Dirk selected a Queen tribute for his finale – including The Show Must Go On,Who Wants To Live Forever and We Are The Champions – whilst the inevitable encore consisted of two Neil Diamond songs – Sweet Caroline and What A Beautiful Noise – plus a Johann Strauss party medley.  The concert had overrun but nobody seemed to notice, or care - such was the enjoyment this popular entertainer had provided!      

 

19 SEPTEMBER 2019

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 VolareThat’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 SongDanielSong 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 YesterdayClose To YouJambalaya 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 ComeHi 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 –evensucceeding 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 DanceTwelfth 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 GrenadiersColonel 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 SingI 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 MiaFernandoSuper Trouper and Dancing Queen, followed by This Is My Lovely DayThe 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 UpLove Me TenderCan’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-MiEdelweissMy Favourite Things and Climb Every Mountain.  A brief medley of tunes, performed in rumba style, consisted of I’m In The Mood For LovePerfidia 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 YouIsland 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.

20 SEPTEMBER 2018

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.

21 SEPTEMBER 2017

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.