Caring for the ex Odeon John Compton (3/9) organ.
Celebrating over 40 years of the Society that has supported concerts featuring this splendid instrument.
The Society would express their thanks to our members and supporters who have attended our concerts for many years both in the Odeon Cinema and Ryhope Community Centre.
Review of the Society's final concert with Howard Beaumont on Sunday 24th March 2019.
|Howard at the console for this final concert. (NW)|
Howard was one of the founder members of the Society and played a major part in saving the organ from the Odeon Cinema when it converted to "bingo" in 1982. Howard was born in Halifax and took an interest in piano from an early age. Progression to pipe instruments soon followed with a particular interest in the theatre organ. He has completed 32 seasons at the Scarborough Spa Complex where he plays for afternoon concerts and dancing. Howard has been a demonstrator for various electronic organ companies and has provided musical entertainment on luxury cruise liners. It is fitting that Howard should play for the Society this last time, after having significant involvement with the instrument. Following an introduction by Keith Potts who spoke about the Organ's life story, and how the Society came about, Howard commenced with his signature tune the "Best of times". He continued with three tunes from the installation year of the organ 1932..."Lover", "Devil and the deep blue sea" and "Teddy bears picnic". He spoke of his involvement with the organ in the Odeon Cinema and in its rescue for preservation in 1982. A selection of Sea shanties came next, followed by some wonderful Viennese melodies. A novelty piece "Tijuana Taxi" featured the Klaxon effect, and there followed "I want to be like you" from the Jungle Book. In church organ style Howard played "Morning has broken" and afterwards a lovely selection from "Singing in the rain". To finish off the first half some tunes from Ireland that we could sing a long to. After refreshment Howard got going with some popular Fred Astaire stuff, then the "Florentine march" from the film "Brassed off" and the lively "Grasshoppers dance". He then played a selection of "Big band sounds" including "Satin doll" and the popular "in a Persian market" followed by a selection from "Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Miserables". As the concert drew to a close we enjoyed a Cockney sing a long including the "Lambeth walk" and as his finale tunes in the style of Mr Blackpool, Reg Dixon. Howard was thanked for a most memorable final concert and he played "We'll meet again" as an appropriate encore.
|Connie helps Howard preparing the settings for the concert. (NW)|
Howard had the organ professionally recorded with himself at the console in January 2019. It is titled "Sunderland Revisited" and contains a marvellous selection of music to suit all tastes from marches and waltzes to songs from the shows and even a Cockney sing along. Price £11.50 inc. postage and packing with cheques payable to H. Beaumont. Postal address 80, Green Howards Drive, Scarborough YO12 6PE. Telephone 01273371007. The CD will also be available at Howard's concerts and the sales stand at NETOA Howden-le-Wear.
|The cover of Howard's Ryhope Compton CD|
Review of our concert featuring Cameron Lloyd on Sunday 24th February...
|Ryhope favourite Cameron at the console.|
Cameron travelled from a very foggy Midlands to play for us in what turned out to be a most memorable penultimate concert presented by the Society. Following a few opening greetings Cameron got underway with some march tunes including "Down the Mall". He is well known as a dance accompanist and played a selection of foxtrots including "Once in a while" and "You'll never know". He then played a tribute to Reg Dixon with a selection of tunes made popular by him on his radio broadcasts. To end the first half we enjoyed some popular "sing-a-longs" including "My old man", and "When I grow too old to dream". A rousing second half started with "Blaze away" and "Magnificent men in their flying machines". There followed a blue theme with amongst others "Blue moon". Tunes from the stage and screen followed including some Al Johnson pieces and a selection from "Hello Dolly". To conclude Cameron performed "Fascination" then a lively "Tiger rag", "12th street rag", "Whispering", "Beyond the blue horizon" and the encore "We'll meet again". What a splendid concert it had been ...Cameron you really surpassed yourself...thank you from us all.
|The audience gather for Cameron's concert (NW)|
The final member's Sunday afternoon at Ryhope was held on the 31st March 2019 where Paul, Harry and David played the Mighty Compton Organ for one last time.
|Members gather for a final afternoon with the organ.|
The Sunderland Theatre Organ Preservation Society was formed in 1975, and one of the first concerts promoted by the organisation featured Mr Blackpool himself...Reg Dixon of Tower Ballroom fame. Other leading organists of the day were invited to play the instrument in the Odeon cinema including Jess Yates, Foley Bates, Doreen Chadwick, Ron Curtis and Phil Kelsall. The Society bought the organ when the Odeon (now Top Rank organisation) went over to "bingo". After a period of storage a new home was found for the instrument in Ryhope Community Centre, and concerts followed its installment there from 1992.
Dissolution of the Society will take place after the last member's afternoon at the end of March. Written notification to the membership has been made under the terms of the Society's constitution.
Archive memories featuring a few of the organists who have played for the Society over the years...
|Adrian Rose (NW)|
|Kevin Grunill (NW)|
|Joe Marsh organist and Society president. (NW)|
|Carl Heslop (NW)|
|Doreen Chadwick & Peter Lish|
|David Redfern (NW)|
|Elizabeth Harrison, and the late and sadly missed Chiho Sunamoto (NW)|
|A Ryhope regular Keith Beckingham (NW)|
|Matthew Bason (DW)|
|Chris Stanbury with previous Society chairman Ian Parsons.|
|Stephen Austin played for us many times (NW)|
|David Warner received a warm welcome to the console (NW)|
|The Mighty Compton Organ....farewell from the Society.|
Neville July 2019
This will be the last "Compton Organ Blog" posted by Neville
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Concert venue Ryhope Community Centre