2018

Our season opened with a very special and memorable concert when the Blackpool Tower principal organist Phil Kelsall MBE came to play.  He attracted our largest audience for some years, and judging by the standing ovation he received at the end, they obviously enjoyed it.

Here you see two MBE's together - it's not often you see that at Woking!

 

Phil's show bought a little bit of Blackpool south for a couple of hours.

 

He was rewarded with a standing ovation from our largest audience for several years.  Here we see Phil at the Woking console.

 

On a very cold and snowy March Saturday, our audience, which had bravely fought the "Beast From The East II" cold blast to experience the show, were warmly entertained by Andy Quin.

 

As is usual with Andy's shows, they are full of variety because, as well as the Wurlitzer, he also played our Hammond organ and electric piano, and was joined for a couple of tunes by David Andrews on bugle. During the interval, David attracted much attention from our audience, and even managed to give a short lesson to one of our younger audience members on how to play the instrument.

 

In April we welcomed some of our young theatre organists to Woking, with some vocal accompaniment. The show was put together by Michael Wooldridge, who is our YTOY organiser and teaches many of the participants at Rye College.

Here they all are at the Woking Wurlitzer, L to R: Robert Eldridge (2017 YTOY Winner and vocalist on the day), Jayden Vicarey (the other vocalist), Jamyma Hanson (with the YTOY Christie Cup she was awarded in 2017), Freya Vicarey and 2017 YTOY Senior winner Aaron Hawthorne.

 

To add some variety to the show, Robert Eldridge and Jayden Vicarey provided some beautiful vocal accompanyment, with Michael Wooldridge on the Wurlitzer.

 

In May, not even a Royal Wedding, the FA Cup Final and some perfect weather, could distract our audience from coming to enjoy a lovely concert presented by Simon Gledhill.

 

As we didn't run our Young Theatre Organist of the Year competition in 2018, with the help and support of the Welsh Wizard Byron Jones and his team, in July we held a Young Organist Gala in Bristol instead.  Here you can see Byron opening the show as he and his Compton rise from the organ pit.

 

Representatives of the London & South of England Chapter of ATOS attended the event, along with John Ledwon from ATOS USA and Richard Moore of the Rye Wurlitzer Academy.  Here we see the performers, along with their respective trophies and awards from last years YTOY, from left to right our host Byron Jones, Jayden Vicarey, Robert Eldridge, Jamyma Hanson, Freya Vicarey, Aaron Hawthorne, Lewis Scott and Michael Wooldridge who bought the event together.  

 

A light-hearted shot taken during the interval of our Bristol YOG on what was a very hot day, with John Ledwon from ATOS USA on the left, and Byron Jones about to get an unsuspected soaking from Len Rawle.


 

For our July concert at Woking, we hosted Kevin Morgan on our Wurlitzer. Keven is always warmly welcomed by our audience, and as usual his performance did not disappoint.

 

Part of Kevin's presentation required him play our piano accompanied by Len Rawle on the Wurlitzer, and here we can see them both thoroughly enjoying the experience.

 

We resumed our concert schedule in September when 2011 Britain's Got Talent finalist Jean Martyn came to the Woking Wurlitzer.  Talent Jean undoubtedly has, and she presented a varied show with lots of friendly patter with our audience.

 

In October, Chris Powell gave us a "Blackpool Tower style" show, which was very entertaining and energetic, and well received by our audience.