MARCH/ APRIL 2021 ISSUE No. 379 Cavalcade Productions Ltd., PO Box 3403, Littlehampton, BN16 9JR. Tel: 07842 573 913, ISSN 1365-1986 Email: info@CavalcadeProductions.co.uk Website: www.CavalcadeProductions.co.uk
We review the Orla Grand 120 First news of the NEW Hammond SK PRO
First news of the NEW Yamaha DGX-670 Portable Grand Piano
Don’t forget our phone times For all your Festival Bookings and Subscriptions call Lorraine on 07842 573 913 between 10am and 12noon on Monday and Thursday mornings www.CavalcadeProductions.co.uk
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 5
From The Editor’s Desk! Hello, and welcome to a very packed issue of OKC magazine. There was so much to squeeze in this time that I have had to shorten my editorial and there was no room to add my comments to the letters received either! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to write in by post or e-mail. It has been wonderful to hear that everyone seems to approve of the changes I brought in last issue to the paper and print quality, plus the new font to make things easier to read. I’m also very pleased that we received a great many comments in praise of Andy’s lovely CD, and it is some of these that has prompted the choice of composition from him this time. I must apologise for an error on the front of the last issue. Several eagle-eyed Cavalcadians spotted that on the cover I’d put that I was reviewing the new Yamaha PSR-SX670 but, of course, there is no such model! The review was of the superb new Yamaha PSR-SX600, as I fortunately managed to have right throughout the article itself. I promise I’ll try to do better! FESTIVAL UPDATE Unfortunately, it seems as though the vaccine roll out and subsequent easing of social distancing guidelines will not be fast enough to allow our spring festivals to take place this year. We were really looking forward to all being together again at the Hemsby Beach Holiday Park (formerly known as Seacroft Holiday village) in March, and in Blackpool in May, but sadly that will no longer be possible and we have postponed both events until next year. Although this is a great shame, we do believe it is the right decision in view of the risks until many more of us are vaccinated. The good news is that the management and directors of both venues have already confirmed new dates for us next year, at the Hemsby Beach Holiday Park arriving on Monday 21st March 2022, and at Blackpool’s Village Hotel arriving on Sunday 15th May 2022, dates to really look forward to. They have agreed that all the loyal Cavalcadians who leave their bookings in place will enjoy a full price hold. We have contacted everyone who had booked. We very much hope that things will be back to normal in time for our Pakefield and Yamaha Club events to go ahead this autumn as planned, but naturally will be offering transfers (or refunds) should this not be the case.
Editor Michael Wooldridge © Cavalcade Productions Limited No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written agreement from Cavalcade Productions Limited. The views of the contributors are not necessarily those expressed by the publishers. Whilst every care is taken in compiling Organ & Keyboard Cavalcade, the publishers do not accept liability for any effects arising there from.
It is fabulous to see quite a few exciting new products coming along for us to enjoy in the Newsline this issue, manufacturers supporting our hobby with the very latest technology to help our playing sound better. I am also pleased to see how many of our dealers are adapting to the pandemic lockdowns by providing online demonstrations for customers who have either a computer or tablet with internet connection, and actually this was how I managed to do this issue’s review. If you are online, don’t forget that from time to time we issue a free e-newsletter. If you would like to receive future e-news (they come out maybe once every month or two) you can either subscribe using the link from our homepage at www.cavalcadeproductions.co.uk or call in between 10am and 12noon on Monday or Thursday. Well, that’s all I have space for this time! I hope you enjoy this bumper issue of OKC and, until the next time, stay safe and well.
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ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE Send your letters to: Cavalcade Productions Limited, PO Box 3403, Littlehampton, BN16 9JR or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed - Thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to write or e-mail in. It has been especially pleasing to have recieved many positive comments about the improved paper quality and the font I chose, and also that so many have loved Andy’s CD with the last issue. Here is a selection of those received. From Rennie & Peter Nicholls, Worthing A big thank you for all the hard work and effort you put into Cavalcade Productions and the bimonthly magazines. The new font in the Jan/Feb 2021 edition works fine for us and the photo quality is good. From Alan Green, Royal Leamington Spa Thank you for the fabulous new magazine, best we’ve ever had, and thank Andy Carvill for his wonderful CD. From Henry Darkin, Swindon Many thanks for the splendid Jan/Feb 2021 magazine. Also the inclusion of the Andy Carvill 'In Style' CD - All his own work, just brilliant. Listening to his renditions I was gradually swept away in my mind to listening to these tracks as if played on a Wurlitzer 3 manual. Just after WW2, I would have been 5 or 6, I started going to Saturday morning pictures at the Granada Cinema in Welling, Kent. I was spellbound to watch this huge Wurlitzer rising out of the depths of the orchestra pit, but it was the huge sound that came
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with it, filling the whole of the auditorium. I shall never, ever, forget that moment. I believe the organ is now in the Woking Leisure Centre. Now the other reason for sending this message is to also say thank you for producing a CD some 10 years ago entitled 'Virtualoso', and I quote 'Over an hour of your favourite tunes played on the PARAMOUNT 332.' Michael have you produced another please? I would love to purchase it. If it could be done again, I think it would stir the imagination of many Organ buffs to appreciate the wonderful sound of a 'Mighty’ Wurlitzer, albeit digitally, electronically. From Ron Bishop, Cromer Thank you OKC for Andy Carvill`s CD In Style. “Excellent” - Great instruments. I just loved 'This Magical Evening' and it would be good to get the music notation for it. Ever thought of composing and arranging a song for the Eurovision contest Andy, it`s been a long time since we have won! Top Magazine! From Martin Paddon, Blackpool Re. Jan/Feb Reader's Review letter from Andrew Ferguson. I thought I took up playing at a relatively late age of 29yrs, (now 67) so good on you Andrew! I am basically self-taught and have been hooked on playing the organ since seeing a local organ dealer in the foyer of a swimming pool, who was offering six free group lessons if you rented an organ for a few months, with the option thereafter to purchase it, or hand it back. I bought myself a book on how to read music and, as they say, the rest is history! I must come from the same 'gene pool' as Andrew, because I have never been interested in using any of the rhythms, single-fingered chords, auto bass etc., etc. However, I do occasionally let the transpose button play a part when required. I have owned many organs over the years, all with lots of 'stuff' on them I never use. I did once purchase a Viscount Theatre Organ, which was a 'pure' organ with a full pedalboard, but sadly it proved to be unreliable, so I sold it before the 2yr warranty ran out. I now own a Roland AT800, which has a very high-specification and I just accept that I won't use half of the facilities on it. However, the sounds are incredible and I can muster up some excellent theatre organ, church & classical sounds. I bought it second hand nearly 7yrs ago and I have not had one thing go wrong with it so far - that must be tempting fate eh?! My music tastes are varied and I try to keep my
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE repertoire of tunes from memory, as my music reading capability is limited! I too have many tunes that I find challenging, some of them from 20 years ago, but I still plod on! During lockdown I have been able to enjoy and practise most afternoons for up to 3hrs. I certainly would be in a different world if it wasn't for music. I have been on the receiving end of OKC magazine for many a year, since it was in 'newspaper' form, and have found many music scores, tutorials, plus various other items very interesting. Long may it continue! From Ian Parsons, Evesham Would you consider including some music theory that is a bit more advanced in your Magazine? I lack a thorough grounding in theory, as I taught myself to 'read the dots' about 30+ years ago but feel I ought to understand more about the subject, as I’m sure it might help me and hopefully other readers of your magazine. It would certainly give me an incentive to fill my time during lockdowns as well, especially during the winter months. From Terry Cullen, Burgess Hill All the obvious things people need to know are well covered in OKC I think, but the more obscure, not necessarily so! The article from Chris Stanbury on recording for either using as a tutor (oh my goodness... didn't know my timing was so bad!) or for the fun of adding a harmony backing track... yes, that was fun! What about a feature on how to use vocal harmony? Modern machines do wonders I think. From Phillip Watson, Barnsley Thank you for keeping the magazine in production, especially through the current worldwide problems, and for improving the content. I was surprised and pleased to see the picture of Frank Hergert playing the illuminated Wurlitzer from the Ritz Cinema, Barnsley. As a boy I visited the Ritz, one of at least eight cinemas in our small town and, if you’ll excuse the pun, certainly the ‘Ritziest’! The ABC Ritz was the only one with an organ; sadly it was removed in the mid-sixties, and the cinema demolished in the mid-seventies. As an ABC Minor we heard the organ on occasions, played by an organist called Trevor Willets, who later took up a residency in a local social club, playing a Conn organ. He usually played singalong music for us kids, with the words on the screen, and a ping-pong ball bouncing over the words. We were also taken by my parents to see ‘suitable’ films, when the organist performed in the interval. I was in my mid-twenties when the organ disappeared. It’s good to know that the instrument which gave many local people pleasure when we were recovering from WW2 is alive and Well.
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Organ Society Concerts for future listings should be entered on our ‘Events Submission’ web page, which can be found using the link from the ‘Concerts’ page of our website www.CavalcadeProductions.co.uk If you have any issues or need us to enter them for you, please contact us by e-mail or post. Events for the March/April 2021 issue must be uploaded by Noon on 29th January
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ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE YAMAHA INTRODUCES THE NEW DGX-670
CONGRATULATIONS COMPOSER CLAUDIA! This issue, we have more congratulations for the Prima Ballerina of the organ and keyboard world, Claudia Hirschfeld, as she has won the Open Category of ‘The UK Songwriting Contest.’ You can see a wonderful full orchestra recording her winning entry by visiting http://bit.ly/okcclaudiasong
A PROJECTIONISTS ‘REEL’ STORY Many in the keyboard and organ world will know of Alan Ashton, a real fount of knowledge about players and recordings, who used to host his own weekly programme, ‘Pedal, Percussion and Pipes’ on BBC Radio Manchester, and now hosts the Organ1st Radio Show, available online at www.organradio.com Alan started his working life as a cinema projectionist and is featured in a fascinating 1998 documentary looking back over the history of cinema. We thought it worth mentioning here, not only because it is really interesting, and has some organ music in it, and has a photo of Sylvia Griffin (cover artiste Ian’s mum) remembering her time as a ‘projectionette’, but also because so many in the organ and keyboard world do feel an affinity to the world of the picture palaces. Called ‘Dream Acres: A Projectionists REEL Story’ the 40 minutes traces from Alan’s childhood memories and his dream of working in a cinema to the story of his time as a cinema projectionist, who spent his entire working life screening films in the days when ‘let’s go to the pictures’ was the password to cinematograph entertainment. Visit http://bit.ly/okcreelstory
As the next generation of portable grand pianos in its class, the Yamaha DGX-670 combines advanced digital piano technology with an extensive range of playing options for solo or multi-instrumental pieces. Created for both greater mobility, flexibility and freedom, the DGX-670 offers players new features and functions that make learning, performing and listening a pleasure every time. PORTABLE AND POWERFUL The DGX-670 follows Yamaha’s tradition of providing rich, authentic sound through continual technical innovation and dedication to the utmost in digital acoustic quality. This can be seen in its 88note weighted graded hammer standard (GHS) keyboard, which features a weighted action that gives the keys a heavier and lighter feel just like the hammers inside an acoustic piano. It also comes equipped with features such as Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM), Master Equalizer and Part EQ, Reverb, Chorus, DSP, Intelligent Acoustic Control, Stereophonic Optimizer and a Microphone input. ADVANCED SOUND, UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITY Both the voice and style quality of the DGX-670 are based on the Clavinova CVP-701, giving it a wide range of quality style functions and Super Articulation Voices. Players can look forward to a comprehensive choice of 630 authentic sounding instruments from various categories. Additional highlights include, amongst others, 601 high-quality Voices, including the CFX Grand Piano and 29 Drum-/SFX-kits, 100 Preset Songs and a 4.3-inch colour TFT display. Performances are further enhanced by 263 advanced accompaniment Styles, which offer players unlimited jam possibilities and numerous musical directions, from classic, rock, big band, R&B and dance.
NEW ACCOMPANIMENT FUNCTIONS The DGX-670 also comes equipped with new accompaniment functions that let players explore various stylistic nuances and expressive accents.
For more information Visit your local dealer Visit uk.yamaha.com Telephone Yamaha UK on 0844 811 1116
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 9
KORG WORLD CLUB FOR Pa ARRANGER OWNERS
MUSICLAND GIVE YOU A VIRTUAL TOUR
For those of you who are already Korg keyboard owners, you may well have heard of the Korg World Club. For those who haven’t, it is the support group and website for Korg Pa owners in the UK.
With the lockdowns still in place, popular performer David Harrild, manager of Musicland at Bromley, is now offering live, face to face visits to the store, where you can join him virtually, using Zoom, Facetime, Skype or Facebook.
It’s always great to get a new keyboard, but what happens when you need a little help and guidance? Well, thanks to hours of superb video tutorials and a group of like-minded musicians, you have a really incredible resource available at your fingertips. You can ask for help, compare ideas and even share music via the Facebook group.
The aim of the website and Facebook support group is to help you get the most from the amazing range of Korg keyboards and to see what they can offer any home organ or keyboard player. The club also regularly adds new software and tutorials for owners. If you would like to find more out about the club, please visit www.korgworld.co.uk for full details. If you are already a Facebook user, simply search for Korg World Club For Pa Owners. Remember, the club is free to join, thanks to the support of Korg UK. There is a lot of information and help available, so why not take a look?
David says, “We’ve found that, being unable to come out, our regular customers have been very much enjoying having personal demonstrations of instruments over the internet, and many have taken the opportunity to buy new keyboards, digital pianos and Genos Organ Systems from us during this time. Some clients have asked me to run through our Elite software packages, providing extra sounds, styles and registrations for Yamaha Tyros, Genos and Clavinova, and have been thrilled when their selected options have arrived at their homes, giving them more sound combinations to enjoy. Our VIP delivery service is continuing and follows current Covid-Safe delivery guidelines, including the wearing of gloves and face masks, and asking anyone in the property to keep at least two metres away.” All you need is a computer, tablet or iPad that is connected to the internet and then you can speak face to face to the team for their expert help and advice, take a tour around the showroom, see and hear any new or quality pre-owned instruments, or hear software upgrades before you buy. For more information, visit www.musicland.co.uk or, to book your appointment for your personal, face to face demonstration, call Musicland on 0208 698 7300 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.
INTRODUCING A NEW MEMBER OF THE YAMAHA PSR-E360 FAMILY - NOW AVAILABLE IN BLACK With the addition of black as an available model colour, the Yamaha PSR-E360 has been given a new classic and elegant finish. As an enhancement to any room where music is played and enjoyed, the PSR-E360 black edition model compliments any surrounding, from natural warm interiors to stylish urban design. All PSR-E360 models deliver an expressive 61-key, touchsensitive keyboard action with multiple functions. You can choose from any of the 130 accompaniment styles, covering an extensive range of musical genres, to join you as the backing band. Additional features include 400 built-in high-quality Voices, Lesson Functions, Chord Dictionary, as well as the Phrase Recording Function. For more information visit your local dealer, telephone Yamaha UK on 0844 811 1116 or visit uk.yamaha.com
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ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
Community Keyboards is a regular programme (twice monthly) presented by broadcaster and journalist Ian Wolstenholme, featuring all that’s best from the King of Instruments in all it’s many guises, from mighty classical and theatre pipe organs to the very latest home digital keyboards and beyond.
ePianos & Whitley Bay Home Organs are helping customers overcome the COVID-19 restrictions by offering a ‘virtual showroom experience’ via their new website.
CONGRATULATIONS are in order, as Ian has recently been presented with the Silver Award for best Specialist Music Show of the Year in the national Community Radio Awards 2020.
They have launched ‘ePianosTV’ - A special collection of over 200 piano, keyboard and organ videos featuring demonstrations, tutorials and reviews. Customers’ can also enjoy a virtual chat with the staff using the website’s superb ‘LiveChat’ feature, which is especially helpful for asking advice on which instrument to buy or how to operate your current model.
Your editor, Michael Wooldridge, and OKC regular, Andy Carvill, were delighted to both be guests on the first of this February’s shows, so do look for the programme online to hear them playing and chatting. Two good things have come out of these interviews. First of all, Ian was so pleased to chat with Andy again (who he has spoken to before during his many years in the trade) and hearing all about his new semi-retired life, that he has invited him to present a brand new feature called ‘Ask Andy’ in which listeners are invited to send in questions, perhaps to help solve problems with playing techniques, how to work out the best chords, or which instrument may be right for them. You can submit your questions for the show at http://bit.ly/comkeysaskandy Secondly, here at OKC we have decided to support the programme, which does so much good in spreading the word about our kind of music throughout the UK, by sponsoring its production for the next six months, so when you tune in from March onwards, you’ll be hearing our little sponsorship credit. To tune in to enjoy the programme, including earlier episodes, visit www.anchor.fm/communitykeyboards
The retail industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and ePianos/Whitley Bay Organs had to adapt quickly to survive. Their innovative approach has proven very successful, resulting in their busiest year ever, and they have received hundreds of rave reviews for going the extra mile for their customers. There are dedicated sections on ePianosTV for Home Organs, Yamaha Clavinovas, Genos, Tyros, SX-series and more. Customers can also sign up for a free weekly newsletter email which delivers the latest videos and guides directly to their inbox. E-mail email@example.com to sign up for the newsletter Manager Chris Hammond says, “Our customers can’t visit our showroom at present, so we’ve made it our mission to bring the showroom to our customers! We have a lot of expertise and enthusiasm to share, and during the pandemic we’ve had to find a new way to offer it to people. ‘ePianosTV’ is ideal for this, and our ‘LiveChat’ system is a lovely, informal way to speak with new customers and to stay in touch with our regulars.” To experience ‘ePianosTV’ yourself simply visit www.epianos.co.uk/tv
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 11
ALLENS ONLINE ORGAN DEMONSTRATIONS
A NEW KEYBOARD RANGE FROM HAMMOND
For the past 10 months Allens Music have been holding regular YouTube live streams from their Great Yarmouth showroom to entertain and inform their UK family of organ customers.
Hammond has just announced a new keyboard range for 2021 - the SK Pro.
On Monday mornings at 10am you can join Trevor Flunder and Tom Horton for fun, music and Q&A on a variety of home organ models from Wersi, Lowrey and Ringway. Allens’ very own Lucy holds an informal hobby player’s workshop on Friday’s at 4pm. To join in simply visit www.youtube.com/lowreyuk on your device or computer and click the link to the live stream. Allens Music has heavily expanded and invested in a full YouTube studio and can now offer an exciting new service with 1-2-1 virtual demonstrations of any home organ model they have in stock.
Available in two versions - 61 keys or 73 keys - these new instruments feature the very best modelled vintage Tonewheel, theatre and pipe organ voices. The SK Pro models also feature a superb selection of high-definition pianos, strings, chromatic percussion, synthesizer and orchestral voices, plus a virtual analogue mono synthesizer for recreating classic lead sounds from the '70s and '80s. Up to four voices can be layered or split across the keyboard at any one time, plus you can add an optional MIDI pedalboard for bass voices. SK Pro models are very compact and have full MIDI capabilities, so are perfect for adding to your existing keyboard or organ system, or for use as standalone performance keyboards. There's even an 11-pin Leslie output for routing the organ voices through one of the latest rotary speaker models.
Trevor Flunder at the Wersi Organ on Allens’ YouTube Channel
Prices start from around £2,300 for the 61 key version. Full product information and pricing is available from Bonners Music on 01323 639 335 or visit www.bonnersmusic.co.uk and search for SK Pro.
Using the popular Zoom video conference platform, a live personal demonstration can be held via the internet. Thanks to the technology, Allens can present an organ with multi camera views and highdefinition audio. For more information, please contact Allens Music Centre on 01493 842 887 or visit their website www.allensmusiccentre.co.uk YAMAHA ROUNDS OFF THE CLAVINOVA CLP-700 SERIES WITH THE CLP-725 With the introduction of the CLP-725, Yamaha has added a valuable model to the highly successful Clavinova CLP-700 series. As a member of this exceptional family, the CLP-725 comes with such highlight features as CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial piano samples, CFX binaural sampling, GrandTouch-S™ keyboard and Grand Expression Modeling. With its elegant silhouette, the CLP-725 also offers stand out looks in line with the other CLP-700 series models, as well as a music rest in the "uniform Clavinova shape“ and a newly designed control panel. For more information visit your local dealer, telephone Yamaha UK on 0844 811 1116 or visit uk.yamaha.com
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ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
YAMAHA LAUNCH NEW YC88 and YC73
ESSEX ORGAN MUSEUM WEBSITE
Following the international success and critical acclaim for the Yamaha YC61, the YC88 and YC73 are new additions, which retain the original’s rich features but offer a choice of key action types.
Work is in progress to create The Essex Organ Museum which, once up and running, will include a Compton theatre pipe organ, the BBC Compton electronic organ formerly in the BBC Maida Vale Studios, a Henry Jones church organ and an 1817 Gray and Davison single manual two stop organ, which has foot operated bellows but, in these modern times, an electric blower can be used instead!
The YC88 features an 88-key Natural Wood Graded Hammer action keyboard for a grand piano inspired playing style, whilst the YC73 uses Balanced Hammer Standard action to replicate the feel of classic electric pianos. Combined with sound effects and layering options, the versatility of the new instruments is impressive. Direct controls and connectivity options for second manuals, switches and pedals, add to the comprehensive flexibility. Whilst the distinctive drawbar controllers and the waterfall keyboard of the original Yamaha YC61 may lead to the conclusion that YC is a series of organs, the instruments go far beyond this category. Just like the YC61, the new YC88 and YC73 do provide a large number of organ sounds, but they also feature grand and upright pianos and synthesizer voices. The key to their versatility lies in the YC models’ multiple sound engines: Yamaha combines the proprietary Virtual Circuitry Modeling (VCM) technology with FM synthesis and AWM2 sampling to create a plethora of authentic, captivating and utterly creative sounds for all occasions. Each of the voices provided can be edited and altered in a number of ways, including adjustments in the tone generator section, sound shaping options like pre-drive for the organ section and various inserts for all sections, and finally, different voices can also be layered to achieve even more depth. Yamaha have put emphasis on fast and intuitive controls, with every important parameter available in the form of a button, switch, or knob on the panel, eliminating the need to navigate through complex menus and sub menus or switch to an edit mode in order to make adjustments to the sound setup. An integrated audio and MIDI interface allows for direct recording with the included Steinberg Cubase AI or other music production software. Regular updates will provide additional features, sounds and optimisations. The YC73 is £2,463.60, and the YC88 is £3,134.00 For more information visit your local dealer, ’phone Yamaha UK on 0844 811 1116 or visit uk.yamaha.com
The Compton, a 3/6, is no stranger to your editor, Michael, as whilst he didn't see it in its original 1936 home at the 1,404 seat Kingsway Cinema in Hadleigh, Essex (see opening poster, left), from there it moved in 1970 to the recreation hall of Dalys House, which was part of Rochford Hospital, opening there in April 1984 played by John Chapman and, remarkably, the marvellous Peggy Weber, who had opened the organ in its original home nearly 50 years previously, when she was just 18 years of age. Michael did have the opportunity to play it at this home. In the late 1980s it was to move again, and a new home was found at The Red Brick Barn in Rochford, where it was fully restored and a 32' bass was added, probably unique on an instrument of this size but really quite effective. This new home suited the organ well and it was regularly used for concerts and other events, played by many of the UK's favourite organists. Whilst w o r k t a k e s place to install and restore the collection ready for opening, a Michael Wooldridge at the m a j o r Red Brick Barn Compton in 2009 project, as the new venue itself requires structural changes, the museum has established a website packed with information about organs and organists past and present, which you may find of interest. Visit www.essexorganmuseum.com
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 13 Sad news from Llay Organ Society
We have received some very sad news from Llay Organ Society in Wrexham, North Wales which we have been asked to share with you all. The Society's Membership Secretary, Paul Crofts, writes: It is with the greatness sadness that we have to announce the passing of our Secretary Beryl Jones, beloved wife of our Chairman and founder member Ron Jones. Along with Ron, our Commitee and a small team of helpers, Beryl was the driving force behind making the Society one of the most successful in the UK. Beryl will be fondly remembered by so many, not least for the wonderfully inventive stage sets and decorations she came up with for each concert, often taking days at a time prior to each concert to produce some beautiful and extremely creative scenes, all of which complimented the performance of each artiste who graced our stage at Llay Royal British Legion. The Organ Society was a huge part of Beryl's life and she cared passionately about organ music and the friendships which the Society created over many years, both amongst our members and also with the many UK and International Organists who have performed at Llay since the Society's formation in 1983. We are extremely saddened that Beryl has left us, we will all miss her so very much and our hearts go out to dear Ron, Beryl's Son and Daughter Michael and Jayne and their families at this sad time. Ed - I would like to ad my own personal condolences to Ron and the family. I have played many happy concerts and theatre style shows at Llay and a key part of the experience has always been the friendly welcome from Beryl and the fabulous staging she created. She will be much missed by a great many. We’ve included a few photos of her stage dressings as happy memories of good times. Michael. Photos by Paul Crofts:Below Left: Jean Martyn at Llay
Below Right: Andrew Nix Christmas at Llay Above Right: Beryl Jones
Left: Michael Wooldridge, Ron Jones and Chaz McLeod, Christmas Show at Llay Organ Society Photo by Charles Wright
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ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE some of the markings. As if reading the notes wasn’t difficult enough, remembering the repeats and “tags” (those little extensions to a piece when they sing the last line a couple of extra times) was a skill in itself. Having said that, I normally found that the older and tattier the sheet music was, the more it had been played as the singer was very good, and very popular, and was much in demand. Acts with older “dots” were often far more “seasoned” and experienced in their trade.
“I can sight read quite well, Peter, if I know the tune…!” Well no, that isn’t strictly “sight reading” - that is a mixture of sight reading and playing “by ear”. True sight reading is when you encounter a piece of music that you have never heard or seen before, using your eyes to take in the “dots” - before transferring that information down to your fingers, to create the music... Music that you may never have heard before. For many years, when I first turned professional, this was the skill for which I had trained, during many years of exams and practice - a useful skill which I have maintained to this day. A good sight reading ability really helps when you come to trying out and learning a new tune, whether you have heard it before or not. Way back in the late 60’s when I first got my job as an accompanist in the Working Men’s Clubs, and later as a Musical Director for various holiday centres, good sight reading was an absolute requirement in order to be able to accompany visiting guest artistes from all over the world. Music is an “international language” in every sense of the phrase. Nowadays, the professional accompanist has been replaced by “trax” (ie. professionally recorded digital backings) but back in those halcyon days of “live” music, a good reading accompanist was worth his or her weight in gold... For it was good accompaniment that could make or break an act! Normally, with the big TV stars you would get a full rehearsal before going before the audience, but other times, you would just have a “talk through” in the dressing room prior to the show. This consisted of the act giving you the music (the “dots”) and telling you how many times each piece was to be played, and where to repeat from, etc. The sheet music, (normally carried around loose, in old black folders) was often covered in old, faded instructions and crossings-out, as the act explained that this was how they “used to do it”… but now their arrangement had altered, so could you please ignore
I remember once, playing an F# note that sounded pretty weird and out of place. When we came off stage, the singer smiled and told me, “You’re a really good sight reader, Peter… you played the FLY on page three!!” Apparently he had used the music to swat a fly several weeks before, and part of the creature had adhered itself to the page, its wing placing a pretty clear “sharp” sign in front of an otherwise natural ‘F’ note. The singer (who must have had an even weirder sense of humour than me!) thought this was hilarious and left the additional F# as a “test” for future organists’ sightreading abilities. Another time when working with ventriloquist Terry Hall and Lenny the Lion, I found myself taking the music (and musical instructions) from Lenny himself, as Terry was getting into character ready to go on stage. For most of the time (especially in the clubs) there was rarely time to “rehearse” - The singer walked out onto the stage, and the organist was expected to read the music… and interpret the music, by listening to the artiste and following speed and expression directly from the artiste. In other words, the eyes followed the “dots” but the ears (and expression) followed the singer. In my time I backed literally hundreds of acts, from amateurs to top TV stars, and the one thing they all had in common, was a need and appreciation for
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MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 15
good backing. My sight reading stood me in good stead; all the study and exams had paid off. SOME USEFUL TIPS So as I invite you to do a little practice on your own sight reading, let me first pass on a few tips and “tricks of the trade” that have helped me personally over the years. A basic tip is that music is like a road map setting out directions to follow… as it runs UP and DOWN. Follow the shapes and patterns of the notes in relation to one another. Don’t become obsessed with “naming” each note individually, that will just slow you up. Simply follow groups of notes as “patterns” as they rise and fall.
However, exactly as when driving a car, you should look a little way ahead, and be prepared for any hazard that may appear, such as the occasional sharp or flat (an “Accidental”) which might trip you up. Look ahead and don’t drive “on your bonnet” or you might just accidentally drive into a musical ditch!
Use the “pattern” idea to make yourself aware of a “Line-to-a Line” or a “Space-to-a-Space” pattern, where the notes are not only next-door-but-one in relation to one another, but may often form the ingredients of an actual CHORD, which will most probably be represented in the left hand’s chord SYMBOL. That way, the chord symbol may well help you to recognise the right hand’s individual notes.
Use those “chord symbol” runs, to build up your reading confidence - but do be aware that, although the notes may be a simple pattern, the rhythm patterns might alter, requiring a bit of counting skill to get the right timing.
One important musical fact that is often ignored, or forgotten (especially when sight reading), is that fact that once an accidental (flat, sharp, or sometimes a natural sign) appears in a bar… its influence LASTS for the entire bar, unless cancelled out. Here for instance, bar one has an added F# which is played twice, as does the added A# in bar two, and another F# in bar three.
However, here the influence of those added sharps are counteracted by the addition of a natural sign, to cancel them out.
These are useful things to look out for when sight reading your musical “road maps”.
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PRACTICE EXERCISES Here are a few little sight reading examples to give you some useful practice. Perfectly straightforward here. Just follow the shapes and patterns of each group.
It is important to notice the KEY SIGNATURE and to be aware of what key you are playing in, but even here, there are a couple of tips that might help you to play more smoothly and more accurately. For instance, as we are in F major, there are some B FLATS (Bb) to be played, but check the chord symbol - As the chord changes, it tells you (or “reminds” you) to play a ‘Bb’.
As here, we are in ‘G’ major, and just look at that D7 chord symbol, virtually spelling out the notes of the right hand run.
Nothing too difficult here… except to be aware of the rhythm change in bars 4 and 6 .
Same sort of rhythm changes here ; and don’t forget the Bb’s.
Follow the pattern flow of the melody.
Watch out for the extra double harmony notes here.
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More extra harmony notes to add here.
Again use the chord symbols, as a hint to reading the right hand double notes.
Oooops, who put that C# into the melody? Don’t miss it!
Watch out for the rhythm patterns in the right hand. Some counting is really necessary here.
Quite a tricky one here, as we get a couple of accidentals added to the first and second bar. Remember, the accidental lasts for the WHOLE bar.
And again here, extra accidentals that influence the whole bar.
And now, especially for anyone thinking this has all been a bit too “basic” - try this - with its accidentals and triplet note values.
If you can “sight read” this one successfully - (that is, playing it accurately at first attempt?) - then I will definitely will begin to “see” you as a budding professional! Looking forward to seeing you all again next time, for lots more tips and ideas for making that - Happy Music!!
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Hints & Tips for Digital Pianos &Arranger Keyboards with our resident Doctor of Music
PIANO MAGIC with
CHRIS STANBURY For this edition, I’m going back to basics with an arrangement that I recently created for a pupil who has a lovely new Clavinova digital piano. Of course, all my teaching since last March has been online. Watching and listening to my students playing over Zoom or Facetime, using a laptop or iPad, has meant a completely different approach to teaching, but one that has worked remarkably well given the circumstances. Hopefully, with the vaccines on the way, it won’t be too many months before I’m able to teach face-to-face again. Viv, one of my piano students, recently requested a piece to help her develop her left hand playing. Having owned a keyboard for years, she’d recently taken the plunge and exchanged this for a digital piano. On the whole, she’s been really pleased with it, but has noticed that the heavier, weighted keys took some getting used to. She’s also wanted to develop her left-hand technique, to move away a little from playing chords in what I would call ‘keyboard style’, where we hold down groups of three or four notes and let the automatic accompaniment produce a backing for us. “I love the accompaniment styles,” said Viv, “but I’d also like to be able to play something in a more pianolike way, without needing to use them all the time.” Cue some head-scratching and pondering on my part! Viv and I had always played keyboard pieces with automatic accompaniments, so this piece needed to be an introduction into playing in a more traditional piano style with both hands working together. By our next lesson I’d produced this arrangement, which she really enjoyed playing and I’d like to share it with you, too. We’re off to Spain for this ‘Spanish Romance’, a piece which is popular with classical guitar players and heard frequently on radio and television. However, very little is known about it. Said to have been written over 200 years ago, the composer remains a mystery to this day. The sound settings that we need for this piece are very straightforward. Just select your favourite acoustic guitar tone, without any accompaniment or style switched on. On Yamaha instruments I’d recommend choosing ‘Concert Guitar’, and my favourite acoustic guitar on Korg instruments is similarly ‘Concert Gtr DNC’. Essentially, any Acoustic or Nylon Guitar will work very well on any digital piano or keyboard.
You’ll see from the arrangement that I’ve included a left hand part, which appears to be quite busy! As I explained to Viv, you don’t need to be an expert reader of bass clef to be able to play this. All I’ve done is to write out in full the three notes of each chord that we would normally play when reading chord symbols. For example, the first G minor chord (written as Gm) in bar 1 would contain G, B flat and D. This is exactly what I’ve written in the left hand. The only difference being that instead of the three notes being played together, they’re played in a triplet pattern one after the other, from bottom to top i.e. G, to Bb and then to D. This pattern repeats on every beat and creates a nice effect that sounds like somebody playing a guitar. If you’ve not played quaver triplets before, this is where you fit three notes into every crotchet beat. A good way to practise this is to think of the three-syllable word, melody. For every beat, say ‘me-lo-dy’ and place a different note on each syllable (as I’ve shown in bar 1). Viv picked this up fairly quickly (after remembering that most B and E notes she saw on the music needed to be played as B flats and E flats) and, after working on it for a few days, she played it to me in our next lesson. “I really enjoy playing at my own pace, without the drums,” she said, “but there’s something wrong with the right hand.” On listening to her play, I realised that there were two things that required correction. Firstly, her right hand notes needed to be joined up more (played “legato”). Viv was playing the correct notes, but they were quite detached from each other, so the lovely shape of the melody wasn’t coming through yet. Be sure to join the notes together as shown by the phrase marks for a smooth, lyrical sound. The other issue that Viv had was due to her new piano. As a keyboard player, she was used to keys that were fairly lightweight. She found the more heavily weighted keys of her new piano a challenge to play reliably at first. Sometimes she would play the keys too lightly, and occasionally too heavily. Modern digital instruments can translate different levels of touch into completely different sounds. When played too lightly, the piano changed the sound to a plucked guitar, and when she played too heavily it gave quite a loud twang, which was quite distracting and not very romantic! With further help and experimentation, I helped her to develop a more even touch, so the tone of the guitar remained the same. She was very pleased, and even played the new piece to her family over Zoom. What strange times we’ve experienced! I hope in this past year of bad news, living our lives through screens and difficult times for all, you’ve found music to be a great help in keeping your spirits up. I wish you Happy Music and, as always, you’re very welcome to email me for more advice. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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SPANISH ROMANCE Composer: Anonymous This Arrangement: Chris Stanbury
Voice: Concert or Nylon Guitar Style: None Tempo
This arrangement © 2021 Chris Stanbury
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Orla Grand 120 £2,950 by Michael Wooldridge The music trade has changed a lot since the pandemic lockdowns began nearly a year ago. Where we would normally enjoy visiting our local specialist music shop to see and try the latest musical instruments, that has become impossible. Fortunately, for many, business has remained healthy, as retailers have adapted to handle more and more online and telephone sales, and adapted to Covid-safe delivery plans. In fact, with everyone stuck indoors, sales of organs, digital pianos and arranger keyboards have all been very strong, as people are now forced to stop in at home, many with the time to appreciate and enjoy a hobby they can do at home. One dealer who has very much risen to the challenge of this new way of keeping in touch with us all is Allens Music Centre at Great Yarmouth. They have invested heavily in a studio set-up, so are now regularly providing
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE demonstrations, question & answer sessions and workshops over the internet, mainly using YouTube and Zoom. Multiple cameras allow viewers to see every angle well, and the sound quality also comes across at a good standard (so long as you have a reasonably good internet connection). Because of the latest lockdown, I was unable to travel up to the shop for this issue’s planned review, so I decided to take the opportunity to book myself an online, one-to-one, personal demonstration of the Orla Grand 120 with one of the Allens Music team, Tom Horton, and, I have to say, it worked really well. The fact it is live means you can ask questions and can see and hear any aspect of the instrument, just as you would in the store. The only thing you can’t do, of course, is to feel the keyboard for yourself, which is a shame, but in this instance, I know the keyboard uses the higher-quality of the non-wood keys, and is a graded hammer Keyboard, so it will feel nice to play. Many Cavalcadians will be very aware of the Orla brand from their highly successful ranges of electronic organs and keyboards, which have been very popular in the UK over many years. They were known for being very easy on the ear, and this new digital piano very much follows in that tradition, with a lovely sound and accompaniments that are not too busy! As you can see in the photos, the Grand 120 looks fabulous. The baby grand shape looks wonderful and it is available in a choice of three gloss (polyester) finishes, traditional Black (Ebony), White, or a striking Red. There is a sliding lid, and a nice feature here is that you can rest it in a position so that you can play the piano but that it covers all of the controls. Of course, being the baby grand shape means it is slightly larger than some pianos, measuring 143cm wide x 73cm deep x 90cm high. It weighs 70kg. It has the full three pedals that you’d find on an acoustic
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE grand piano, Soft, Sostenuto and Damper (which supports half pedalling).
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 21 in our dining room and the shape of the room makes it sound very bass heavy; it would be wonderful to simply be able to correct the sound just by turning a knob, as you can on the Orla. As well as providing a very smart looking grand piano to enjoy, the Orla Grand 120 is so much more, as it has many different sounds, plus rhythms and automatic style accompaniments. Selecting different voices and facilities is mostly a case of pressing a family button on the panel, and fortunately there are many of them, which does make things simple, and then either turning a data control wheel or the up/down buttons, which are next to a twoline display screen. There are 362 different voices to enjoy, covering all of the main sound groups. Aside of all the piano voices you’d expect, like electric pianos and different acoustic pianos, there is an Organ section, which has some very lovely small Chapel and full Church Organ voices, Jazz Organ sounds and even a Theatre Organ, which has a full sound. With Orla’s long tradition of manufacturing home organs, it comes as no surprise that these voices are good.
Orla Grand 120 with the lid neatly covering the control panel and its three pedals
There are four speakers, which are well spread, and I’m told by both Tom at Allens Music and by a Cavalcadian who has one, that it sounds excellent in the room, and certainly it came over the internet to me as a very warm and full sound, and richer than some from other brands. Of course, first and foremost this is a piano, and it looks and sounds the part very successfully, but it is so much more, with a wide range of different sounds, backing accompaniments and features. If you’ve enjoyed a session exploring features and changed all the settings everywhere, there is a Grand Piano button which will always take you back to the core instrument in one press! Even whilst just using the main piano sound, you may want to take advantage of a very simple but very worthwhile feature, which has been brought forward from earlier Orlas, two rotary knobs for adjusting the bass and treble of the whole instrument. This is so useful to adjust the sound to suit your personal taste and the acoustics of the room where you have the instrument. Here at home I have one of my instruments
One of the Orla’s speakers, facing up from the sound board to reflect on the lid, better recreating the sound of an acoustic piano
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Something else Orla have been known for is their lovely strings, and they are included here, giving a rich, full sustained tone, which is just lovely. It is worth noting that you can choose to Layer a couple of voices together, or to Split the keyboard to have different voices at each end, so with these strings, it is ideal to layer them with a piano. Although we didn’t do it on the day, as the combination just worked, balancing the volumes between two layered voices is really straightforward on the Orla, as there are Volume controls actually on the panel, so there’s no need to dive in to on-screen menus to find them.
There are two rhythm Fill-Ins, which can be used to switch between accompaniment variations, and there is an Intro and Ending for each Style. These are good, though I do think it would have been worthwhile for there to have been a choice of Intros and Endings, so there would have been at least two, a short one and a long one. Here they tend to be longer ones and, whilst they sound good, and players very much enjoy enhancing their playing with them, I think sometimes it is nice just to have a bar or two to get you in! When you use an Intro, there is a counter on the screen which will count you in, which is always a handy feature.
Originating in Italy, the other thing Orla excel at is Accordion voices, and there are a plethora of them here to enjoy, all of a good quality.
There is an Auto-SetUp feature, which instantly provides complete instrument settings to go with each of the Styles. Of course, you can start off with one of these Auto-SetUps and then make changes from there as you go, and it is good that from the ones we looked at, it seems that someone has thought about this so that sections not already in use have been pre-registered with useful and complimentary voices to change to, which is good.
Other voices include a lovely, bell-toned Fantasy voice in the Synth section, and Tom was very much enjoying playing the Jazz Flute for me! You are free to change settings for Reverb and Chorus, and can also swap the Octave of the voices. There is the facility to save your Favourites for fast recall, and also six banks of nine panel memories to store complete settings, though, of course, in these days of USB memory sticks, you can store hundreds if you use a USB stick as well as the internal memory. Moving on to the accompaniment Styles, all 350 of them, whilst they have been updated, they very much follow the trend we have seen in earlier Orla instruments of providing backings which are not so busy that you can only play a few tunes with each of them. Rather, they provide arrangements in all of the main popular music genres that you can use time and time again for many different pieces. There are ten different drum kits, so along with all the voices, they give everything from very gentle brush swing patterns through to far heavier rock sounds.
Some of the settings turn on the Left voice section, which can make for a warmer sound sometimes, and I wonder why more players don’t use a Left sound on style pianos and arranger keyboards, of all makes, more often than they seem to!
Tone controls and volume controls for each section
If you don’t normally use the Left section of your keyboard, try turning it on and popping in a suitable voice, perhaps strings or a small jazz organ, or maybe even a choir. For the more adventurous, you could try something like a jazz guitar and play your chords in rhythm, adding your playing to the pre-programmed accompaniment parts. Of course, you have to be careful when trying that idea, as it isn’t always going to work
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE well with the Style accompaniment, especially with some of the more active ones in some keyboards, but when it works well it is great.
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 23 On the more technical side of things, there are two headphone sockets, so you can play duets whilst using headphones, or perhaps for student and teacher, and an array of stereo outputs and inputs, MIDI out, USB and Bluetooth connections. There’s also an Easy Record facility.
USB socket on the front panel
It is always difficult to pick out which different Styles and associated settings to highlight, as they all seem good on most instrument these days, but on here I did particularly enjoy the sounds of the different big bands with their well-balanced Styles and lead sounds of Saxes and Trumpets, and then the various Latin American Styles. As we went through some of the Auto-SetUps, besides that superb Grand Piano voice, I also particularly enjoyed the Soprano Saxophone, and actually, although not something I’d probably play for myself, Tom’s rendition of Kylie Minogue’s, I Can’t Get You Out Of my Head, using the Kylie Pop Style, which has Synth Lead, was great!
If you are thinking of treating yourself to a digital piano, the Orla Grand 120 is well worth a look, even though it does have to be a virtual look at the moment. I found the demonstration and questions and answers as we went worked well and it saved me a 400-mile round trip! I think the key aspects of this instrument are that it looks wonderful and the sound is just so very pleasant to hear. For more information, have a look online at www.AllensMusicCentre.co.uk or phone Allens Music Centre on 01493 842 887
Left:My virtual demosntration in full flow, with Tom Horton playing and chatting his way around the Orla Grand 120 for me by way of my laptop in the comfort of my own home!
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ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE To hear both the piano and the new chord versions go to - www.cavalcadeproductions.co.uk - click on the music tab at the top of the page and look for ‘This Magical Evening’. WHICH ACCOMPANIMENT STYLE?
THIS MAGICAL EVENING Welcome to this month’s ‘Composer’s Corner’ and I really hope you enjoyed the Christmas season to the full, although, as always, it does seem to pass by so quickly. When I actually put these these words together I’m always behind the times compared to when you read them. As I write we are only a few weeks into the latest lockdown and the vaccination process is getting into it’s stride. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the vaccination process is in full swing and the dreadful virus is getting more and more under control! I also hope you enjoyed my CD that came free with the last edition. We have been receiving some very positive comments - so thank you for those! One piece in particular has attracted a number of requests for the musical notation, that being ‘This Magical Evening’ which is track 2 of the CD. So, by popular demand, that is this month’s piece in the ‘Composer’s Corner’. This did present me with a problem. The CD version of this song was recorded by layering several musical lines on top of each other, which means it is pretty much impossible to play this track ‘live’ exactly as recorded on the CD. So, I have re-arranged the song using an accompaniment Style, allowing me to produce a much more straight-forward ‘melody and chord’ version of the song. Also, the original version started life as a piano solo and when I looked at the piano part, using my music software, it looked like a spider had crawled all over the manuscript with ink on its feet. It was simply impossible to read, and actually sort of inaccurate, particularly from a timing perspective. To be honest, I had not recorded this song with any intention of producing the notation and, because of my ‘looser’ slightly out of time playing/recording style, my software was totally confused by the piano part. This ‘melody and chords’ version is actually readable (hooray!) and although slightly different from the original, still maintains all the key ingredients of the song. As always the best place to start is on the OKC website, where we have put both versions of the song for you to listen to, side by side. To my ears, the piano version is more emotional and portrays my original concept for the song but the ‘chord’ version is actually readable and therefore much more playable.
This piece is a slow ballad so a slow 8-Beat style is what you need to look for, at a tempo of around 72 beats per minute. On my Korg Pa1000 there is a huge range of different ballad styles and I selected the ‘Standard 8Beat’ which actually lives in the ‘Pop’ section of the Korg’s rhythms. This worked well with the song and I was really lucky to find a very useful selection of sounds available in the 4 presets (keyboard set) each style automatically offers - more of that in the next paragraph. As you will see in the music, I created a simple new introduction, which means I did not use an automatic introduction, just a count in. Of course, if you prefer to use an automatic Intro that’s no problem, but make sure you then come in as it ends, playing the melody ‘lead in’ notes in bar 5. I’ve also written an ending utilizing the very simple one bar ending, which is ending option number 3 on my Korg. Again, if you want to use a longer ending, experiment with what is available on your instrument and use the option you like best. As always if you do use automatic Intros and Endings, make sure you start and finish on the ‘key chord’ which in this case is the chord of C. If you listen to my new recording, you will hear I used the different variations of the Style to build the arrangement, and then returned to the ‘quiet’ options at the very end, which is something that is easy to do on keyboards these days. WHICH REGISTRATIONS? As mentioned above, there was a happy coincidence for me that the ‘keyboard set’ presets that are available with the ‘Standard 8-Beat’ Style really worked for this piece but you may have different options on your instrument, so may like to make up some specific registrations. The first sound is a very simple Piano sound, perfect given that this piece started out as a Piano solo. I did mix the Piano with some light Strings the further I went into the song. The middle section used a Tenor Sax the first time through, which morphed into some very BIG Strings the second time through. I finished by adding the Piano into these big Strings for the final section of the song and then returning to the solo Piano for the final few bars. As usual my registrations are really pretty simple with no complex mixtures in this song. This is not only due to the quality of the sampled sounds within the Korg, but also the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) effects. The DSP effects (which are effects such as Reverb, Chorus, Delay etc) are one of the most under rated aspects of an electronic instrument and make such a difference to the
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE end result. Fortunately, they are automatically set ready for us to use in most one touch settings provided on most keyboards. As always with registrations, they are a very personal topic and these are only what I chose to use. Feel free to experiment with sounds you like on your instrument. I’ve added in number boxes showing where to change the presets. Of course, it is up to you if you follow this plan or not but my suggestions would be: 1 - Piano 2 - Piano & Soft Strings 3 - Tenor Sax 4 - Rich Strings 5 - Piano & Rich Strings You will see that I have re-used a couple of the presets, going back to already used numbers where I suggest we repeat the same sound, giving my suggestion of the presets used in the order of 1, 2, 3, 2, 4, 5, 1. You may prefer to create a separate preset for each change and put them all in order, which would give this layout 1 - Piano 2 - Piano & Soft Strings 3 - Tenor Sax 4 - Same as 2 5 - Rich Strings 6 - Piano & Rich Strings 7 - Same as 1 PLAYING TIPS This song was inspired by special events in our lives such as anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas etc. that revolve around our families and closest loved ones. It is a very gentle piece, so please play it with lots of expression and emotion. This element will only come after you learn to play the piece really well, so first practice and become confident with the basic ‘nuts and bolts’ of the song, such as the melody, chords and timing. Only then can you focus on putting the emotion into the piece. Another important aspect of this is getting the ‘sustain’ for the piano to the correct degree. In the original version I was using A LOT of sustain pedal for the piano sections. This is fine on my keyboard (or a digital piano), but a little more difficult on an organ. You will need to experiment with your instrument to find the best levels, or the best way to control this aspect. Those of you with good ears will hear that on the original version I played the right hand piano part in octaves, sometimes with a slight delay between the notes, playing the bottom note first and then the octave above a millisecond later; this was done on purpose,
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 25 really! If you can do this, great, try it, but an alternative is to use an ‘Octave Piano’ voice, or maybe a Cocktail Piano voice, if your instrument has them. This will usually add an extra piano sound an octave above, but do just check what your instrument does. This additional octave above note is not essential and the new chord version only uses one piano note, so this works fine, but if you can add this element it will strengthen the melody line of the Piano voice. Only consider this technique with the piano sections, not any other instrument sounds. While the song is in the key of C major, there are a lot of Fm6 chords which create some additional accidentals (Ab’s and Bb’s) in the middle section. Just keep a look out for them! Also, some of the chords are a little more advanced, Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Fm6 etc. These do add to the quality of the piece but if you are not familiar with these chords, simply strip them down to the basic version so, for example, a Cmaj7 becomes a C and an Fm6 becomes an Fm. You do have to keep the major and minor elements but the extra extensions are just that extra niceties. That’s all for this edition and I really hope you enjoy playing this piece from the CD. Keep safe in this ongoing situation and I look forward to seeing you again in the next edition of ‘Composer’s Corner’. Enjoy your music making!
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THIS MAGICAL EVENING 1
© 2021 Andy Carvill
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IAN GRIFFIN with Michael Wooldridge I think most of us know of Ian through his superb evenings of music at the many keyboard and organ societies all around the country, and of course, at our Cavalcade Festivals. He is perhaps most acclaimed in our world for his remarkable ability to play his second half entirely from items that the audience have requested, live, without music and brilliantly. There is so much more to Ian’s life in music and I thought it would be nice to learn more about how he began and the vast array of work he does.
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE I was learning sound like on the organ. Unknown to me, the Leslie was turned on and the music carried through the house to the kitchen, where my grandmother and mother were shouting, “Turn it down we can’t hear ourselves think!” under the impression it was my Grandfather! Then they came marching in the front room to find me perched on the edge of the bench trying to reach the pedals! The rest is history! Ian’s grandfather, Brynley (Bryn) Symmons, playing the Christie Organ at the Empire Cinema in Neath, where he was the projectionist Photo colourised by Alan Ashton
One of Ian’s early piano lessons, when he was around eight years old!
Thanks for finding these wonderful photos for us to enjoy Ian.
How did your interest in keyboard music begin? My initial interest started at the age of eight, when I decided to have a go at my grandfather’s baby grand piano; my sister was having lessons at the time so I thought, "I’m not going to be left out," and decided to have a bash! I then had piano lessons and shortly afterwards decided that my Grandfather’s Wurlitzer electronic organ was more of a challenge. Incidentally, my grandfather played the 2 manual Christie at the local Cinema in Neath, where he worked as a projectionist, so, after countless hours of watching my grandfather play, I noted how he was playing pedals, so, when no one was looking one day, I crept into the front room and wondered what would the piano pieces
How did you progress from playing your grandfather's Wurlitzer organ in the front room to playing in public? I continued piano lessons, along with my sister, and we entered several local talent competitions playing duets. Also, when we went on our family holidays, we entered the holiday centre’s talent competitions and somehow, luckily, we won! The local music shop heard about our musical achievements and invited us to play in a Kawai demonstration at the Castle Hotel in Neath, where we took part in the show alongside a gentleman called Malcolm White, who was then working for Kawai with the Arthur Butler organ company. The year was 1976. My Dad in those days was a Hi-Fi enthusiast and recorded the show with his then state of the art Sony portable recorder and to this day we still have the cassette recording of it! How lovely to still have the recording. I think we’re both lucky to have had supportive families, and fathers who were proud enough of our early efforts to record us! Did you then start to play out and about? My first 'gig' was at a local pub. The pub itself was renowned for having the best of everything with regards to entertainment equipment, a top of the range PA system with radio mics, a Steinway Grand piano (that was a pianola and extremely rare even then), and a Hammond Monarch (2x61-note manuals and a 25-
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE note pedalboard) and a Leslie 710, which had a beautiful sound. I was still in my final year at school when I started there, and it was that job that gave me my practical apprenticeship so to speak, accompanying the singers who came along to entertain and, of course, it was a pleasure for them to use all the aforementioned equipment.
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 29 day we set off to the former BBC Cardiff studios in Llandaff (sadly to be demolished soon). There were loads of very talented kids there ranging through tap dancers, magicians, singers and so on. I had the exclusive use of the studio’s organ, which was a Hammond T500 and Leslie 122. I did my audition and was told they would be in touch by letter to inform me if I was successful or not. Unfortunately I didn’t get through, so be it. Then, the following year, 1978, the same advert re-appeared, so up we went to Cardiff again, only to discover the BBC had sold the Hammond and only a grand piano was available. To say I was disappointed was an understatement but my father egged me on to try on the piano. After what I thought was a dismal performance, the producer at the time (Brian Penders) came over to say, we will bypass the sending of the letter, can you be in London for the recording in three weeks' time! I was chuffed!
Ian’s first gig venue, on the newly installed Hammond Colonnade
There is a funny story that I must share with you from my time at this venue. As I said, I was in my final school year, so I used to get extremely tired after the late nights at the gigs. During one term we had the usual parent / teacher meetings at the school and my form teacher, along with the Headmaster, raised concerns to my father that I was tired and virtually sleeping at my desk! Of course, my father knew exactly the cause of it but, seeing as I was under age for working in a pub, just made an excuse up and nothing more was said. However, one night at the gig, to my horror, whilst I was on the Hammond accompanying a singer, who should walk in seeing yours truly in the spotlight? Yes, my Headmaster! He came up to me and said, now I know why you are tired in school my boy, be in my office tomorrow at 9am sharp! The next morning, there I was, shaking in my boots. I was called into the office and I sat down in front of a stern looking headmaster. He raised his eyebrows and said, “Well, I can see what you’ll be doing when you leave school; I enjoyed your playing!" Nothing more was said on the subject but as I was on my way out he said, “Oh, It’s St David’s Day coming up, can you do a spot in the main hall?" I know you've appeared on the television a few times over the years. How has that come about and how did you find the experience? During my secondary school years, in 1977, there was an advert in the local paper from the BBC announcing that auditions were to be held for the children’s programme, Crackerjack. My Father was very persuasive in suggesting I should have a go, nothing ventured nothing gained, so one extremely cold January
Off we went to London on the train and checked into a hotel, all paid for by the BBC. The next day, the show was recorded in front of a live studio audience at the BBC TV Theatre in Shepherds Bush (where the later Wogan show was televised). I played a Hammond T200 with a Leslie 145 and had the backing of the Bert Hayes Orchestra, what an amazing experience!
Above and Below - Ian, aged 13, in the heats for Crackerjack 1978, with presenter Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart
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The song I played was El Bimbo and to my amazement they contacted my parents by phone to say I was voted back by the studio audience for the Semi Finals. The competition was extremely tough the second time around with incredibly talented youngsters, so I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t make it to the finals.
and for many years after. Keyboards and Digital Pianos as we now know them were unheard of, and how things have turned around, as nearly all of the organ companies that were about at the time are now sadly no longer in business, and we mustn't forget some of the sadly missed, fantastic players, who used to demonstrate for them. There used to be a cinema hidden away at Barton Hall, with the iconic theatre styled seating and a lovely stage with cinema curtains. It was my dream in the early days of the festivals there to renovate the theatre and put a cinema organ in it. We suggested it to the managers and owners but to no avail. Not so long afterwards the seating was ripped out and destroyed along with the projector(s) and it later turned into a recreational room / gym for kids. It was such a shame.
Above: Ian in the Semi-Finals on BBC TV’s Crackerjack, 1978, playing a Gulbransen Theatrum supplied by CBS Arbiter Left: Ian makes his very first broadcast, age 12, on his father’s organ programme on local radio, Swansea Sound
We first met at the Barton Hall organ festival a great many years ago. Would it have been about 1982? The festival was arranged by your dad, Cled, and was one of the very first of the festivals, which have now become such a major part of our UK keyboard scene. What special memories do you have of those events? Yes it was at Barton Hall in 1982 when I first got to know you, by which time the Festival had been running for two years. Ironically, during these lockdown times, December 2020 marked the 40th anniversary of the start of residential Home Organ Festivals, at Barton Hall, and it is sad we haven't been able to celebrate that milestone in our industry with some kind of live event.
Do you have any favourite organists or musical influences from when you started? The first organist we saw as a family was the legendary Brian Sharp in 1974. At the time we were members of the Swansea Electronic Organ Society; my Father became secretary shortly after! We were absolutely enthralled and spellbound by his playing. The organ was equally mind blowing, a Gulbransen Theatrum (with an external Leslie speaker cabinet). We were taken aback with the incredibly realistic piano sound, which was unheard of on organs of that time. It was Brian who without doubt influenced my playing, so we went on to attend virtually all of the shows and demonstrations he did in South Wales for many years after and, in fact, we bought a Gulbransen on the strength of hearing Brian putting it through its paces. There was no question about it, he was my idol. Little did I think then that, six years on from our first time seeing Brian, he would be appearing at the first Barton Hall Festival; as you can imagine, I was in my element.
There are many stories I would love to share of the memories at Barton Hall, some of which are comical, but it would probably fill up the pages of this magazine! We had 600 organ enthusiasts there, which was the full capacity of the Hotel. The following year, in addition to Barton Hall, my Dad did two at Pontins Tower Beach in Prestatyn, with a staggering 2,000 organ enthusiasts attending! What incredible times they were.
Talking about these times has made me realise that technology has greatly re-structured the price of instruments. We had to pay in the region of £2,000.00 for a Gulbransen to get anywhere near a realistic piano sound, which amazingly, back then, was the price of the average family saloon car! These days we can have a real sampled piano sound plus stunningly realistic orchestral voices all for just a few hundred pounds!
One of the strongest memories I have was the amount of organ manufacturers we had at the first few festivals
Do you have a favourite type of music? This is a question that has been frequently asked of me!
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE I don’t really specialise in any one style of music, so I don’t really have a favourite. I think that is down to the fact that in my younger years, and now, when accompanying singers, I’ve had to adapt to such a wide range of music. There are certain styles I enjoy accompanying singers with, but with the added bonus that I don’t have to play the melody, as the singer does that, so it gives me a free hand to change the registrations along with making the sound fuller with my right hand. What do you think has been your best project or event involving the keyboard or organ? My biggest and best musical project was without question the time I appeared 'live' with my band to accompany singers on a show called 'Friday Live' in 1997. This show was based at the local independent television studios in Cardiff (known then as HTV). We had 6 million viewers, as the program was also able to be picked up throughout the north west of England. The show was a sort of early version of the X Factor, presented by Simon Biagi, who some Cavalcadians may remember from his time as one of the first Weathermen on Good Morning Television (GMTV), or perhaps from his time presenting Real Rooms on BBC1. There were quite a few celebrities there and I was very privileged to meet and work with them. Linda Nolan, Ted Rodgers (from the quiz show 321, where he worked with Dusty Bin) and Hughie Green (of the original Opportunity Knocks programme) were all on the show. The three of them were chosen to be judges for the acts. Sadly, that was Hughie Green’s last TV appearance before he passed away. He was quite a character back stage and had us all in stitches. I have to admit that’s the time I was the most nervous of any time in my career and being Musical Director for that show was absolutely nerve shattering, plus the fact it was going out live, not recorded. We were at the studios from 9am on the morning of the show for all day rehearsals and then the show went out live at 10pm. After the show we were asked to attend the celebrity get-together at the studio's hospitality room. We left at 3am, a total of 18 hrs, and the journey home was just a blur. Then I was up early to go to work in the music retail shop where I was at the time. Thinking back I often wonder how I managed it! We, the band, were asked back to do the final episode in the series. When you play for keyboard and organ clubs you have a unique instrument. Can you tell us about it? My touring set up is one that I have been using for the last 8 years. Most concert regulars will be familiar with the set up I use, which is based on Ketron Keyboards, used as an organ format Ketron. I have a Ketron Audya on the top, a Ketron SD5 on the bottom, and my trusty Roland PK5 pedalboard. Both the Keyboards are linked to a swell pedal and the sound system is provided by a
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 31 state of the art Bose System which is compact and lightweight. Is there any instrument you would still like to play? A very interesting question with an equally interesting answer! I mentioned earlier on about my parents buying a Gulbransen Theatrum (like we'd seen Brian Sharp play) and I also later added an ARP pro soloist synthesiser, which Brian used to use in the 70s, so you can tell I was super fan of Brian! However, regretfully, we had to sell the Gulbransen to raise funds for my first touring instrument, which then was a Solton B1000s portable Organ (ironically made by Ketron in the 1980s) so if I had a choice, I’d love to go back in time to the Gulbransen, as it had a sound which still haunts me to this day, though I’d have to have a Leslie 710 with it this time! I doubt very much if I’ll ever find one, or certainly one that’s fully working. I’ve still got the ARP synthesiser, and I still enjoy listening to the live shows of Brian Sharp recorded on my Dad’s iconic Sony Stereo recorder! It’s just nice to reminisce about my younger days I suppose; I’m sure we all do it from time to time. I do have a Hammond T500 and 145 Leslie to remind me of my Crackerjack days! You are well-loved for your wonderful duet shows with Richard Bower, appearing together as KeyKlix. Has that musical partnership come to an end or may we still see you together from time to time?
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KeyKlix Richard & Ian KeyKlix Ian & Richard
The KeyKlix era will never be forgotten as far as I’m concerned. Richard and I shared many years of musical excitement in which we (and I’m sure Richard will agree) thoroughly enjoyed appearing together and it was lovely to play to the hundreds of enthusiastic supporters.
As my father often says to this day, nothing stays the same forever and things change (sometimes not for the better) and with Richard now residing in Scotland the logistics of doing future shows will prove to be impossible, especially with the ever increasing travel costs. Our final show together was at Cardiff on the ninth of December 2014 and Richard had to travel all the way down from Scotland especially for that Concert. It was quite an emotional time for the two of us. Do you have any other hobbies outside of music? My big hobby is Classic Motor Boating. I have many pictures of the wrecks I have restored but I appreciate it's not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if the boat doesn’t have a USB socket or MIDI, so I won’t bore everyone with this, although I did modify the electrics on one boat to put a USB on it to charge my phone! Incidentally one of the boats in my collection was made by the famous Austin Healey sports car company and the boat itself is featured on one of my Album covers.
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE My biggest achievement with the boats was when I was asked to display one of my pride and joys at the National London Boatshow at the Excel exhibition centre in 2015. Wow, what an experience! There were 10,000 visitors over the two weeks it was running. I wasn’t there every day, as manning the Classic Boat stand was shared in turn with my Classic Boat colleagues, but I was in my oils (in my element) talking to the visitors and answering their questions. Some of them were from over the pond in the USA!
One young chap there asked me, “What engine is in your boat?” I replied, “It’s a Ford Zodiac Six Cylinder.” He then said, “Ah, my grandfather had one of them." It's a change from being asked “How do you get such lovely strings" or “Have you edited that pan flute!” Can you tell us about any CDs you have for sale and how readers can obtain copies? During the quiet time of 2020 (enough said) I have recorded two new albums, one is a compilation album, featuring tunes that I recorded way back in the 80s but never put onto CD. The other is a brand new album, for which I’ve used my faithful Ketron set up, along with a Yamaha Tyros 4 that I’ve recently added to my studio collection. The album titles are 'Through the Years' and 'As Long As I Have Music', which is an appropriate title because, in this difficult world, music will always pull you though and lift your spirits. The recordings are finished and submitted for copyright clearance. I expect the albums themselves to go on sale around about April, so I'll let you know once they're out. Before we go, I'd like to thank all the readers for taking the time to read this article and look at the photos. I hope everyone finds it interesting. I sincerely look forward to seeing all the Cavalcadian enthusiasts in the not too distant future. Thanks Ian. It has been a joy to catch up with you. Thanks for sharing such an insight into your busy and fascinating life with us all. If you would like to book Ian to play for you, you can e-mail email@example.com or phone him on 01792 862 233 or 07976 578 726. We are delighted that he has agreed to appear at our Hemsby Beach Festival in March 2022.
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
MARCH / APRIL 2021 PAGE 33 English folk melody. To follow that, a piece of Mozart, the Birdcatcher’s Song from the Magic Flute. Even in the far-off days of my childhood, when conservation wasn’t such a hot topic, I used to fume at the idea of Papageno catching birds in a net and locking them securely into a cage. Even now, the lyrics send me into a frenzy:
This article is a triumph of hope over reality! I have chosen the music with spring firmly in mind, yet I am typing with the snow lying deep all around us. I must say it’s incredibly beautiful, but it’s put the tin hat on for our daily forest walk. Even getting to the bird table to feed the ever-increasing number of feathered visitors is a challenge! I hope that, by the time you’re reading this, the chiff-chaff will be see-sawing away and the spring flowers will be luxuriating in some warming sunshine. WEBSITE WOES I mentioned last time that you would find lots of new things on the updated version of my website - visit www.weedonmusic.com - but I lost my password and the web designer (the only one who could remind me of it) had moved house to an area so remote that he had absolutely no contact with the outside world. So, apologies if you went breezing along to see what I’d been up to and found... nothing! I have finally managed to contact the designer by carrier pigeon, so things should be moving ahead now. Also worth a look is my YouTube channel, Music for Good: Penny Weedon. I am now able to upload easy listening tracks again, which I hope you will enjoy. A FINAL HELPING OF SINGING TOGETHER
Now tell me, did you ever see so queer a kind of man as me? Yet young and old in every place are always glad to see my face. I spread my nets and whistle clear to catch the birds as they come near, And from this cage they cannot stir, for I am the jolly bird catcher. You may feel I’m an example of political correctness gone mad, but I’ve penned alternative words: Now tell me, did you ever see so kind a sort of man as me? Yes, young and old in every place are always glad to see my face. I film the birds for the BBC, and no-one can make a better job than me! For Spring and Winter Watch I film them all, and record the sound of their lovely call. SOUND SUGGESTIONS Style: Country @ 110bpm. I chose Country Songwriter on our Genos. Registration Memories Memory 1: Right 1: Acoustic Steel Guitar Style Variation C Memory 2: Right 1: Acoustic Steel Guitar Left: Vocal ‘Ooh’ Style Variation C Memory 3: Right 1: Acoustic Steel Guitar Left: Vocal ‘Ooh’ Style Variation B
Memory 4: Right 1: Flute Left: Strings Style Variation B Memory 5: Right 1: Flute Left: Strings Style Variation C
The demo track for this medley is ready and waiting for you on YouTube, at Music For Good: Penny Weedon under ‘Singing Together Medley 4: Spring Songs’. Here is the link - http://bit.ly/pennyspring NEXT TIME Having just penned new words for an existing tune, I hope to look at a new tune set to existing words, supplied by a Cavalcadian… I think I’ve extracted the best from this old BBC Radio Series for Schools, and today I’m winding up with two numbers suitable to the time of year. The first is, aptly, called Spring Song, which is a seventeenth century
If you would like to be in touch, you can email me at my NEW EMAIL - firstname.lastname@example.org - and you can also contact me via the website of course, www.weedonmusic.com
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SINGING TOGETHER MEDLEY 4: SPRING Trad. and Mozart arr. Weedon
Play small notes (the ones with no lyrics beneath) an octave higher than written. RH: Acoustic guitar LH: Vocal ooh Style: Country beat at 110 bpm
ORGAN & KEYBOARD CAVALCADE
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DVD 1 for Yamaha Genos, used only once, £15; Dust Cover for Yamaha Genos, Mint Condition, £15; Registicks for Genos, Instrumental Blockbuster £40, One More Time £20, Ballroom Favourites £20, Easy Listening Complete £40, Derek (Mob) 07434 148 806 (Norwich) 64 New Plug and Play Registrations for Ringway RS600eu, Organstars 1&2 Big Band and Classical, Complete on USB stick, £25 (includes P&P) or download £15. Also available registrations and Vintage organ samples for Yamaha Tyros / Genos /Korg PA-4X / Wersi (Prices Vary) email: email@example.com Phone 07526 909 677 (mob), For my YouTube demonstration videos search organaut Roland BK-7m Expander / Backing Module, £350, Yamaha Amplifier, AX563 AV, £225, Yamaha Mixing Console MG10XU MG10, £110, All in excellent condition and include cabling, Dan 01733 262 800 (Peterborough)
Back issues of OKC Magazine covering around the last 10 years, Free to collector, Herbert (mob) 07749 891 168 (Watford) WANTED: Wanted – Keyboards bought for cash, Christine, Countrywide Music Centre, 0191 704 2026 (T) Wanted – Electronic Organs bought for cash, Christine, Countrywide Music Centre, 0191 704 2026 (T) Wanted – Digital Pianos bought for cash, Christine, Countrywide Music Centre, 0191 704 2026 (T) Sheet Music, E-Z Play books, Keyboard Books, 01709 850 864 (Rotherham), (Mob) 07504 088 443 (T) Wersi CD Organ, Arcus, Wega, Spectra, Gala etc, can collect, cash paid, Chris, (Mob) 07806 834 642 / 01689 874 577 (Kent)
CORONAVIRUS CANCELLATIONS With current government guidelines ruling out the possibility of concerts far a little while yet to come, we haven’t included any concert listing in this issue. We have only been notified of a few potential dates in Morecambe (01425 427 657) and Wanstead (0208 530 3717) and it seems very unlikely they will be able to progress, but do phone the numbers given if you are in those areas to make contact. Let us hope it is not too long now until we can return to our lovely concerts of music for all to enjoy around the country.
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