The musical spectrum is very wide, encompassing”classical”, “popular classical”, “show music”, “jazz”, etc. How you rank the styles is very much a matter of personal choice. The Penrith Organ Society aims to provide a programme of music which, while it might not always be exactly to your taste, will appeal to the widest audience, Thus, it is probably best described as “middle of the road”.
The majority of the guest artistes play a modern, two manual electronic organ.
The society was formed in 1975 by a small group of players who wanted to share their musical interest and involve others in the pleasure of music performed on an electronic organ. They met in the Evergreen Hall (which is still our venue) but,no being large euough in numbers to warrant using the stage,they grouped themselves around the organ,which was located in the centre on the floor. They took it in turns to play and to discuss the various tips about how to get the best out of the organ,and general points of playing technique-what we would now call a “workshop”.
During the embyro stage there was no question of being able to buy a “club organ” but they were generously loaned an instrument by Creighton & Tweedle who, conveniently, had a shop, only about 100 yards away,that specialised in organs and pianos.
The first President was Robinson Cleaver who had previously been the resident organist at the Lonsdale Cinema In Carlisle.When he retired his place was taken by Mr Dennis Tweedie,one of the founder Members.
As the saying goes,”From small acorns come great oak trees”,and since those early days the Society has grown to its current strength of 93amd we reguarly attract between 10 and twenty visitors,some of whom travel from a 30 mile radius and sometimes from further a field. Not unexpectedly, the growth in the membership has come largely from people who love to listen to music well played on an organ, rather that from people who are competent amateurs themselves- though we suspect some Members are better players than they will admit!
In the early mid 1990s it became obvious that, if the Society was to progress further, ot would be necessary to invite better guest artistes and this policy, in turn, required an increase in subscription to fund it. Even now the subscription is only £25 a year and £2 on the door each concert which makes it by far “The Best Value Entertainment In Town”! It would be invidious to quote names but, as a result of this policy, we are now able to attract artistes that are known nationally, and some internationally.
A more recent change introduced by the society has been a video camera/projection screen, one of the few such installations in the UK. This is described in more detail below.
Penrith and the lake district attract holiday-makers, some of whom time their vists to coincide with a particular artiste’s concert. Why not treat yourself to a long weekend combining walking, sightseeing and music?! there is plenty of local accommodation ranging from caravan sites, 4 star hotels to good “B&Bs”. You will find the Penrith Tourist Office on 01768 867466 or see below for website.
We look forward to welcoming you soon!
We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm(except where shown in the Programme) in the Evergreen Hall, Bluebell Lane, Penrith, CA11 7LU. The Hall, which can perhaps be best described as a Community Centre, can comfortably seat 125 people and has a raised stage at one end. Tea and Coffe are available at the interval. Ample free parking is available after 6pm “right next door”, and there is good disabled access
Generally 8.00pm to 10.00pm on the second Tuesday of the month but full programme times are available here
Visitors £5.00 payable at the door (under 16s accompanied by adult £1.00)
Membership – £25.00 for the year & £2 at the Door each concert
Contacts – Chairman 07766223497 – Secretary 01768 862761
Penirth Organ Society Email email@example.com
Interval, Tea or Coffee is £1p. Raffle extra
Penrith Tourist Office 01768 867466 – Email www.visitenden.co.uk
A Very Busy Organist
On Tuesday, despite the freezing temperatures outside, the Members of the Penrith Organ Society were joined by eleven visitors and were richly rewarded for their resilience in braving the weather by an outstanding performance from Elizabeth Harrison. Elizabeth, who lives at Chipping, near Preston, has visited Penrith many times before and she always gives a performance to remember, often in more ways than one!
Elizabeth made a lively entrance with the Thunder And Lightning Polka, plus her signature tune Something Tells Me That Something Is Going To Happen Tonight (Cilla Black), followed by Out Of The Blue and Sporting Occasions, the latter two tunes often used to introduce TV sporting broadcasts. She followed these with Magic Is The Moonlight, Too Good To Be True and the 1960s Run Away.
By this stage, any members of the audience who had not heard Elizabeth before must already have realized they were hearing something different! Firstly, she is one of only a handful of lady performers to have reached the “Premier Division” of players. Secondly, since she last appeared in Penrith (February 2011) she has changed her organ to an even more flexible instrument and has joined the Team of players chosen to represent the Roland company – one of the few manufacturers still selling organs in the UK. She can, of course, read music but she has never had any formal music training and relies on learning every tune by ear, which must be a very slow process!
After adjusting the registration to the “Wurlitzer Sound”, she continued with a “Blackpool Tower” medley including Bye Bye Blackbird, Music Music Music, Bye Bye Blues and several other, well-known, numbers. Tune followed tune, until she led up to the interval with the march Blaze Away.
After the break, and before sitting down at the organ, Elizabeth told the audience, in a most amusing way, a bit more about herself! She has the knack, not possessed by many entertainers, of making it all sound “good fun”! In addition to playing for organ societies (in the UK, the Channel Islands plus in Europe) and farming twenty acres, she holds licences to drive heavy goods vehicles and buses, has a collection of fifteen tractors, some of which she uses in her landscaping business, and many other activities to keep her a very busy lady! Where does she find the time and energy to fit it all in!?
Back to the music: Elizabeth opened the second half of her programme with Begin The Beguine followed with a very “finger twisting” tune by Robert Farnham called The Peanut Polka. The second half was flying by, always a good sign, but one tune, The Music Box Dancer, deserves special mention: one could almost see a ballet dancer gracefully twirling, on points, on top of a music box. Perhaps Elizabeth is a thwarted ballet dancer!
Returning to the more serious pieces, she led up to the “witching hour” with a Latin American medley incorporating Quando Quando and Amore Amore, before ending with I Could Have Danced All Night and Non Stop, suitably reflecting her highly charged life style! The audience had heard a superb performance: the variety of the “easy listening music, the imaginative registrations and her down-to-earth approach must surely have pleased everyone listening. But, of course, they called her back for an encore, for which she played a medley of Strauss waltzes.
Visitors will be welcome at the next concert, in the Evergreen Hall, at 8.00pm on Tuesday 9th. April, when Andrew Seddon will make a welcome return visit to Penrith. The full programme for 2013, can be seen in the Tourist Office or on www.organfax.co.uk/clubs/penrith/
Click on the map and drag around to get a better idea of where our venue is. You can also zoom in. Click on the marker to see address details.
|February 12th||Mark Thompson|
|March 12th||Elizabeth Harrison|
|April 9th||Andrew Seddon|
|May 14th||A.G.M Mark Smith & Muriel Wilkinson (more details)|
Concert Starts About 8 PM
|June 11th||Tony Stace|
|July 9th||Ian Griffin|
|August 13th||Paul McCulloch|
|September 10th||Nicholas Martin|
|October 8th||Ben Scott-Hyde|
|November 12th||John Bowdler|
|December 3rd||Chris Powell (more details)|
First Tuesday In December 7.30pm Start