Kevin Grunill has rapidly built a fine reputation as one of the UK’s finest keyboard exponents. Such is the extent of his musicianship that he is equally at home on the modern electronic instruments as well as the more traditional pipe organ and piano. Kevin was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire in 1972 and had shown an interest in all matters of a musical nature at an early age. However, it was not until the age of twelve that he began to learn the electronic organ as his chosen instrument. At the age of sixteen, Kevin began to take an interest in the sound of the mighty theatre organ and it was a natural musical progression that he should begin to study this type of instrument, for which he developed a different playing style to that of his electronic organ performances. It was not long after this that Kevin began performing concerts throughout the country, featuring both electronic and theatre organs.
In addition to his concert appearances and providing music in strict tempo for ballroom dancing, Kevin decided to continue his musical education and studied at a performing arts college before furthering his skills at Leeds University where, in 1994, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in music.
Since graduating from University, Kevin has performed at many of the country’s major musical venues, including The Town Hall, Ossett, The State Theatre, Kilburn, The Granada Television Studios Manchester, both The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London, The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare and the Opera House and Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Kevin has also performed at numerous organ societies and private residences both here in this country and abroad, including the City Theatre and Tuschinski Theatre in Amsterdam.
One of the highlights in Kevin’s career came in 1997, when he was chosen to be the new resident organist at the North Pier, Blackpool. In this prestigious position, he entertained hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers in a town that has a long tradition in presenting the very best in organ music. His duties in Blackpool often saw him at the console of the famous Wurlitzer organ in the Tower Ballroom, in addition to his performances at the North Pier. Kevin remained at North Pier until 2005 and continued his duties as one of the resident organists at the Tower Ballroom for a further year, leaving the Tower in 2006.
Additional to his concert and dance appearances, one of Kevin’s other interests is Musical Theatre. Kevin has worked as Musical Director and Producer on a number of theatrical productions, ranging from “The Good Old Days” to Pantomime.
With a constant number of concert dates throughout the width and breadth of the country, plus frequent appearances on national radio and television programmes, this likeable and easy-going Yorkshireman is winning an ever-increasing number of admirers, which is reflected in the constantly rising demand for his recordings.
One of Kevin’s main interests is the history and construction of the theatre organ. Kevin is heavily involved with the 4/10 Compton that once graced Birmingham’s Paramount/Odeon Cinema. This instrument is currently installed in the Penistone Paramount in South Yorkshire, where it is used on a regular basis for film and concert events. Such is the popularity of this instrument and the shows that Kevin presents, that, in March 2001, Pennine Yorkshire Tourism awarded the Compton shows, which featured Kevin, with the prestigious ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ award.
Not only is Kevin a highly acclaimed concert and dance artiste, who is in great demand at venues all over the country but also this young organist was awarded the ‘Special Personality of the Year’ award, which was presented to him by Pennine Yorkshire Tourism in March 2001. This coveted award was given to Kevin not only in recognition of his success at the North Pier and Tower Ballroom, Blackpool but also for the thousands of tourists that he has attracted to the Yorkshire area through his regular concert appearances.
In 2005, Kevin was asked to remove a Wurlitzer Organ from a private residence in Sutton in Ashfield. The organ had been purchased for installation in a new steam & organ museum on the outskirts of Scarborough. Having carefully removed the instrument, Kevin was asked to install the organ in its new home and his expertise and experience as an organ restorer and musician proved to be a winning combination when the first sounds of the Wurlitzer were heard in its new home. Following a substantial restoration, Kevin produced the first sounds from this instrument in 2008.
"The Scarborough Fair Collection" was opened in June 2008 and there was naturally only one choice for the appointment of Resident Organist. Kevin was delighted to be able to accept this position, which sadly came to an end at the beginning of 2011.
On Thursdays at 1.00pm, Kevin gives a performance of light popular music on the magnificent Allen 317ex Digital Theatre Organ at St Andrews Church, Penistone, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire.
Kevin will also be featured at the following festivals this year.
|Concerts in 2016|
|February 18th||Harrogate Electronic Organ & Keyboard Club|
|March 14th||Banstead Organ and Keyboard Club|
|March 15th||Bournemouth Electronic Organ Society|
|March 17th||Bournemouth Pavilion|
|April 17th||Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust (more details)|
|April 18th||Nene Valley Organ Club - Northampton|
|April 24th||Friends Of Rye Wurlitzer|
|April 26th||Hastings & Bexhill Organ & Keyboard Society|
|September 8th||World of Music (formally North East Derbyshire Organ Society)|
|September 17th||Penistone Cinema Organ Trust (more details)|
2-30pm ‘Rule Britannia’ with The All-Star Brass Ensemble.
|September 21st||Llay Organ Society|
|September 22nd||Kingswinford and District Organ Society|
|October 18th||Bideford Keyboard and Organ Club|
|October 23rd||Harworth Christie Organ Enthusiasts|
|October 25th||Thanet Electronic Organ & Keyboard Club|
|November 3rd||North Staffs Organ and Keyboard Club|
|November 8th||East Coast Organ Society|
|November 9th||Lincoln Electronic Organ and Keyboard Society|
|November 24th||Stockport Organ & Keyboard Club|
|December 10th||Penistone Cinema Organ Trust (more details)|
‘A Compton Christmas Cracker’ with Jonathan Eyre and The Penistone Ladies Choir.
|Concerts in 2017|
|March 1st||Association of Organ Enthusiasts (AOE)|
|April 23rd||Sunderland Theatre Organ Preservation Society|
|July 5th||Grimsby and District Electronic Organ Society|
|July 27th||Taunton and Wellington Keyboard Club|
|September 7th||Weston Organ and Keyboard Club|
|September 17th||Burtey Fen Collection|
|September 19th||Bideford Keyboard and Organ Club|
|September 20th||St Austell Organ & Keyboard Club|
|November 12th||Singing Hills Wurlitzer|