Stephen was born in Taplow, Bucks in 1952 and spent the next 21 years living around the Home Counties during which time he studied piano and classical organ (with Anne Jones, Alan Parry and Roy Wise) to Grade 8. On leaving Shenfield High School 6th Form, Stephen was offered a position at Hammond Organ UK on the recommendation of Ena Baga whom he had come to know through local Hammond Organ Societies (and the Ideal Home Exhibitions). Stephen was appointed assistant to Keith Beckingham and to George Blackmore (the Musical Director) at the time when Ena, Bryan Rodwell, Hubert Selby, Len Rawle and Stanley King were regular visitors to the office. Stephen was later offered a job as demonstrator/salesman/in-house teacher at the famous Cavendish Organ Centre in London's West End - this, Stephen eagerly accepted. During his time there, many lunch hours were spent at the New Gallery Theatre Wurlitzer in Regent Street (now a Burberry Fashion store - complete with Wurlitzer!). Saturday mornings were "lesson time" with John Stewart at the Gaumont State Theatre, Kilburn, and he also continued his classical studies at the Royal College of Organists although he dare not tell his tutors there of his theatre organ activities!
In 1974, Stephen moved up to Blackpool to go into partnership with organist and photography expert John Nunns and together they opened the "Camera & Organ Centre" selling a wide range of photographic equipment together with electronic organs and keyboards and also famously stocking a vast range of theatre organ LP records - much visited by theatre organ enthusiasts when in Blackpool. Together and with friends, Stephen and John formed Blackpool Keyboard Club" organ society of which John is still Chairman and Stephen still Secretary - 37 years later!
The retail shop closed some years ago and Stephen now has a busy music teaching practise specialising in piano, organ, keyboard and music theory - teaching adults and children both in 1-2-1 and classes as well as, from time to time, examining keyboard studies and popular vocals for the ICMA Examination Board.
Stephen is quite busy on the organ concert scene and has appeared at various theatre organ venues including the Paramount Organ Studios, Bolton, The Cannock Wurlitzer, the LTOT Heritage Centre at Peel Green on many occasions, Stockport Town Hall, Ossett Town Hall, The Rex, Elland, Wolverhampton Civic Hall, ST. Cuthberts Church, Lytham, The Plaza, Stockport and Blackpool Opera House, Fentham Hall, Harworth - with forthcoming invitations to play again at Harworth, LTOT Heritage Centre in 2016....and at Shrewsbury Buttermarket in and again at Victoria Hall Saltaire (COS) in 2017
When he manages to find time, Stephen does have other hobbies - cooking, travel (he speaks several languages) and model railways - a large layout occupying a room at home.
The latest addition to the "hobbies" is a 4-manual 26 rank theatre organ based on the Hauptwerk Paramount 450 programme but housed in a beautiful Wurlitzer-style console, fully restored and re-painted by John Nunns. It has 80 pistons and 235 Wurlitzer replica stop tabs. Though the instrument is not yet fully completed in all aspects, it is playable....usually into the wee small hours!
|Concerts in 2017|
|February 19th||Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust|
|March 29th||Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust - Heritage Centre|
|April 19th||Blackpool Opera House (more details)|
|April 22nd||Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust - Heritage Centre (more details)|
St. George's Day Concert
|August 20th||Friends Of Rye Wurlitzer|
|September 10th||Cinema Organ Society @ Victoria Hall, Saltaire, W. Yorks|
|September 13th||St. John's Church, Thornton, Near Blackpool (more details)|
"Theatre Organ" at the Makin Organ
|September 27th||Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust - Heritage Centre|