National Home Electronic Organ Festival
Over 2,000 residential organ enthusiasts have just spent a whole week at the first National Home Electronic Organ Festival held in Pontin's Tower Beach Holiday Camp at Prestatyn, North Wales, and already plans are under way for another festival next year.
Bob Chappie, the festival organiser and Cled Griffin, the festival producer gathered together at Prestatyn many of the top concert and recording electronic organists, several of the largest organ companies and many of the finest teachers.
This made it possible to produce a festival which catered for every need of the residents, with a continuous daily programme of demonstrations, teaching-sessions and concerts.
To readers of this magazine the Wersi display would have been of considerable interest. All their organ, synthesiser and keyboard models were on display for anyone to sit down and play. Wersi also had the use of a chalet where interested constructors were shown the basics of assembling their kits and the principles of soldering.
On the Thomas stand every model was available and behind the scenes they had a small group teaching studio with six organists at a time under the expert instruction of Tony Bayliss. None of these people had ever played any kind of musical instrument before, yet by the end of the week they were able to play simple tunes using both manuals and pedals.
Trevor Daniels of Crumar Organs and David Shepherd of Rogers/Gulbransen Organs provided regular teaching sessions on many aspects of organ playing. Other organ companies represented included Conn, Lowrey, Cavendish, Kawai, National, Yamaha, Marlborough and Gem.
Special teaching groups were regularly held by Roy Neal, Alec Leader, Brian Hazelby and Brenda Hayward, who is the authoress of The Organ Master books featured recently as a special offer (August 1981 issue of E&MM). Brenda used an overhead projector to give a visual impact to her teaching of left-hand chord formation and creating introductions, middle fill-ins and endings, modulation and transposition; subjects which most home organists are never taught.
The evening concerts were the great attraction with Brian Sharp, Tony Back, Bryan Rodwell, George Blackmore, Trevor Daniels, Mark Shakespeare, Keith Evans, Jerry Allen, Dave Smith, Tony Peglar and many other artists providing a rich variety of talent and entertainment.
Whether your interest was in choosing a new organ, learning howto play better or in just being entertained The National Home Electronic Organ Festival provided every opportunity, with the added attraction of enjoying a week with like-minded 'Organ-Nuts!'