Midlands & Wales – News

Programme Change for August

In a change to the previously issued programme, we now welcome Chris Powell back to Fentham Hall for our August concert.

April 2017 – Oh I do like to wed beside…

Cameron Lloyd spent the afternoon at Fentham Hall playing the Compton for a wedding reception.  All the guests arrived on an old Birmingham Transport bus.  Seaside theme so they had fish and chips!


January 2017 – Organ Maintenance

Each year we take a rest from concerts in January and your committee roll up their sleeves to carry out maintenance work on the organ.  This year we have focussed on improvements to make future maintenance and repairs easier to achieve.  We are also looking at other ways to improve the organ for organists and audience alike.  I’m pleased to say the organ is now back in one piece and we are looking forward to seeing many of you for our February concert where you will be entertained with four different local organists, each with their own difference in style.  It promises to be a very entertaining afternoon.

April 2016 – Brian Sharp Memorial Concert

In April the COS Midland and Wales District hosted a special memorial concert in honour of Brian Sharp who passed away earlier this year, featuring 4 different artistes and organised by Dorian Collins. The event was held on the evening of Saturday 23rd April with proceeds going to charity.

Members of the Midlands and Wales committee helped as throughout the afternoon one keyboard after another arrived with their respective artistes until the Compton was surrounded by a Yamaha Tyros 3, a Tyros 4 and a Tyros 5 as well as a Roland Atelia AT-900C electronic organ.

The concert opened at 7pm and each of the artistes played both the COS Compton and their own electronic instruments. First on the bill was organiser, Dorian Collins. Dorian played some rousing numbers on the Compton and also treated us to some amazingly realistic piano sounds on the Tyros.

Next up was Mike Sullivan who knew Brian for many years and produced some of his later CDs. Mike started on his Tyros with a sultry sax sound on Georgie Girl and continued to entertain us with a fabulous ‘Hooked on Classics’ selection as well as a few items on the Compton. Chris Powell then took to his Roland Atelier and also closed the first half, including one of Brian Sharp’s classics in his programme, the Ron Goodwin March from The Battle of Britain, Aces High.

After the interval, Dorian talked about his memories of Brian and shared a few of the stories (ones fit for a public audience at least). This was accompanied by a slide show that included pictures showing some of Brian’s LP covers.

Chris Powell entertained us further and in true B# style, Chris played Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 using a pre-programmed accompaniment on the Roland whilst playing over the top on the Compton to great orchestral effect.

Next on the billing we welcomed Andrew Gilbert to the stage. Andrew told us how he had attended many industry events with Brian over the years when they were both demonstrators and treated us to some amazing sounds from the latest Tyros 5. Andrew also played the Compton and enjoyed it so much he changed his programme on the fly so he could do more on the Compton – just the sort of thing Brian would have done, we can imagine him saying “No, I won’t do that one, let’s do this instead”.

The finale featured a historic recording of Brian playing whilst all four of our guest artistes joined in on their respective instruments for a number which Brian is arguable most remembered for, House of Dreams.

Our thanks to Dorian Collins for organising the event and to Dorian, Mike, Chris and Andrew for giving their services free of charge for the event. A total of £500 has been raised from the evening, donations at the regular Sunday concert, and rounded up by the Midlands and Wales Committee. A cheque will be present to a representative from the Deansley Centre Oncology Unit, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton at the June concert.

Michael Carter
COS Midlands and Wales