At Coronation Hall, Spa Road, Woodhall Spa starting at 7.30 p.m.
“Music for Woodhall”
President Nicholas Martin B.E.M.
OUR ARTIST FOR NOVEMBER 5TH
Phil started playing the organ at the age of eleven. Whilst standing outside a local
organ shop waiting for his father, he was intrigued by the sounds coming through
the open shop door. He ventured inside and invested the now meagre amount of 50 pence
in his first organ lesson, and from this beginning has flourished a fruitful career.
After only two years of lessons at the age of thirteen, Phil began performing in
public. His first public appearances were performing for children of a similar age
and younger at children's Christmas parties in and around the Derby area, his home
town. At the same age he also became the resident organist at perhaps the best restaurant
in Derby at the time, the Golden Pheasant, where he played for three years, three
times a week, on the top of the range Hammond Regent Electronic Organ, entertaining
people from 8pm through until 11pm whilst they dined, and afterwards for dancing.
In fact because he was so young to be performing in public, he had to have a license
by the Local Education Authority to be able to perform at the restaurant. On many
an occasion he had the good fortune to meet celebrities such as Bob Monkhouse, Syd
Lawrence, Des O'Connor and many others who were performing in Derby at the time.
On leaving school at the age of 16, Phil enrolled on an A-Level Music Foundation
Course at South-East Derbyshire College, Heanor, Derbyshire where he remained for
3 years studying music. It is at this time when Phil also studied Piano and gained
his Grade 8 in both Piano playing and Theory & Composition with the Associated Board
of the Royal Schools of Music Examinations.
Highlights of Phil's career have been appearing at the age of 17 with Des O'Connor,
playing on the same bill as his idol Klaus Wunderlich, backing such artists as Norman
Collier, playing as supporting act every year with the late Joe Loss and his Orchestra,
also Syd Lawrence and his Orchestra at the Derby Assembly Rooms, where he has been
the resident organist since 1982 playing for both social and tea dances. Phil is
also a very accomplished pianist, having played the piano since he was 16 and passing
many exams and diplomas in quite a short space of time, including Grade 8 Associated
Board of the Royal Schools of Music, CT FVCM, Hon VCM.
With his most recent highlights of his career he can call himself truly international.
He has performed as far afield as America, Spain, Channel Islands where he has also
been on the "air waves" playing on Radio Guernsey. He has also performed in Germany
and Switzerland for Bohm Electronic GmbH at Organ Festivals. Broadcasting is definitely
not a new venture for Phil as he has been regularly featured on BBC Radio 2's programme,
The Organist Entertains.
Phil's life at the moment is a very busy one, performing from John O'Groats to Lands
End and teaching people in and around the Derby area, where Phil is also the President
of the Derby Organ & Keyboard Club.
Until 2000 Phil played in front of 30,000 people every September for Derby City Leisure
services with the East of England Orchestra at an open air concert in the park.
Not content to sit back on his laurels Phil recently studied for even more qualifications,
not music this time though, Microsoft qualifications. He is now also a qualified
IT Professional with MCP and MCDST after his name (Microsoft Certified Professional
and Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician).
When he is not entertaining people with his musical talents he is entertaining guests
at home, because his idea of relaxation is cooking a curry for friends - he may be
pretty hot on the organ but when it comes to an Indian curry, there is no-one hotter!!