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Philip Evans


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SIDMOUTH: Piano and poetry pulls in the crowds

Thursday, 06 March 2014

There was a big turnout for a Piano, Poetry and Prose afternoon held on Wednesday, February 26th, and organised by the Sidholme Organ Restoration Association.
The performance attracted audience members from all over the local area, plus one or two from further afield, and extra chairs had to be organised to seat the 90 strong crowd who turned up for the free event.
“It’s all about this box of pipes behind me!” said organiser John MacGregor, referring to the gothic style organ built in 1848.
“To restore it to its former glory will cost approximately £15,000 and we’re hoping to raise this amount during the next two years.”
The afternoon was a mixture of piano duets and solos performed by John MacGregor and Christine Hemmingway, and poetry and prose read by Joyce and Brian Hall.
There was a variety of classical piano pieces by a range of composers including Edvard Grieg, Max Reger and British composer Percy Elliott, all of which sounded great thanks not only to the pianists, but also to the fantastic acoustics of the Sidholme’s Music Room.
The poetry readings, drawing from the repertoires of various writers such as Keats and Shakespeare, but also more modern musings from Chris Addison and Pam Ayres, followed the themes of marriage and rain, which was very appropriate considering the weather that we have been subject to recently.
The afternoon is one of many events planned over the coming year. There is going to be an evening of music including violin, baritone, and piano duets/solos held at the Methodist Church Hall in Sidmouth tonight (Tuesday, March 4th) at 7:30pm, a “Pie Supper” at Sidford Chapel on March 26th, a performance by Colyton Grammar School Young Musicians on April 2nd and an evening with celebrated theatre organist Trevor Bolshaw, planned for Friday, May 30th.
John MacGregor said: “We try to make most events free and last wednesday's performance raised £405, making the total raised so far to a little more than £3,500. We really appreciate the generous donations that we have received.”

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