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Paul Hale

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organ consultant · organ recitalist

News posts in 2020




Saturday 25th January

In 1963 I started at Solihull School as a grade 5 pianist and took piano lessons from the young Jill Godsall. Jill sorted out my technique and even tolerated my falling in love with the organ a year or two later. Jill had started teaching at Solihull in 1959 and remained teaching and playing there for an astonishing 60 years. Today this was celebrated as the Recital Hall in the David Turnbull Music School was renamed in her honour. 130 former pupils and friends gathered for this very happy event, including some mentioned on the 1970s Oxbridge Music Awards honours board I spotted alongside others on the wall [see below]. The school has an enviable record of success in educating fine musicians - long may it continue to do so, and long may the ever-vivacious Jill continue to pop in with helpful advice!

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Saturday 18th January

Speaking at the annual lunch of the Coventry & Warwickshire Organists Association today took me right back to my earliest days learning to play the organ, as a Music Scholar at Solihull School. Watching Nicholsons build and install the Chapel organ during 1965-1966 inspired my love of organ design and construction, which has gone hand in hand with playing ever since. Members of the Coventry & Warwickshire Organists Association (including the late Stephen Ridgley-Whitehouse, then the same age as me - 16) visited the new organ in 1968, an event I clearly recall. Speaking at their annual lunch I discovered that one member at the lunch had also been present in 1968. The intervening 52 years seemed to fall away!

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page updated  15-02-2020