The new Blue Coat Organ Scholarship got a big boost when our two top organists Simon Cheung and Daniel Greenway played on the world famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer organ, an event covered by ITV Granada Reports, the Daily Telegraph and BBC local radio.
They performed for hundreds of dancers who packed the huge, opulently gilded Ballroom at the Tower which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. It showed pipe organ music can play a major role in popular entertainment and learning to play the organ can be enjoyed by young people.
This is part of the Blue Coat For All project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, focused on restoring Shirley Hall’s historic and rare Father Willis organ (due to be reinstalled in October) and a range of community outreach programmes.
Daniel said: “Many young people haven’t heard organ music outside churches and it will be a revelation to hear it in a ‘fun’ environment like the Tower Ballroom.”
Simon added: “It was so exciting to play on the Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer and show the Organ Scholarship’s amazing opportunities. The best part was sitting on the Wurlitzer as it rose up onto the stage!”
The Organ Scholarship, sponsored by YOST (Young Organ Scholars’ Trust) also aims to nurture female talent in this elderly male-dominated music area. The first two Blue Coat Organ scholars, Year 9 students George Ke and Olivia Stone will start lessons in autumn term 2019, using the restored Father Willis organ, the School Chapel organ and Liverpool Anglican and Metropolitan cathedral’ organs.
If you would like to get involved and support our Organ Scholarship Pipe Up fundraising campaign please click here.
To view ITV Granada’s report please click here.
Photo credit: Jason Roy