Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Theatre Organ Concert... Amazing...

A friend invited me to an organ concert... Somewhere in
somebody's home. I was very ho hum but she was
insistent so off we went... I was in for the biggest treat
and a big surprise.
Since, I have found this article in the Christchurch
Press... Published last year...

Ray's Collection Just Keeps on Growing...

"When Ray and Nancy Drury first moved to Knightsbank, their
Halswell home had a three car garage.

Now it has expanded across the property to house
Ray's collection of more than 40.

Ray, 79, picked up his first car, a 1952 Riley 2, at an
auction by mistake.

"I never go to auctions because it's bad news," but he
walked in anyway just as the Riley was going under the
 hammer. It cost 3000 "something ot other" but 
Ray can't remember if it was dollars or pounds.

"That was the start of the disease."

His collection now spans cars, motorbikes and even a plane
suspended above the rest. 

He has never sold a car in his life, though he has given  some to
friends, or swapped them.

The plane was in Wanaka and Ray swapped a friend three cars
for it. The plan was to get it flying, but the costs were prohibitive
and he thought he might be too old to fly it anyway.

Then Nancy suggested he "put it up there where it costs no more

All the cars are driveable and registered. They are started up at
least every month and he and Nancy get to pick which car they
take on outings with their four grandkids.

He doesn't have a favourite. "I like them all, all of them have a story
to tell."

How does he get it past Nancy?

"A few of the more expensive ones are registered in her name as
a bit of a sweetener."

Born in Sydenham, Ray has lived in Christchurch his whole life.
He started an engineering business with his father in 1958. They
worked together for 30 years and "never had a fight."

The extra space for the cars has a dual purpose for Ray's other
passion, organs.

He is restoring a 1920 Wurlitzer, a theatre organ that was played
during silent movies. It was languishing in a damp building in
Wellington and probably had not been played in 60  years. Organist
Eric Apperley is helping convert the instrument to electric.

"Eric says he tried to tell me it was going to be a massive job, but
obviously I didn't hear him," Ray said, of the restoration that has
already taken a year... They hope to be close to finishing it for the
next Drury Theatre Organ charity concert in September.

At the concerts Ray and Nancy host international organists in
 Christchurch and donate the proceeds to local charities.

So when will he build his next garage?

"I think that might the one thing the wife will put her foot
down about. The more you build the more you fill." "

This is part of Ray's collection of cars... But I didn't go to
 see those this particular day...

I went to hear an organ recital... Which turned out to
be this restored 'Allen' Wurlitzer Theatre Organ being played by...

Donna Parker from the USA. Donna heard her first Theatre
organ when she was 10 and there and then decided that, that
was what she was going to do for a living... so 40? years
later she is an amazing and very accomplished, international,
 Theatre organ player.

 Here is the keyboard... Up close...

A bit daunting... Where would you start?

And the foot pedals underneath the seat...

It took two hands, two feet, two eyes and a very
musical brain to play this instrument...
And Donna was superb.

The audience... If you go to the next concert... Wear
warm clothes and take a rug...Email:
to be put on the mailing list.

A stop for a hot cup of tea or coffee...
Take your own mug and snacks...
No frills but beautiful music. This time the
charity that benefited was The Chris Ruth
Centre' a day service for over 21 year olds with
 very high disability needs.

And the concert continued... You can see her hands...

 And feet all working. Donna was very knowledgeable about music
and played a variety of classics, jazz and pops, telling us the
history and composer which made the whole afternoon
very interesting. Donna plays as a soloist but also with the
scroll further down to hear Martin Ellis...
And look here for her CD's.

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