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Noting some of our special happenings through the years

The RWA Timeline

2009 Initial donation of £600 by Tony Akehurst given to be specifically used for Wurlitzer organ tuition to Rye College Students. In December, Richard Moore meets students to talk about the Wurlitzer and the proposed RWA. 2010 In January we hold a Wurlitzer Master-Class event with Len Rawle MBE attended by 12 Students, soon followed by another event with Chris Stanbury. One to One tuition started with Michael Wooldridge 2011 First field trip for students to the East Sussex National Wurlitzer Organ at Uckfield, plus our first student presentation evening with wonderful testimonials including from leading Australian Theatre Organist Dr. John Attwell who attended 2012 Seven students and three adults attended an all expenses paid trip to the ATOS Theatre Organ Convention in Los Angeles. BBC Radio2 broadcast a special 30 minute programme about the Rye Wurlitzer Academy and the recent USA trip with performances and interviews by the students 2013 Ten students attend a field trip to the North West of England to perform and listen to theatre organs in seven different venues over a four day period Leading American organist John Ledwon, resident organist at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, gave a masterclass presentation to our senior students 2014 A social gathering attended by over 50 students and parents at the East Sussex National, with an exclusive ‘backstage’ tour of the pipe chambers. Field trip to the Musical Museum at Kew Bridge for our entrants to the ATOS UK Young Theatre Organist of the Year (YTOY) Competition. The RWA’s Thomas Pickering wins the ATOS UK YTOY Competition 2014 with Jamyma-May Hanson as runner-up at Fentham Hall, Sollihull. Jamyma Hanson appears with Len Rawle MBE in concert at the Christie Organ in Ipswich. Students featured in the BBC Radio 2 programme The Organist Entertains, including interviews with both Thomas & Jamyma as part of the feature on the Young Theatre Organist of the Year Competition. Thomas appears at the superb ATOS Woking Wurlitzer as guest in Len Rawle MBE’s Christmas Concert 2015 Jamyma & Thomas appear in concert on Electronic Organ with Michael Wooldridge at the West Surrey Organ Club and are very well received. 55 students have now experienced the Rye Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ, whether it be for a short time or as a continuing student. American organist Tony Wilson travels over especially to perform two concerts in aid of the RWA and gives a masterclass about phrasing to all students plus one to one tuition to our senior students. Jamyma and Thomas appear in concert on the Wizard Compton at Filton, Bristol by kind invitation from Byron Jones. Students of RWA along with Adapt Theatre Singers perform at Bognor Regis Organ Society to a capacity audience and are superbly well received. The RWA feature at the ExtravORGANza Festival held at the East Sussex National, Uckfield. Jamyma, Charlotte and Lucy perform pieces on the fabulous Wurlitzer, the largest in Europe, and we show a short presentation film produced by RWA student David Swarbrick A field trip to the Musical Museum at Kew Bridge so that our students could experience their magical collection of instruments. Later in the month four students participated in the 2015 ATOS UK Young Theatre Organist of the Year Competition. Jamyma Hanson was runner up & Robert Eldridge was awarded the Christie Cup for the student showing most promise for the future. Lucy Crouch joins Michael to play a concert on his electronic organ for Bognor Regis Methodist Church. The audience so enjoyed her contribution that she has been asked to return in the summer 2016 Jamyma Hanson makes a return visit to play the Christie organ for the Ipswich Theatre Organ Club, this time in an ATOS UK Young Theatre Organist of the Year themed concert featuring the top three entrants plus Michael W. The RWA are invited to appear on a sailing of the historic excursion ship, the M.V. Balmoral, sailing from Rye Harbour to London’s Tower Pier. A group of seven students all played a Roland organ in three very well received concert spots during the voyage and then there was the special treat of seeing London’s traffic come to a stop and the famous Tower Bridge opening just so we could sail through! Four of our students take part in the ATOS UK Young Theatre Organist of the Year Competition in Barnsley. Lucy Crouch is awarded 3rd place along with the Dean Herrick Award and Freya Vicarey is awarded the Christie Cup for the student showing most promise. Jamyma Hanson is featured cameo artiste in the Singing Hills Christmas Concert. Freya Vicarey plays & Jayden Vicarey sings at the ATOS Woking Wurlitzer Christmas Concert 2017 Six students appear in concert at Horsham Organ Club and receive rapturous applause. Five students take part in the ATOS U.K. Young Theatre Organist of the Year Competition in Solihull. Robert Eldridge was the winner and Lucy Crouch was runner up. In the new YTOY Senior Section, Jamyma Hanson was runner up and was also awarded the Christie Cup by the judges for her musicality. Jamyma Hanson performs along side Michael and ATOS YTOY Winner 2016 Lewis Scott at the Keyboard Cavalacade festival in Norfolk, returning to Rye the day after to perform with Michael again at the Friends fo Rye Wurlitzer concert Jamyma Hanson performs in the ATOS London & South of England Chapter’s Christmas Concert on their fabulous 3/19 Wurlitzer in an event packed with special guests and hosted by Len Rawle MBE. 2018 Lucy Crouch joins ‘teacher,’ Michael Wooldridge to play a cameo spot on the 3/11 Old Windsor Compton theatre organ, in a special afternoon celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Theatre Organ Club of Great Britain. Lucy Crouch appears in an electronic organ concert at Ashford Organ Club in Middlesex with Lewis Scott, from Hull, who won the ATOS UK YTOY in 2016, playing on his Roland Atelier AT900C. They are both very well received. The RWA are delighted to travel to Middleton-On-Sea to play a Sunday afternoon concert for the Bognor Regis Organ Club, playing on Michael Wooldridge’s Yamaha EL700. This is the second time we have played for the club and, once again, we had a lovely time. Jamyma Hanson joins Michael Wooldridge and Lewis Scott to play a concert on the magnificent 4/41 dual purpose organ made by Hill, Norman and Beard at the fabulous Brighton Dome. In July four students take part in a special London & South East Chapter of ATOS Concert at Filton in Bristol and were very well received. Christmas sees Robert Eldridge guesting at the Singing Hills Wurlitzer and Freya and Jayden at Hailsham Organ Club.
Rye Wurlitzer Academy
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Tony Akehurst Tony Wilson Masterclass Horsham Organ Society Concert - Michael, Richard and the Students