Judging by the reaction of the audience, the entertainment provided for the WEOS 200th concert on 15th November was totally suited to the occasion, as the best attendance of the year welcomed guest artiste Nicholas Martin BEM from Leicester. Indeed, it was Nick (as he is known to his fans) who helped to launch the Club by performing its very first concert in July 2002.
In 1981 Nick was offered the post of resident organist at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool – at just seventeen years of age – and went on to play there for seven days a week during the 1981 and 1982 seasons. Quite literally, his dream had come true! Another major highlight of Nick’s musical career was an initial offer (in 1985) to perform in concert on the West Coast of Florida. Since that first visit he has continually been asked to return and has made over thirty trips across the Atlantic, where he has performed to large audiences.
Nick has two sons who are both afflicted with autism and their condition inspired Nick and his wife to found a charity in 2001 to help autistic children and their families – a charity the Weyhill club has supported on many occasions. Nick is the main fundraiser for the cause, collecting donations at many of his musical engagements, and since the charity’s inception well over £400,000 has been raised. For his charity work in the local community, Nick was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in 2015.
The Weyhill concert, which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Test Valley, Cllr. Ian Carr MBE and his wife Beryl, was pre-planned to include several items which, for a number of reasons, had links to the Club and its history. The first half included a version of the Club’s signature tune, Weyhill Overture (previous versions being known as ‘Weyhill Fair’ and the ‘Weyhill March’), whilst Nick added to the celebration with Congratulations and the Anniversary Waltz. Even the Warsaw Concerto (theme for the film ‘Dangerous Moonlight’) was appropriate considering that the composer, Richard Addinsell, had once briefly lived in nearby Appleshaw Manor.
The second half included Angel In Blue, this being the tune that led to the Club’s formation (details of which are included on the Club’s website) along with a variety of music commensurate with the recent Armistice Centenary. Amongst the tunes selected to close the evening was We’ll Meet Again – probably the wish of everyone present in the hall, but whether Nick’s wish to be considered for the Club’s 300th concert (in around eight years’ time) can be fulfilled is entirely in the ‘lap of the gods’.
Read a full review of the concert here www.weyhill-eos.co.uk
The WEOS Christmas Concert is being staged at the Fairground Hall, Weyhill on Thursday 20 December, when the guest artiste is ANDREW NIX from Selby, North Yorkshire. Tickets are priced at £5 in advance (from Just Teasin, 40 Bridge Street, Andover) or £6 at the door. For further information about the Club telephone 01264 323213 or visit www.weyhill-eos.co.uk