News

Thursday 19th April 2018

If you are visiting this web-site for the first time, a very warm welcome; and for those of you who are 'old hands' welcome back! I hope you will enjoy having a look around - especially on the Radio page some fun interviews and in the Gallery section some formal as well as informal shots. The latest on the Gallery pages are some shots of my 60th birthday 'party' concert in my home church on 3rd June last year.

Also from last year is the interview with Tim Daykin on Radio Solent a couple of weeks beforehand - have a listen on the Radio page.

Welcome to Spring and some amazingly warm weather for this time of year! I hope you are enjoying it. I suppose there is not a huge amount to report since I last wrote here... last Sunday it was a pleasure and privilege to have played at the Rowans Hospice annual memorial service in Portsmouth Cathedral. A lovely, moving service and an opportunity for families and friends to remember loved ones who have died in the amazing care of Rowans, the hospice serving the Porstmouth area.

Please note the change of office address - just around the corner and hopefully the same telephone number being connected as I write!

Last month I attended a fabulous performance of The School of Rock at Churchers College, Petersfield - a fantastic show, with brilliant acting, singing and direction - and hard to believe those on stage were aged around fourteen! I must admit to not knowing the film or show, or any of the songs, so it has been fun learning a couple of the ballads - very much Andrew Lloyd Webber - including 'If Only You Would Listen' and 'Where Did the Rock Go?' - check them out if you haven't heard these songs.

Here in my home church, St Peter's, we are celebrating Holy Week with a reflective service in church each evening this week. I am also very much looking forward to the Service on the Green at Stubbington, a neighbouring village, on Good Friday morning. I have played as part of the music group leading worship for a number of years, but we are not leading on this occasion. The weather is not predicted to be particularly Spring-like!

This time last year preparations were well in hand for my sixtieth birthday concert 'party' in my home church - a fabulous occasion with the church packed - thank you so much for supporting and entering into the spirit.

The celebrations continued with a short tour of cathedrals and Bath Abbey. I had a wonderful time, playing in glorious surroundings to some lovely audiences. Thank you to all of you who came along to support - it was a pleasure and privilege to perform for you. In Peterborough Cathedral I received my first-ever standing ovation - thank you SO much - an incredibly humbling experience. You really joined in the medleys of hits from 1957 and the 60s too! Thank you to you all for your kindness and birthday wishes. I was sad that it had to come to an end but have some amazing memories.

Also in Peterborough Cathedral was the amusing moment a piano tuner from Poland came to the rescue. I had been playing (tinkling!) earlier in the morning and noticed one of the notes of the lovely but ageing Steinway was sticking. By an amazing co-incidence who should be listening but a member of a visiting orchestra from Poland, Krzysztof (Chris) who just happened to be a piano technician! He knew exactly what do and using a hairpin of one of the female members of the orchestra made a temporary repair on the spot! It was a lovely moment.

I did laugh for the rest of the tour as I happened to come across a hairpin on the floor of one cathedral. Not having any use for it myself :-) I have kept it in my pocket in case I should need it again!!

I am taking a break from performing but I continue to write. John (Daniels) and I have also made contact with a music library in the US that is interested in our music, which is exciting. I am increasingly being asked to play at funerals too - something I always consider an enormous privilege.

On the Radio page are some interviews which hopefully give an insight into my life and music. For more details on Blue Is the Sky go to http://rsmithcompany.moonfruit.com/#/blue-is-the-sky/4590394637 (you will need to type it in your browser).

I would like to share with you a comment from one of the vergers at Peterborough Cathedral that meant a lot to me. The cathedral is used to holding more formal lunchtime concerts during the summer months, but he said that some of them can be a bit highbrow and described my music as being 'inclusive rather than exclusive' - appealing to a wide range of tastes. I took what he said very much to heart and would hope that my music always serves to draw people in rather than turn them away.

And it is always heartening, and humbling too, for both John and I, to receive and read your correspondence. Thank you. I would like to share one of the messages with you and have put it on the Reviews page. It is from a lady who has heard me in Norwich Cathedral, and I am grateful for her kind permission to reproduce it, anonymously.

I am increasingly being asked where our music is available. Apart from this web-site's Online Shop, and a number of internet sites, our CDs are on sale in a number of Christian bookshops around the country. All are available through Amazon and/or to download via a number of internet sites including iTunes and CD Baby. Simply go to one of these sites and type the title and/or our names in the Search box.

Happy listening!

Charles

Something Music Ltd