Organist is on song even after 60 years

Brian Tidy, at St James The Apostle church in Cowley, has been playing the organ for 60 years

Brian Tidy, at St James The Apostle church in Cowley, has been playing the organ for 60 years

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

AFTER 3,000 church services and 400 weddings, you would think church organist Brian Tidy would want to take it easy.

But after 60 years of playing holy music, the organist at St James Church, Cowley, has no plans to stop yet.

Worshippers will now recognise his decades of service at an event next month.

The 83-year-old began his career on April 1, 1954 aged 24, having moved from Worcester.

The Cavendish Park, Didcot, resident said: “I just enjoy it so much.

“I think the highlight of my career was when the choir sang for the Royal College of Church Music.

“That was fun. I played the organ and it was a really nice choir.”

A committed opera fan, his favourite tune is Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Evita.

The father-of-five said: “At weddings and such I often plays things like The Beatles, which is always fun, and at Christmas I play songs like All I Want For Christmas Is You, which people like.”

He spent 43 years as an acade-mic clerk for Oxford University’s medical school.

He said: “I wanted to continue doing it after I retired, because it is something to keep me active really.

“I am not planning on giving up just yet. I will just keep going as long as I can I think.”

The church is now hoping people who have known and worked with Mr Tidy will attend the Saturday, April 5 event at the Beauchamp Lane church.

For once, Mr Tidy will get a rest when Britain’s Got Talent 2012 stars Piano a Deux perform.

Worshipper and friend Lesley Williams said: “Obviously over a period of 60 years he has had to adapt to the worship and music styles preferred by a range of clergy.

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“While we know this has required him to play styles he does not personally appreciate, he has always been eminently professional.

“We could not begin to count how many weddings, baptisms and funerals he has enhanced.”

She added: “There was an overflowing church for Brian’s 50-year celebration in 2004, with many representatives of his wider musical interests attending.

“We are keenly anticipating topping that when we acknowledge these outstanding 60 years of service in April 2014.”

Tickets for the 7.30pm event – preceded by a 5.30pm champagne buffet – are £10 and can be bought by calling 01865 747680

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