Ongar Music Club – A Personal History


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This book chronicles the remarkable story of Ongar Music Club from the lounges and record players of this market town in Essex to fully-fledged public performances, given by many of the world’s most distinguished musicians, including Lord Yehudi Menuhin, John Lill CBE, Sir Peter Pears, Dame Janet Baker, Benjamin Grosvenor, Stephen Isserlis and Dame Eva Turner.

The club founded the prestigious Essex Young Musician of the Year competition in 1984, and in 1986 it formed a jazz section, which now runs independently. It is one of the most respected jazz clubs in the country, having presented many of the great names from the world of jazz, such as Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk, Maxine Daniels, Digby Fairweather, Cy Laurie, Humphrey Lyttleton and Ronnie Scott.

15 in stock (can be backordered)



Roderick Elms’ career as a pianist, organist and composer has taken him to many fascinating parts of the world, working with eminent artists, orchestras and conductors. He has broadcast for the BBC for more than forty years and has made many recordings.

He gave Ongar Music Club’s first solo recital in 1975 and has maintained a close relationship with the club ever since – meeting his pianist wife Joanna Smith through the club’s annual Essex Young Musician of the Year competition. He served on the club’s committee for thirty-five years and, more recently, on the Board of Trustees.



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