Where next for Norfolk organist after 60 years making beautiful music?
PUBLISHED: 15:48 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:05 25 April 2018
A Norfolk grandfather cannot wait to go on holiday again, so he can play the organ in the local church.
Dr Peter Boshier asks to play the organ wherever he goes in the UK or abroad.
He is now marking 60 years as an organist, having played at St Paul’s in London and King’s College, Cambridge, among many other venues.
The grandfather-of-one, from Lower Street, Horning, said: “I feel fairly old now. I’m pleased that I’m still playing the organ. I love doing it.
“I had piano lessons aged six, and became a choir boy at eight. Since then I’ve held several posts as church organist and choirmaster, and more latterly as a freelance organist, playing when I’m asked.
“We moved here about 18 months ago, and my daughter is arranging for me to play the organ at Norwich Cathedral, to celebrate my 75th birthday, which was on April 13. St Paul’s organ, which is a particularly magnificent instrument, is probably my favourite.”
He said his wife Thea was very tolerant of his hobby.
“Everytime we go anywhere I ask to play the organ at the church or wherever. Remarkably, no one has ever said ‘No’, which is amazing as they are very expensive instruments. I have played in scores of churches and cathedrals.”
After leaving school, he worked in music publishing, at a private school for children with learning difficulties, and at the BBC, and then qualified as a schoolteacher.
At the age of 15, he was an assistant organist at Kingston-upon-Thames parish church and a member of the choir.
He was also appointed visiting organist at the (then) US Army/Airforce base at Bushy Park, where the congregation thrust money into his hands to thank him for playing.
He taught music and mathematics at a school in Suffolk and, in 1969, took on the headship of a small adult education centre based on the school. Adult education was the focus of his professional life thereafter.
In his 20s he had organ lessons at St Paul’s cathedral, and he has played at the cathedrals of Southwark, Guildford and St David’s.