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Music, live and online

Having been misled by the main music venues in Manchester and Stockport once too often, I now meet my musical needs with smaller venues and trusted organisers. Below are some interesting musical sources in the Stockport area, and then some sources of music for computer download.

If you are a music maker or a small music venue (a church for example) within a bus journey from Stockport, and would like your music listed below, please let me know. For the present this offer is limited to instrumental music- from solo to orchestral, with no vocals and no heavy drums.
If any church organists within bus range of Stockport would like their church organs recorded, CD quality, free of charge, please contact me. Too many organs are collapsing and being abandoned, completely unrecorded. Free recording of other instrumentalists may be possible (up to 24 bit recording, 32 bit editing - my microphone has a 20kHz limit).
contact me

Diary listing Select this link: Music in the next week or so in date order summary, in the Stockport and Manchester area.
Alas, now all too little music as everyone is adding vocals or requiring online booking. If anyone knows of local music -no singing- please let me know! PLEASE- is there any music out there that is public, under fifteen quid, no drums and no vocalists, and NO requirement to book in advance? (Especially no obligatory online booking!!!) PLEASE TELL ME! Access by public transport is also required please. When the last bus or train is 6pm, a concert at 7pm is not on.


Actually listening to what we call a "fairground organ" - which includes "concert organs", "dance organs" and other automated pipe organs, is not easy. Listening to a lot of fair organs is really hard (unless you live near one of the huge organ rallies). Buying good quality recordings is difficult and a lot of online videos have a lot of crowd or wind noise. A solution: Visit Tom Gavioli's youtube channel- he also has additional music on other streaming services. Great organs, superb recordings from several decades. Many of the organs have fascinating histories and are worth researching.

Manchester still has a once fine but now sadly needing serious restoration Cavaille-Coll Organ which few locals know about.

We are very fond of brass band music, and after some heavy immersion have decided we really prefer the bands in the fourth section to the Championship bands, who are too loud for us. But catching a lower section band is difficult as they tend to play rarely and in small venues.

Stockport Brass (formerly BT Band, formerly POEU Band) - alas the loss of sponsorship at last led to the demise of this historic band in early 2009.

Brass Band music - we love- in a long Winter season (September to March), concerts are held on some Sunday afternoons at the bandroom of Glossop Old Band (which sells real ale) but Glossop concerts may be cancelled with zero notice (Glossop is the gateway to the infamous Snake Pass) and the website may not be up to date. (There is a poster up in a Glossop taxi office window and one outside the bandroom).

Brass Band news is available from 4 Bars Rest | IBEW directory of UK brass bands.
Brass Band contest results. On each band's page the Whit Friday results (where applicable) are below "normal" contest results.
Whit Friday contest details from Tameside results 2011-2017. From archive.org, Tameside results from 2005-2011.
On the Northern side, Saddleworth Whit. also we have the     Archive.org copy of Saddleworth site.
Don't miss next Whit Friday, 14th June 2019. Many Tameside venues around 40 bands, several Saddleworth venues over 70.

There is a fine (but incomplete) inventory of organs to be found at National Pipe Organ Register- note that their website requires javascript to work.

Stockport Plaza in the centre of Stockport (Mersey Square) has rather fewer organ open days than it used to but the organ is a lovely and little changed 1932 Compton pipe organ well worth hearing. The open days are from 10am to 1pm, come and go as you please, hot drink and a cake available on sale. Additional donations welcome. The next listed date is Saturday 2nd February 2019. Sometimes there are extras, maybe a short film or piano piece. Alas also sometimes a volunteer vocalist. An opportunity to see this 1932 art deco cinema without (usually) having to put ear plugs in to reduce the unsuitable jet engine loud modern amplification system which blights most Plaza live shows. Also no smoke machines and no strobe lighting. As close as they can get these days to the entertainments of 1932!


Online Music

An interesting site, Unheard Beethoven has mp3 and midi format files of music you probably haven't heard.
MID music files are disappearing! But try Classical Composers Midi which is now moving to mp3 files.

Births and deaths of UK musicians at Music Remembrance

Listen to...

COPYRIGHT- To the best of my knowledge all links below are to legitimate sources who pay appropriate royalties - in at least one case, music is happily supplied to the station by the performers, directly. Any copyright disputes? I will remove any links if requested by an authorised and recognised party (proof of identity and status required).

Lots of early British light music to download, especially Music While You Work from Masters of Melody - if their page looks blank, either disable css or enable graphics, their page requires one of these options!

To download old radio (OTR) MP3s, visit Old Radio World.
With a massive number of really old radio shows, RadioEchoes.com- *Requires javascript* After a long absence due to hackers the site is being rebuilt.
I found a wonderful archive of old shows from Californian radio station kpfa - kpfa history courtesy of John Whiting. Some really excellent programs, drama, music, poetry, lots, and the quality is way up there with the classical BBC radio.

Xiph.org has a genre based search, links all seem to work, no script required- what a media website should be. Here you may find Disney Paris or Japanese Girl Bands... I like this web site.

From Listenlive.eu, European radio stations. Current UK radio streams from www.radiofeeds.co.uk/
My niche interests in music has led me to some little known stations and you may wish to try these out (links are to their web sites, the streams or downloads can be found somewhere on the page!):
Streaming classical organ music is a little rarer but I like to listen to Positively Baroque (lovely but requires javascript to select the required stream) or a different program on OrganLive.

Older music - from the 1960's: Gold returned to several regional DAB transmitters, as well as medium wave and online. You can find them through the above link to RadioFeeds- search for Gold. They also have Absolute 60s.

A new very small radio station in East Anglia (Norwich), classic1 (link to 128k pls stream), has arrived with classical music- a most rare commodity in these days of thousands of radio channels- a welcome change to the widespread heavy bass and beat.


Ronald Frost Ronald Frost 1933 - 2015. On 1st October 2015. Canon Ronald Frost.
Director of Music at the Manchester City Centre Church of St. Ann from 1978.
I have been listening to Mr Frost's organ music for some decades, most of them at St Anns Church, Manchester, where he gave over 1100 lunchtime recitals.
I recorded much of his music- sometimes at my request and sometimes at his request, and here in his memory is a short (three minute) sample of his 1965 Passacaglia in E Flat (mp3).
The recording is from his last recital at St Anns on 28/7/2015. Ron will be much missed.


Ron's widow Barbara passed away December 2017, also missed.


I have many recordings by Mr Frost, including out of print CD recordings, and also three of his own compositions- the Passacaglia for St Ann's Birthday; the 1965 Passacaglia in E Flat which he played on the piece's 50th anniversary, and the Toccata for St Anns, recorded in 2010 at his 1000th lunchtime recital. He also played unpublished pieces by other composers including manuscript works by Norman Cocker. The majority of his music was from scores printed or written well over 50 years ago.

2018- current organist Simon Passmore has recorded a CD of music composed by Ronald Frost, available on request in church for a tenner. Marked as "Volume 1" so watch for another.


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