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Dave Church

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(June, 2013) I was born in West Wickham, a small town just to the south of London, UK in 1940. I learnt to play the recorder at school in the late 1940's and taught myself to play the harmonica (mouth organ) soon after. In 1957, I built my own acoustic guitar and taught myself how to play it well enough for the current craze of "skiffle" and "rock'n'roll." I added an electric pick-up and joined two other guitarists and a drummer to form a group playing in amateur revue type shows put on in our local church hall. We also played at other venues such as old peoples homes, various clubs and dinner/dance events.

Around 1959, I built a solid guitar based upon one of the well known models of the day. By then our group was very much into playing music made famous by The Shadows (Cliff Richard's backing group). However, the music of Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and other well known performers of the day was still very much in our repertoire. We continued to play as a group until 1965 when I got married and moved away from the district and the group broke up.

Over the following years, apart from ensuring that my three sons had ample access to music - all three played piano and cello - I did little practical playing until about ten years ago when I started to learn on a Casio WK series keyboard. I now play a Tyros3 keyboard but purely for my own pleasure although my wife has no alternative but to endure my efforts as I rarely use headphones.

Since my teenage years I have always been keen on listening to classical music and going to concerts but, realising that I could never do it real justice with my own playing, I only play non-classical music.