26 May

Tom Walsh - Following in Grandpa's Footsteps!

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Robert Farnon began his professional musical career as a trumpeter, and his grandson Thomas Walsh seems to be following in his footsteps. His proud mother Judith keeps us informed of his progress, and we recently received the following newspaper report from the Suffolk Evening Star (26 October 2007) by Stephen Foster of BBC Radio Suffolk:

"This Sunday the ever-popular Horn Factory make their fourth appearance at the lpswich Jazz Club. Led by Gill Burgoyne from the saxophone section, this 17 piece outfit were formed nearly a decade ago to give local musicians the chance to play in a big band setting.

Among the current members is highly-rated trumpet player Tom Walsh from Manningtree. Tom’s 16 and now plays regularly with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Earlier this week he told me how he came to join NYJO: ‘I look back on it now and think its quite embarrassing. I was busking in Colchester and the well known jazz bass player Eddie Johnson heard me and suggested I get in touch with NYJO who I’d never heard of before. It’s great because you don’t hare to audition. You just go along and if you can play well you’re in!’

Tom started playing with the orchestra two years ago but has only been gigging regularly with them since the summer. It was at around the same time that Tom linked up with Horn Factory and won Young Musician Of The Year at the Bures Music Festival.

Tom’s short term goal is to secure a place at the Royal Academy of Music. Believe me this young man is going places."

At another concert with the NYJO Tom was featured on Harry South’s portrait of Dizzy Gillespie, appropriately called "Dizzy". He used a trumpet with an almost vertically pointing bell, in true Gillespie style. He coped with all the high notes easily, and it is reported that he created some memorable music in so doing.

This report appeared in ‘Journal Into Melody’ March 2008

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.