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A Guild member since 1979 will celebrate his 50th anniversary as an organ builder next month.
Keith Bance, who - with the help of wife Rosemary - tunes and maintains the organ in St Bride's, first started as an apprentice with the famous firm of J.W. Walker in 1959. Working with them on such prestigious projects as Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and York Minster, Keith also broadened his experience in the craft with other famous organ builders, before concentrating on the exacting art of "voicing" - actually creating the sounds that the organ will produce from its pipework.
In this role, he is still very much in demand amongst his colleagues. His recent work has included Bridlington Priory in Yorkshire, and the new organ for Llandaff Cathedral will include Keith's "signature".
Since 1974, Keith started his own business, and is now based at his workshop in the village of Finchingfield, Essex. He is kept very busy with the tuning, maintenance and re - building of many different organs in London and the southeast, but of course, as far as we are concerned, his most important involvement is with St. Bride's - and not just as our organ - builder.
Keith and Rosemary are regular members of our congregation, and through them, many visitors have come to visit us for the first time to attend organ - based events, and returned to join us for services and recitals.
We offer Keith and Rosemary our best wishes, and thanks for their unique contribution to the life of St. Bride's!