Audrey's still tickling the ivories at 98 - The Solihull Observer

Audrey's still tickling the ivories at 98

Solihull Editorial 3rd Dec, 2022   0

A NONAGENARIAN pianist is keeping a group of Solihull singers in perfect harmony.

Audrey Freakley brings the music alive by playing any one of some 300 songs from memory.

The 98-year-old is one of the regular pianists taking a key-note part in making Singing For Pleasure a popular long-established interest for members giving voice to a wide-ranging selection of tunes from their song-book.

They meet for well-supported programmes at the Methodist Church, in Solihull.




Audrey, who lives in Shirley, began playing the piano at her family home when she was six but never had any formal training.

She said: “I had a few basic lessons but the teacher told my mother not to waste spending any more as I could play well enough without them


“I was lucky to find I could memorise songs I heard and pick out the notes to play them.”

She spent many years playing the piano and singing at clubs in Birmingham and the Black Country. At 14, she also displayed a talent for playing the accordion and then the organ.

Maxine Breen, chair of Singing For Pleasure, said: “We admire the way Audrey always plays the songs we enjoy singing and has the remarkable gift for knowing all of them from memory.

“And at 98, she shows no sign of losing her ability to keep on playing for us.”

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