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Festival Founder Roy Gregory honoured at Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival

14 May 2014

The closing concert of the 2014, featuring Philip Cave's outstanding choral group Magnificat (Saturday 24 May,7.30pm, Beverley Minster) will be dedicated to the memory of Roy Gregory, the founding father of the Beverley Early Music Festival, who died recently.

Roy founded the festival whilst he was Chief Administrative Officer of Beverley Borough Council in 1988. His great love of music, the buildings of Beverley, particularly the carvings in the Minster, enhanced his understanding of how a Festival focusing on early music made so much sense to the historic market town of Beverley and how it would help boost tourism to the region. He was also known to many locally as the restorer of Skidby Mill.
Delma Tomlin, Festival Director, friend and colleague said: "Roy was a key figure in the restoration of Beverley in the 1980s and was a keen amateur musician who absolutely loved the festival. In 1987 he was responsible for securing what was then a very generous contribution from the Local Authority to start the ball rolling in 1988. It was wonderful to be able to enjoy the Festival's 25th Anniversary celebrations with him last year - part of the outstanding legacy of good work he so wholeheartedly gave to the town. We are very pleased to be able to include a special dedication and programme note from Roy's family in the programme for Magnifcat's concert, The Tudors at Prayer, which seemed particularly appropriate, and closes this year's Festival."

The annual Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival (21 - 25 May 2014) this year features the internationally acclaimed keyboard specialist Andreas Staier, Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and lutenist David Miller.  Philip Cave's choral group Magnificat makes its festival debut. And, as part of Yorkshire Festival 2014 (March 27 - July 6), Robert Hollingworth's wild, wacky and utterly brilliant vocal ensemble I Fagiolini recreates an evening of Venetian masques and musical mayhem in Toll Gavel Church with 'Carnevale Veneziano From Monteverdi to Monty Python' as is part of Yorkshire Festival 2014.
Festival Tickets: £5.00 to £25.00 are available from the NCEM at St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Telephone: 01904 658338. Email:

For full programme details visit:

Press Contact: 
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
m: 07813 796 733

Editors Notes:
1.Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival is supported by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council; Arts Council England; Welcome to Yorkshire and the National Centre for Early Music. 

2.Yorkshire Festival 2014 (March 27 to July 6) is the world's first cultural festival to run during the build up to the Tour de France in the race's 111 year history. 
For full details of the programme go to or follow Yorkshire Festival 2014 on Twitter @YFest2014

3.Roy Gregory was a man with numerous artistic passions and a high regard for the creativity of others. An appreciation of intricacy led his curious nature to pursue several interests outside his profession as a trained solicitor; a published author and leading authority in Molinology, a craftsman conservator, with community at the heart of most of his endeavours. Despite developing this alternative career in tandem with being Chief Administrative Officer at Beverley borough Council, his first love was almost certainly music. 

Born in Manchester in 1937 he studied music from an early age influenced by musical parents who played the flute and sang. Roy attended the Royal Northern College of Music at weekends and practiced the organ at his local church. Church wasn't the only place for trying out new sounds. The coffee bars and concert halls of Manchester brought popular U.S. acts of the '50s to Roy's attention and it was almost certainly big bands, jazz and swing, (Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald) which developed his taste in contemporary music, widening an already broad palate.

Belonging to numerous organisations which encompassed each of his interests, including, BIOS, a regular patron of Beverley Jazz Club, ardent supporter of NCEM, and not least in recent years the less musical pursuits of SPAB, SPAB -Mills division & Cherry Burton Golf Club, he took every opportunity to be of use in furthering their causes with research, as secretary, chair or just by attending as a supporter at meetings.