Wolverhampton's resident organist Steve Tovey dies
Wolverhampton Civic Hall's resident organ player and a 'driving force' in the music scene Steve Tovey has died.
The renowned organist, who had been a well-known musician in the Midlands, for 50 years said friends as tributes were paid today.
The Cannock Chase Organ Club, of which he was president, confirmed the sad news paying tribute to his decades of dedication.
Mr Tovey, from Hazel Slade Cannock, had been resident organist at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall since 1993.
Just last week it was announced he was to oversee the relocation of the historic organ while the venue undergoes a £14million renovation.
In 2015, Mr Tovey, aged 68 at the time, told the Express & Star of his excitement at the news the Mighty Compton organ, which dates back to 1938, was to undergo a £1million revamp of its own.
Paying tribute Wolverhampton City Councillor John Reynolds, on behalf of the authority, said: "We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Steve.
"He worked closely with the city council over his lifetime and showed great passion and enthusiasm for what he did.
"Most recently his help was invaluable in finding a way to help preserve the heritage of the Civic Hall organ and his knowledge and experience will be a big miss to everyone.
"Our condolences go to his family and friends at this difficult time."
Mr Tovey grey up in Aston and spent a quarter of a century playing the iconic Compton organ at Birmingham Odeon cinema.
It was the leading stage venue in the city before the arrival of Symphony Hall and the NEC and he played alongside the likes of Judy Garland, Cary Grant and Cliff Richard before the organ was removed in 1988.
Adding their words of condolence Cannock Chase Organ Club said: "It brings us deep sadness and a profound sense of loss to announce the passing of Cannock Chase Organ Club President, and Wolverhampton City Organist, Steve Tovey.
"Steve has been a huge driving force in the theatre organ scene here in the UK for some 50 years, and we owe him a great debt for many of the installations we now enjoy in the UK.
"He will be sorely missed by all of us here at Cannock Chase Organ Club, for his outspoken-ness, witty sense of humour and his relentless enthusiasm and drive to keep the theatre organ in the public eye."
'I thought that's the last time I'm going to see my family': Wolverhampton survivor helping find coronavirus cure