Our Accompanist

Ray Willis
 
Born in 1948 and educated at Stationer's Companys' School, London, Ray Willis studied organ at London University. He was appointed Repetiteur and Assistant Conductor to London University Opera, and later Orpheus Opera. His mentors on the light music side were Bobby Pagan and Vic Hammett.
 
Until recently Director of Music at St Cuthbert's Church, Wells, and senior keyboard tutor with the Somerset County Music Service, he is now Organist at Yeovil Parish Church (St John's) and the Bishop's Chapel, Wells. He also conducts the Clevedon Choral Society and the Weston-Super-Mare Choral Society.
 
Before coming to Somerset he was Director of Music at Trowbridge Parish Church (St James's), Chorus Master to the Bath Georgian Festival Chorus, and directed the Wiltshire-based choir 'Jubilate'.
 
He has taught at the Blackheath Conservatoire and the Croydon Piano Centre, was organist to the Royal Russell School, and was assistant to Martin How at the Royal School of Church Music. Prior to that he was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Shrewsbury Abbey, Music Director to the Market Drayton Choral Society.
 
In the field of light music he was a 'house pianist' with Geraldo Orchestras, playing cabaret backings mainly in the London area.
 
During his career he has conducted most of the standard repertoire, and he is an accomplished organist, accompanist, and continuo player. He has broadcast many times on both TV and radio and has toured as an accompanist in France and Russia as well as being pianist with the Nightingale Trio and one half of the piano duo "Two's Accompany".
 
His interest in electronics has led to several projects with synthesizers and keyboards as well as technical development and playing appointments with several of the major electronic organ and keyboard companies.
 
He has three grown up daughters and for much needed relaxation he sails on the Bristol Channel.