Keith Beckingham commenced piano lessons at the age of 5 and made his first public appearence playing the theatre organ at the age of 13. He made his first BBC broadcast playing the famous Wurlitzer organ at the Granada, Tooting. Keith spent 26 years of his working life demonstrating Hammond Organs throughout the UK for Boosey and Hawkes and then around the world on behalf of the Hammond Organ Company, Chicago. Since the demise of the home organ market Keith has returned to his first love, the piano, and was a Director of two prestigious London musical instrument and piano showrooms before he and his wife moved to the Cotswolds.
Keith takes a professional pride in helping customers select the piano best suited to their needs and their budget. Whether you are choosing a modest ‘starter’ upright or a fully rebuilt Steinway grand, Keith will happily share his expertise. When not working in Cheltenham Keith enjoys playing vintage theatre organs and can be frequently heard on the popular BBC programme ‘The Organist Entertains’ on Radio 2.
John was born in Gloucester and attended The Kings School there. He was a Cathedral chorister from the age of eight until his voice broke.
John’s Father, “Jack” was a well-known brass band musician, arranger and adjudicator who for many years presented a brass band programme on local radio.
John ran his own music shop in Gloucester in the early 1970’s until the three day week put an end to this part of his career. Undaunted, John moved into the distributive side of the music industry and started selling electronic organs, and eventually pianos, to music shops throughout the country. This led to the job as sales manager of The Bentley Piano Company in Stroud and ultimately to a directorship with The British Piano Manufacturing Company.
Throughout his career John has continued to actively play music semi-professionally and now runs his own jazz outfit, “The JB Jazz & Blues Band” who have achieved great success locally and beyond, playing at jazz clubs, jazz festivals and jazz venues. In both 2008 and 2010, the Staffordshire Jazz Society voted them “Band of the Year”
John, who is a distant cousin of Keith, has considerable experience with both traditional and digital pianos and therefore brings a high level of expertise to the Cheltenham Piano Centre.
Cheltenham Piano Centre is well served in terms of technical expertise. For many years David Warr, pictured above, was our Chief Piano Technician until he retired from full time employment at the end of January 2014. Nevertherless we are able to draw upon his many years experience as and when required. All pianos are tuned and thoroughly checked by one of our team of highly trained tuner/technicians. Following delivery all pianos (except digital!) require a ‘settling in’ period of 4-6 weeks and will not sound at their best until this period has elapsed and the instrument has been tuned in situ. For this reson we include a complimentary first tuning which will be carried out by one of our approved tuners. At that time the tuner will discuss on-going tuning and you will be able to make arrangements directly with him. Most new pianos come with a 5 year manufacturers warranty. In the case of Kemble pianos, as we are a Kemble ‘Centre of Excellence’ we are able to offer a 10 year warranty on all new Kemble models we supply. The manufacturers warranty covers all aspects of workmanship but excludes tuning, regulating, accidental damage and abuse. We always recommend you insure your new piano for its full replacement value. In particular, this offers protecton against accidents and water damage. It’s amazing how often we hear of pianos damaged beyond repair by overflowing baths, burst pipes and other plumbing problems!Water and pianos simply do not mix! So don’t forget to take this simple precaution. Please discuss any technical issues with us – we are always pleased to help.