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Joan has played to audiences since age of 15

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 06, 2014

  • 06/02/14 Pianist Joan Broadhurst - Branston, Branston Retiring pianist, Joan Broadhurst..

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A WOMAN whose passion for music has seen her playing the piano to audiences in Burton for almost 70 years will play her last note in public next month.

Joan Broadhurst, 82, from Branston, learnt the piano at the age of five and now mainly plays the electric keyboard.

She has been performing in public since the age of 15, and with Burton Amateur Stage Entertainers since its inception in 1972. She has never made a penny out of it.

The group’s upcoming pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be her last show.

Joan said: “I used to live in Newhall and my grandfather lived next door.

“I would just listen to my aunty playing and I would be able to play it straight away. I come from a musical family - we used to stand around the piano and sing hymns, those days have gone, people don’t do that anymore.”

During her career Joan was the register of births deaths and marriages at Burton Town Hall for 38 years, a role which she said required her to be caring but not ‘over-caring’, and one that she enjoyed every minute of.

Her piano playing was something she enjoyed in her spare time and continued with following her retirement.

“Music is a big hobby of mine,’ she said.

“Anyone who wanted a pianist I would always do it - I could never say ‘no.’

“If you’ve got music in your life it lifts you.”

Joan has enjoyed her years performing with BASE.

She said: “It’s nice to have live pianists when a solo artist is performing.

“But after this panto there will be no more, I have got to say ‘enough is enough.’

Joan has played for many groups over the years and has also played the Stardust Theatre in Coalville. She once played for comedian Roy Hudd OBE.

She added: “I haven’t made a penny out of it and never would - I do it for the love of it.”

She will continue to play for Ann Lee’s School of Speech and Drama.

She said: “My piano is still there from years ago. It’s more or less like I have gone back home.”

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