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Malcolm Smart retiring from Banks music shop in York after 37 years
8:09am Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
A POPULAR musician has retired after 37 years working at the same York music shop.
Malcolm Smart, 61, began working at Banks, in Lendal, in February 1976.
His sister encouraged him to apply for the job after he grew bored of working as a van driver for an electrical firm.
He applied to both Wilson Peck in Sheffield and Banks in York, but only the York store replied, offering him the job he has held ever since.
Mr Smart was Banks’ choral and organ music specialist. In July, he organised a well-attended book signing with former Minster organist Francis Jackson, who signed over 100 copies of his autobiography “Music for a Long While.”
Mr Smart, of Ogleforth off Goodramgate, also has more than 50 years’ experience in choir music, joining the choir at St James’s Church, in his home town of Doncaster, at the age of eight.
His love of choral music was kindled by St James’ choirmaster John King, whom Mr Smart identified as his inspiration.
He was later taught by William Appleby, presenter of the BBC’s Singing Together programme, who took his choir on yearly trips to Ely Cathedral, a place Mr Smart continues to visit.
After moving to York, he was a member of the York Chapter House Choir for 13 years, travelling with them to Rome, Vienna and Budapest. He plans to attend more concerts in his retirement, and will continue his involvement with the York & District Organists’ Association, Friends of Cathedral Music and Friends of Fairfax House.
Asked what he would miss most about Banks, Mr Smart replied: “The customers – we receive orders from all over the world, including telephone orders from Australia”. He said many people still prefer to go into the shop to buy their music, rather than order online.
Asked what he won’t miss, he answered candidly: “Technology.”
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