21 February 2024

A dream come true: Margaret, 81, plays the organ at Salisbury Cathedral

A talented former music teacher who lives at a Romsey care home has wowed her daughter and care staff with a private performance on the organ at Salisbury Cathedral.

Margaret Hart, 81, who has lived at Woodley Grange care home since December 2021, visited the cathedral on Monday 14th March after staff at the home arranged the day out as part of their ‘Make a Wish’ initiative.

She began teaching aged 20 after completing her training in Salisbury and also studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

As well as playing the organ at the cathedral, Margaret also visited a local music shop to watch her violin being repaired before giving a lesson to Erica Orchard from the activities team at the home.

Following her day out Margaret said, “I had a wonderful day, I always really appreciate going into the cathedrals as they are beautiful and it felt great to play in there.

“The sound of the organ was much lighter, and the keys were lighter than the one I play at church. It has a lovely tone.”

Margaret met her husband Bill while teaching at Alderman Quiley school in Eastleigh while Bill was a maths teacher and Margaret was teaching PE.

After marrying in 1969 at Colden Common, the pair moved to Plaitford the same day and the following week Margaret took up a role as organist at St Peter’s Church – a position she held for almost 50 years.

She also held the position of organist at St Leonards, Sherfield English since mid-1970s.

Margaret, who also plays violin, flute and piano, taught both classes and individuals at a number of schools in the local area and was also head of music at two schools.

Bill and Margaret have two children, Cath and Richard, as well as two grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

Care home manager Liliana Macieira added, “Margaret has led such an inspiring life and we are so proud of everything she has achieved.

“We were delighted to be able to arrange for her to visit Salisbury Cathedral and play the organ again and are so pleased that her daughter was able to watch her perform. I can only imagine how immensely proud of her they are.

“Margaret is so talented and still performs at the home for our other residents. Everyone really enjoys watching her play and it’s so beneficial for us all to listen to her.

“Reminiscence therapy forms a key part of what we do here at Woodley Grange and it’s so important for residents to engage in these activities and spark such incredible memories.

“I want to say a huge thank you to our brilliant activities team who arranged this for Margaret as well as to the cathedral for facilitating this experience.”

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty