A FORMER piano teacher who was not expected to live beyond 20 years-of-age will be taking centre stage at his last concert.

Geoffrey Smales, 89, of Bradley, along with his wife of 63 years, Mary, will be hosting this free event at the Gwersyllt Resource Centre on Saturday 25th May.

The concert will commence at 7pm and there will be a limited number of 150 seats available to the public.

Along with recitals from Mr and Mrs Smales, there will also be performances from two of his ex pupils, Ruth Howlett and Megan Martin.

The recitals will consist of well-known classical songs, from artists such as Beethoven as well as some of Geoffrey's own songs.

The Leader:

Speaking on this being potentially his last performance, Mr Smales expressed his gratitude to how playing the piano has helped him and others get through difficult times in their lives. He said:"I was expected to be dead by the time I reached 20 years-old due to heart problems. My father did not tell me this until my 21st birthday. I was bedridden for over two years and since then, I have taught many pupils some of who has severe disabilities."

Mr Smales discussed how he taught many unfortunate and disabled individuals to find joy in being able to play the piano. He said:"I taught a pupil who was sexually abused by her father, uncle and grandfather. She had a difficult life, which resulted in her self-harming to deal with what had happened to her. She found joy in learning how to play the piano. She was a lovely person who I have lost touch with over the years and I miss her greatly.

I also taught individuals who had deformities such as disfigured hands or some who could not walk at all. I remember one pupil, who had such a positive outlook on life. She could not use her legs but I managed to create specialised equipment to allow her to achieve her goals of piano playing despite her disability."

The Leader:

The event will give Mr Smales and his wife, Mary, the opportunity to play together once last time. Mrs Smales said: "I am recovering from a recent heart operation and this will probably be our last piano recital together. We would love to see everyone there, it would really mean the world to us."

Throughout his extraordinary life, Mr Smales saw himself as the head teacher of maths at a private school, adopting two children with his wife and publishing his own book, titled, 'Road Ahead Closed' which details his health and other struggles throughout his life.

Despite no longer teaching piano due to his age and health issues, Mr Smales has had the opportunity to reflect on what his talent has allowed him to achieve not only for himself but for others within his community too.

He said:"For over 20 years now, I have donated proceeds from the recitals we have held to numerous charities, including those that deal with helping people who have alzheimers to those in need. However, we are hoping that this event will allow us to recuperate the £500 piano hire cost but any money left over will be going to Children in Need."

If you require any further information about this event contact geoffreysmales@btinternet.com or Gwersyllt Resource Centre on 01978 722880.