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Meale, [Meal] John Arthur, FRCO
1880-1932

Westminster Methodist Central Hall (WMCH) concert organist and musical director, composer and recitalist. He was born on 18th December 1880 to Ezra Meal and Elizabeth Ellen, nee Whiteley. Like his contemporary musician, Haydn Wood (1882-1959), he was born at Slaithwaite, southwest of Huddersfield. Meale was the first organist and musical director of the WMCH and remained in post until his death in Hendon on 9th December 1932. On 29th July 1908 he married Harriet Pickersgill at the Wesleyan Chapel, Normanton, Wakefield. He served as the organist at the Congregational Church, Marsden, 1896-1899; the Wesleyan Church, Selby, 1899-1905; the Queens Hall Mission, Hull, 1905-12 and at Westminster, 1912- 1932. He was a prolific composer of organ music, anthems and songs. He gave over 600 Wednesday recitals and regular Saturday Popular Concerts. In the WMCH archive there is a run of Concert programmes from the 1920’s organised by Meale.

Meale was recorded by HMV, and his music is featured along with that of Lloyd Webber on Gerald Brooks's recording of the recently restored WMCH organ in the ‘Great European Organs’ Series,Vol. 50. He famously designed the 1911 Hull City Hall organ which was build to his specification by Foster & Andrews of Hull. He was the uncle of the organist Neville Meale (1910-2002) and was his piano tutor.

Entry written by: DHR
Category: Person

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