Mr. Keith Bourne - Organist
Keith Bourne was born to play music. He grew up in a house where there was a piano, one which his grandmother had bought for his mother in 1913. That piano is still in tip-top shape today. Both of his parents played the piano and his father was an organist.
Young Keith played the piano during morning assembly while a student at Lynch’s Secondary School. When he was around 16 years old, the Sunday School Superintendent at St. Patrick’s Anglican Church passed and heard him practicing at home and asked if he could play the organ for the Sunday School. There began his life of service in the church, although he trembled like a leaf. Mr. Bourne says “I always wanted to do something in the house of the Lord.”
When he got his first job at the Inland Revenue Department in 1964, Mr. Bourne used part of his earnings to pay for piano lessons from renowned organist, Neville King, L.R.S.M. He also started to sit exams and his success up to Grade 8 level helped him to grow in confidence. However, feeling the need for more piano work, he took classes from Christopher Spencer, L.R.A.M. and lessons in theory, harmony and counterpoint from Victor Pilgrim, A.R.C.M.
In 1968, when the organist at St. Patrick’s went on holiday Mr. Bourne was asked to fill in. Then it was on to St. Lawrence and later St. John the Baptist. On September 15, 1974, he was appointed Organist and Choir Master at St. Matthias.
In 1981, he studied conducting and choir training at the Royal School of Church Music in London, and in 1985 he was awarded the Diploma in Music, earning the designation Associate Trinity College, London (ATCL). Mr. Bourne describes his music ministry as “a very fulfilling calling or vocation”.
Apart from his music, Keith Bourne is Manager, Business Development and Planning with the Barbados Public Workers Co-operative Credit Union Limited, where his contribution to the organization was recognized with the naming of their office complex on Belmont Road after him.
But music is his passion, and this father of two daughters and grandfather of two boys teaches music lessons, passing on his knowledge to a new generation. In fact, one of his grandsons – Jaydee – is following in his grandfather’s footsteps, having taken up the piano. So even when Keith Bourne is no longer making music to the honour and glory of God, his legacy will live on.
Written by Dr. Sharon Marshall