In Memory Of Russell Lomas – A Good Friend and Mentor

July 29, 2018 — 48 Comments

There are some people who pop into my life just at the right time, and Russell Lomas was one of these people. In 2012 I entered a biennial interdisciplinary music competition held at Arley Hall, Northwich – The Warrington Competition For Young Musicians. Just before the competition, I had sadly broken my fifth metatarsal in my right foot and I was in a walking boot and crutches. My Dad parked in the wrong car park, 800 yards away, because we didn’t know the venue (learned a lesson from this and always try to check parking and travel arrangements in advance now). I was hobbling along a path in what I hoped was the right direction when a very lovely but bemused man came running over to me and shouted wait here and I’ll get my car. This was the first time I met Russell, and his generosity of spirit never changed the whole time that I knew him. Later I found out that Russell was the accompanist for the competition, he played for me in the vocal heat, which I won, and again in the grand final.

Lytham August 2013

Russell, Me and Colin Blamey – Lytham St Annes 2013

He must have enjoyed those first encounters as he offered me the opportunity to perform with him in several recitals over the years that followed. Giving me so much good advice, too much to list, but lessons that I will take with me into my future career, and which I have stood by during my training as we kept in touch even when I moved Glasgow and then later to London.

I have plenty of happy memories singing alongside him, he always used to know where the best cafes were at every venue and taught me to always bring a packed lunch just in case! This advice has helped me save money when on tour, and if you’ve followed my career so far, you’ll know I’ve needed this tip. And if you’ve worked with me, this will explain why you’ve seen me always pack a lunch and dinner.

One of my favourite stories about performing with Russell, was when we performed at a charity event for YouthPositive in Manchester at the Etihad Stadium, which is Manchester City’s home ground. Russell, however, was a very big Manchester United fan and gave me a cheeky smile when we arrived for our warm-up session, as he lifted the leg of his trousers, proudly displaying his Manchester United socks, which were still tasteful and black. But both he and I knew that he had stayed loyal to his club, and this still makes me giggle to today.

Russell With Me At The Etihad Stadium – 2013

Me and Russell -Chief Constable’s Charity Ball July 2015

The last time we performed together was in April 2016 at Walton Hall, in a concert for past winners of the Warrington Competition for Young Musicians. It was a wonderful evening performing with Russell alongside some amazing instrumentalists.

Me with Russell at Walton Hall – 2016

I’m so pleased that I was able to tell him about my graduation and success at the Pendine International Voice of the Future competition at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, he was so pleased and proud of me. It was shortly after that I heard the sad news of his passing and I will miss him immensely.

Here is a video of us performing together in Preston 2014. The song is A Piper by Michael Head

48 responses to In Memory Of Russell Lomas – A Good Friend and Mentor

  1. 

    I’m so sad to hear that, Charlotte. Russell wasn’t just a tremendous aid and influence to you, he was first and foremost a friend. Those who further your career can, with luck, be replaced: friends can’t. I’m sure he was happy for and proud of the work he did with you.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 29, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      I really hoped we’d be able to perform together again after my two years in London, he was very honest in his critique and what he wanted to hear me sing! He didn’t approve of all my choices of song 😊. Such a superb and gifted pianist, he taught at Cheetham’s for years and loved collaborating with all musicians.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. 

    He was such a heart warming person. I am sorry to hear of his passing. That was sad.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 29, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      He was a good man, I’ll miss him and his messages even whilst he was battling.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    What beautiful memories to carry with you of this gentleman. It’s wonderful that people come into our lives and leave imprints. I am so happy you both met and gave so much support to each other. A lovely memoir xx

  4. 

    Charlotte, what wonderful and fitting tribute to Mr. Lomas. He was a great friend to you and you to him.

  5. 

    such wonderful memories of a wonderful sounding man. Lucky initial encounter that turned into a great friendship. Treasure the memories.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 29, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Yes lovely memories looking over our old photographs and videos, I will treasure them.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. 

    Russell was a lovely man and such a gentleman. He was a good friend of yours Charlotte, so sorry he’s gone.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 29, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Gill and you got to know Russell so well too running me to all the corners of the North West for mid-week recitals, happy days.
      All my Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 

    Dear Charlotte,
    I am sorry for the loss of Russell he was a great companion and friend. Precious in the sight of God is the passing of his righteous ones. May the Lord bless you richly my Beloved.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Thank you Rev. Tim, he was very protective and traditional and I admired him a lot.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. 

    A death is always a moment of sadness, but Russell Lomas is forever in the minds of his relatives, family, friends. He is a new star who watches over you, with his cheeky smile, bright eyes and socks !! And every time you think of him, he will be there to give you a smile and energy. All my friendship accompanies you Miss Rainbow voice.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Merci mon ami. I was so sorry to hear about the loss of Russell especially for his wife and family. I was lucky to have known him. Thank you for your lovely message.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    I am sorry for your loss and over joyed at the time you two were able to share. What a fantastic energy he brought into your life. I believe your heart will always sing, when you think of him, for that is where he resides. <3

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      Tremendous energy, he used to tell me off for wanting to put musical theatre numbers in my programs and would only accept the most tricky complex ones. There are so many musicians out here that benefitted from Russell’s sage advice, I bumped into Elliot a clarinettist I met through Russell and we shared some good memories last week.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    Very sad. Sounds like a great man. That was a very nice tribute.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      I feel like he’s walking beside me, especially when I’m putting a program together, I can imagine his raised eyebrows when he disapproved.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    Lovely tribute to Russell Charlotte.
    He had a lasting impression on your career, and will be remembered fondly.
    Wonderful photo’s and memories..xx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      I’m glad you got to meet him and listen to him during our lovely concert in Bury that time with all your friends. At least his battle is over and he is at peace now.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. 

    My condolences, Charlotte.

  13. 

    Talent recognizes Talent. I am so sorry.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      I try to stay friends with all of the people who have been a big influence in my musical life and keep in touch with them. I’ve met many talented teachers and coaches over the years, but Russell became a real friend to me and made an effort to keep in touch so that the relationship wasn’t just one way, a real gentleman.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    A lovely tribute Charlotte!!!! We all have people in our lives who give so much, often not knowing so. I know you will always be grateful to people who help you because you are a lovely soul x judy

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      Teachers shape musicians memories and create great times, I always remember instances of kindness and special moments and I hope I let you all know that in the present.
      All my best wishes x
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Sorry for your sadness, Charlotte. Find comfort in the many wonderful memories you have of this good man.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      Thank you Cheryl I will, he gave me fabulous performance opportunities and when I got bookings in Manchester I asked him to accompany me if he could, we were a great team.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    So sorry for your loss, Charlotte. It’s always hard to lose a friend who is also a mentor. You’ve written a lovely tribute to him.

  17. 

    What a marvellous mentor and friend! A great loss, but he remains a blessing that keeps on giving to you and all who attend your performances.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 2, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you I have many fond memories, Russell provided me with recitals and the coaching to be ready for them at a really important time in my life. Graduation is a time for reflection and I will always remember the help freely given with lots of heart and some stick.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  18. 

    What a lovely and loving tribute to a dear friend and mentor. I’m sure he would have loved this.
    PS I am just recovering from a fifth metatarsal break myself.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 31, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Thank you 😊 and Ouch, sorry to hear about your break Noelle. I can recommend Physio walking boots called Air Walkers you can take them off when bathing or showering, I used it for about eight weeks.
      My best wishes for a speedy recovery.
      Charlotte

  19. 

    Your friend Russell would be so touched to read these words. I am sure he knew how much you valued his role in your life. I am truly sorry for your loss, Charlotte. Hugs …

  20. 

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and mentor. This was a wonderful tribute to him. He’s surely looking down and smiling at you. Hugs xx

  21. 

    What a lovely tribute. And what a wonderful way to have met someone so special.

  22. 

    My sincerest condolences to you on the loss of your friend and mentor. Your tribute is a pleasure to read and I am so pleased you included the recording of you performing with him.

    • 

      Thank you Clare, Russell was a very talented pianist and always gave me good advice even when I sometimes didn’t think so on the day! A quiet dignified man who kept me focused.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  23. 

    Better life always

  24. 

    Great smile you got there jjspina

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