Andrew Hoodless is a chartered quantity surveyor, originally from Plymouth. He has always regarded playing the piano and, until a few years ago, the organ, as a hobby, second only to his interest in railways, but he has somehow managed to be constantly involved in musical activities of some sort.
He has particularly enjoyed his time accompanying choirs when the opportunities have arisen. His first appointment was with the Plymouth Clarion Choir (male voice) from 1981 to 1985, when he left Plymouth to study for his degree in quantity surveying at Nottingham Trent Polytechnic. Whilst there, he helped out with a local Gospel choir. After obtaining his degree, he moved to Aylesbury and was accompanist to the Aylesbury Festival Choir from 1994 to 2004. In 2008, he took on the role with Princes Risborough Choral Society and has occasionally deputised at Marlow Choral Society. He became accompanist for Lord Williams’s Festival Chorus in February 2020, just before everything came to a halt due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but restarted with the choir once restrictions were lifted.
Andrew originally learnt to play the piano as a stepping stone to becoming an organist. He hasn’t played the organ since 2013, however, but up until that time had been organist or deputy at several churches in Plymouth, Nottingham, and in and around Aylesbury, including a 10-year stint at Holy Cross & St Mary’s church in Quainton.
Andrew has never had any grand musical ambitions, but he has had highlights over the years. Two stand out for him in particular. One was winning first prize for composition in the Oxford Music Festival in the late 1980s (which was a pleasant surprise, given there were five other competitors), and the other was playing the organ at Norwich Cathedral, for which he has always been grateful to the deputy organist there who helped him to navigate more stops than he had ever seen before.
Other interests include walking and Plymouth Argyle FC, although the latter can sometimes be traumatic. He is married to Liz with two grown up children.