Alec McGregor was born and brought up in Shropshire. He started learning the piano at the age of 6 and began working towards the Associated Board exams with Samuel Baker, the music master of the grammar school he attended. He later transferred to Standish Lester at Shrewsbury School to study for Grade 8 and achieved the Trinity College Licentiate between leaving school and going to university.
While at school he sang with the school’s concert choir, performing such great works as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s St. John Passion and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers (he joined a year too late to do the Bach B minor Mass!). He also got involved with playing for the school’s annual Gilbert & Sullivan productions and, at the same time, became pianist of a local amateur operatic group.
He concentrated on sciences at school and went up to Oxford in 1973 to study engineering. Colin and Alec were both involved in the college chapel choir and the Merryfield Choral Society (based at Wadham College), for which Alec was drafted in as rehearsal pianist on the first day and continued for the three years he was there.
While still at school, he began playing the organ at local churches, holding a regular post for about two years. Since starting work in Leicester, he has been, and continues to be, involved with several amateur dramatic societies, not just musically as he has participated in a couple of straight plays as well. He was also organist of Holy Trinity Church, Leicester from 1977 to 1995 and is now an organist at two of his local churches at Braunstone and Thurlaston near Leicester.
He joined Keyworth Choir as pianist in 1990, at Colin’s request, and has been with us ever since. Alec never ceases to amaze us even when he’s not at the keyboard accompanying the choir. In September 2014 he performed of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in one day as a fund-raiser for the Kirby Muxloe Players to assist in them to build an extension and refurbish their backstage facilities. Then in 2015, he entered the second BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition and was selected as one of six finalists, having his setting of Roger McGough’s poem “Comes the Light” performed by the BBC Singers on the radio (see News and Reviews for an insight to what this involved).