Tributes have been paid to a popular singer and conductor who has died at the age of 84.
Terry Rogan was for many years the choirmaster of St Oswald's Church in Ashton, his work being of such quality and loyalty that he was awarded a medal by the Pope.
An excellent bass-baritone, he was a key member of the acclaimed BBC Northern Singers, performed with the Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and sometimes lent a welcome hand to Wigan Choral Society.
Much of his professional career was as a Latin and Greek teacher at West Park Grammar School in St Helens (now part of the De La Salle School) and he lived with his wife Eva in Pewfall, Haydock.
Born in Barrow-in-Furness, the young Terry displayed a remarkable intellect at school and was accepted at Castlehead College, a training establishment for the Holy Ghost Fathers at Grange-over-Sands.
It was here he discovered a lifetime love of music and was taught how to play the piano by Sister Bertha of the Salesian Sisters at nearby Brettagh Holt.
He eventually decided that the priesthood was not for him and, while conscripted to the army towards the end of the war, he served in Palestine as an intelligence officer.
Moving to Liverpool, he studied for a classics degree at the university where he was an active member of the dramatic society alongside fellow students and future luminaries such as the musician and humorist Fritz Spiegl, the actress Patricia Routledge and singer John Shirley-Quirk.
On gaining first class honours, Mr Rogan was offered a teaching post at West Park and there he stayed until retirement.
Having moved to Pewfall just next to Ashton, the Rogans and their four children regularly attended St Oswald's where Terry became a member of the choir.
He decided to take singing lessons and was awarded a Licentiate of the Royal School of Music in Performance. Within a few years, he became choirmaster at St Oswald's church, introducing an wide mix of music to the congregation.
He set the weekly Sunday Mass psalm readings to music, which proved hugely popular and created many of his own arrangements, specifically for the St Oswald's choir.
In 1989, Mr Rogan was recognized for his contribution to the Catholic Church by Pope Jean Paul II who awarded him the Benemerenti medal and he stepped down as choirmaster in the mid-1990s.
It was during the late 1960s and early '70s that Mr Rogan was accepted as a bass-baritone for the BBC Northern Singers under the baton of Stephen Wilkinson.
Their recordings were regularly played on BBC Radio 3 and Mr Rogan himself was asked to perform as a soloist at many concerts and recitals in the North West.
He was particularly proud to be asked to play Noye in Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde, many times staged at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.
His daughter Liz McGillivray said: "My father was a great influence on not just his friends, family and pupils and colleagues at West Park Grammar School, but on people in all walks of life.
"He will be remembered as a man with remarkable intellect who loved debate, who spread his love of music throughout his family and friends - and for his humanity and empathy for others.
"The family has received many messages and letters from people who say that he enriched their lives with his encouragement and inspiration. As a friend, husband and father, he will be sadly missed."
Mr Rogan's requiem mass took place at St Oswald's Church, Ashton, at noon on Thursday, October 16.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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