He taught in Newport, and Shrewsbury, and became Head of Music at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College from which he retired in 1996. He was Conductor of Shrewsbury Choral Society 1974 – 2001 and Conductor of Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra 1982 – 2005. He also gave many organ recitals including some in the States and mainland Europe.
He and his wife, Judy, moved to Eastbourne in 2005 where he led a full life as Organist, Pianist and Composer.
Sharing a joke
David Grundy and John Waddington Feather
In the 1970s David asked a colleague, John Waddington Feather, if he would write him some hymns. The result was John wrote a series of hymns, on a wide variety of topics, and David set them to music. It was the beginning of a collaboration writing popular hymns, which lasted until David's sudden death in July 2010.
Rehearsing with the Beaumaris Singers
John became ordained as an Anglican NSM priest and together he and David wrote some hour-long pieces based on the major festivals in the church. These are a combination of spoken narratives, choral hymns and solos. One of these works 'Isaiah', was dedicated to the memory of Christopher Grundy, David's younger son, who died aged 45 in August 2009.
In his book 'Feather's Miscellany 4' John wrote this article as a tribute to David.
Congratulating a student after a concert
You have played your last note here,
yet in some griefless organ-loft you still pound out
toccatas and fugues in joyful fortissimos;
and there, you'll go on making rafters blithely ring
with hymns and allelujah choruses.
A void you may have left us here, but there you'll fill
whole heavens with celestial notes and sound,
making sweet music with both instrument and voice.
Your legacy we will relish ever, maestro,
until we meet again; then rapt in sound together join
with you in endless praise of God.
Verdi's Requiem in St Chad's Church
A service to commemorate the lives of David and Christopher took place in St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury, on 10th October 2010. At the beginning of the order of service, Richard, David's eldest son wrote this tribute.
St Chad's church organ, Shrewsbury
My father's ability as a musician was way beyond commonplace. I always considered that visitors from more established musical centres must have been astonished to find such an educated, creative force tucked away in the Shires and operating at such an advanced musical level. What stood out about David was the old-school English modesty that was a counter-part to his gift; an unusually capable musician but without pretensions, without vanity or a sense of self-importance that often accompanies unusually gifted people. This was a talented man with his feet on the ground. On occasions, that meant standing on the Riverside Terrace at Gay Meadow (Shrewsbury football ground) in the afternoon and then putting on a major musical work in the evening. My father was one of life's contributors, an enriching presence to all those who knew him. The suddenness of his death comes as a complete shock. I remember once discussing old age with him and can recall him saying 'If I ever end up unable to care for myself, shoot me.' Not a very Christian sentiment from a committed Christian but if there is any comfort to be taken for Judy, Sally, Jenny and myself following his stroke it is that such a creative mind was spared the indignity of a protracted and dependent end to his days.
Richard Grundy, October 2010
Thanks to Judy Grundy