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Final performance by Myleene's tutor

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:54 03 July 2010

For decades she has delighted the congregation of a Norfolk church with her wonderful skills on the organ.

And as 86-year-old Dorothy Wright played the organ of St Edmund's Church, in Fritton, for the last time yesterday, a popular TV celebrity and singer had special reason to thank her as well.

For decades she has delighted the congregation of a Norfolk church with her wonderful skills on the organ.

And as 86-year-old Dorothy Wright played the organ of St Edmund's Church, in Fritton, for the last time yesterday, a popular TV celebrity and singer had special reason to thank her as well.

During her 60 years as church organist, Miss Wright helped Gorleston-born Myleene Klass develop her love of music and honed her skills as a pianist.

And in that time, Miss Wright has also performed at thousands of services, funerals and weddings and became acquainted with nearly every family around Fritton, near Yarmouth.

She started performing at the 900-year-old church in 1948 after her music tutor, the rector Lynton Shields, persuaded her to give it a try. Since then she has played under seven different rectors and, as well as Myleene, taught hundreds of youngsters how to play the piano.

Miss Wright also played the 270- year-old pipe organ while a young Myleene sang in the church choir, played harp and took part in recitals with her brother and sister.

She said: “She was a very lively girl and I always thought that as a pupil there was something different and special about her.”

Miss Wright's love of religious music clearly rubbed off on the former Hear'Say singer and BBC presenter as she went on to record a classical album last year.

For Miss Wright, who lives in Lound, near Gorleston, playing favourite hymns, such as Fair Waved the Golden Corn, for the last 60 years has been the greatest joy in her life.

She said: “I have made so many friends and church music is still such a beautiful thing to me. If you had told me in 1948 that I would still be here today playing the organ I would never have believed you.”

Despite many wonderful memories of her time at St Edmund's, Miss Wright does regret its congregation has dwindled to just a dozen parishioners in the last few years.

She said: “When I first played here the church was full.”

Miss Wright is also well known for her strong views on music and attention to detail.

Former rector the Rev Jonathan Riviere said: “She was well able to put new rectors right on a few points if she felt things were not done in quite the correct manner.

“She always knew which hymns the congregation sang well and played them at a good lively pace which is so important in small churches.”

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