Music 1962

1962 School Magazine Report

King's CollegePerhaps the primary reason for the continued success of the choir is the experience gained by the members over the last 2 or 3 years. This experience now shows itself in the speed with which quite difficult new music is mastered. Since the last issue of the school magazine the choir has carried out a full, not to say, hectic, programme. At the Wharfedale Festival we again came first in both the classes for which we entered, earning very high praise from the adjudicators. The end of term service highlighted a performance of a setting of the Magnificat by Howells which he wrote for King’s College, Cambridge, and which is regarded as the high water mark of modern church music. The choir performed this work with apparent consummate ease.

ScoutsSeveral churches and chapels have requested the services of the choir and individual instrumentalists for Saturday evening concerts, and whilst we have not been able to meet every request, we did manage to fit in 4 during the year, at Park Chapel, West Bowling; Slackside Methodist; St Matthew’s, Bankfoot; and Princeville Methodist. A large attendance at each concert proved some measure of the choir’s growing reputation.

At Christmas, in addition to our School Carol Service, the choir sang at the Centre for the Blind, Morley Street, and at St George’s Hall, where they were received with enthusiasm by the audience.

In March the choir visited the BBC studio in Leeds for an audition for a broadcast. This was successful and the broadcast took place at the beginning of May in a programme entitled “The Music Makers”.

In April the choir once again joined forces with the Old Choral Society at St George’s Hall in a performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass, which occurred within a week of the School Speech Day. This year, however, we have been fortunate in finding our commitments nicely spaced out with the exception of the above events, though because of the Easter holiday the choir only had one week to prepare for the annual Scouts’ Parade Service at Valley Parade. Again, this would have been impossible with an inexperienced choir. Because of this it is appropriate to express gratitude of the music staff to the many boys who have given loyal service to the choir throughout their school careers; over six years in the case of some boys.

InstrumentsIt is especially pleasing this year to find that a report of the school year in music is not entirely confined to the choir. This year has seen the renaissance of both the orchestra and the brass band, both of whom made their debuts at Speech Day. The orchestra played quite well a piece specially arranged by Mr Rhodes (no works have been written for our combination of instruments!) The basis of any orchestra must be the string section and it is through lack of string players that the orchestra had to be abandoned 2 years ago. Many boys start string lessons but few make a success of it because stringed instruments are not easy to play and demand the discipline of regular practice and great patience, things not popular in these days of canned entertainment.

The future of the brass band looks extremely bright. At the beginning of the year we had a nucleus of 3 or 4 experienced players plus 3 or 4 beginners, but the latter proved to be so adept and hard-working that by the time Speech Day came around the band was able to give a most creditable performance of the famed Trumpet Voluntary. CornetUnlike stringed instruments, brass are comparatively easy to play, and within a few weeks of learning the pupil can make quite an attractive sound on his instrument. With this in mind the department would advise any parent who feels his son has some musical talent, and would like him to play an instrument, not to abandon the idea if the boy shows no particular talent for the violin. Let him try a brass instrument. If he gets on well, however, we would advise that the boy has his own instrument as the ones at school are not particularly good ones and are in short supply. If the parent takes the precaution of accompanying an experienced brass player when purchasing an instrument, he will find that he can obtain quite a good one for as little as £10 or even less.

GramophoneThe Music Club has met regularly throughout the year. This has been its most successful season, probably due to the installation of the very fine hi-fi stereo equipment at the start of the year. Nevertheless, at the moment meetings are supported only by a small group of enthusiasts. Let us hope that in the coming year we may see this largely remedied. The majority of seniors take no interest in any cultural pursuits whatever, which is a particularly poor state of affairs in a grammar school. Perhaps these boys would take to heart Shakespeare’s words:“He that hath not music in himselfNor is not moved by concord of sweet soundsIs fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.”

PianistFinally, a word of sincere thanks to Mr Bramham who, besides teaching science, plays the piano and organ. In this latter capacity he has assisted the choir on many occasions in the last 2 years, though is so modest about his abilities that one is hardly aware of the amount of time he gives to help the musical life of the school. Here, then, we should like to say thank you to him and hope he will continue to give us such valuable assistance.



The following copy of the programme for the choir's Lunch Hour Recital at St George's Hall, Bradford on 4th October 1962 was kindly donated by Harry Atkinson



The following programme was kindly donated by Harry Atkinson: