Music 1964-65

1964/65 School Magazine Report

These notes may be to some extent an obituary, for “Grange Boys’ Grammar School” is no more. “Grange Boys’ School” with an age range of 13-18 cannot maintain the choir as we know it. A four-part choir needs a continuous flow of treble voices (voices which usually become something else at about thirteen). This flow is no longer available. WhitbyAs soon as the few trebles still singing reach the age of discretion, the choir will die.During the past year, however, we have made our presence felt in the musical life of this part of Yorkshire.

Last summer at the Wharfedale Festival the boys gained the adulation of the audience and the warmest praise and commendations of Mr Herbert Howells, for their singing of “Tu es Patrus” (Palestrina) and an arrangement of “The Lincolnshire Poacher”. Your chronicler overheard one lady, almost in tears, saying:”Aren’t they lovely?” If only she could have heard them later that evening as they went home in the coach!

What would this lady have thought if she had been with these angelic-looking boys in July, when two coaches took them to persecute the inhabitants of York, Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby? However, no formal complaints were received and a thoroughly good time was had by all, even some non-musical staff, pressed into service on escort duty.

Bradford CathedralThe end of the school year was marked by a formal service in St Columba’s, at which the choir sang Daniel Purcell’s setting of the Canticles and for the Anthem, “Tu es Patrus.” The boys also led the singing at the School Leavers’ Service at the Cathedral, singing “Tu es Patrus” once more.

The Cathedral was the setting for the autumn concert, given by the choir and a mixture of organists (who gained excellent press coverage). Any school which can present a programme ranging from the Byrd 3-part Mass, through the Schubert Mass in D, to Poulenc’s “Litanies”, of the standard attained that evening should be justly proud. Your chronicler, being a relative newcomer, is not blowing his own tuba when he says that there are very few schools in the country which could have given such a polished performance as that in Bradford Cathedral last November.

The last weeks of November saw a great deal of diplomatic scurrying to and fro in the corridors of power, accompanied by rubber-stamping, red taping and inspection of birth certificates and passport photographs. Sounds of war!

The “War Requiem” was a great success and a very moving experience, in which the trebles and altos of the school choir played not a little part. The toil, tears and sweat of practice were well worth while.

CarolsThe traditional carol service in St Columba’s saw the choir singing with its customary polish and precision. The festival of Christmas has inspired poets and musicians down the ages to give of their best. The carols sung ranged from the medieval “Personent Hodie” to modern settings of traditional words, as in Boris Ord’s “Adam lay ybounden.” In the previous week, on a night so foggy that most people would have stayed indoors, almost every boy turned out for the Schools’ Carol Concert. The two carols they sang alone added to the school’s reputation as a centre of music-making.

For the future? New circumstances and problems are usually rationalised. No doubt, phoenix-like, a new choir will arise from the trebles of the old. It takes a great deal to stop boys singing, and musicians from seeing to it that they don’t.



The following programmes were kindly donated by Harry Atkinson: