Web Page No 2272
17th June 2016
Top Picture: John Stephens with David (John) Wyatt at orchestra rehearsal with Ray Dopson in the background
Second Picture: Messiah programme signed by John Stephens
Third Picture: The School Choral Society
Forth Picture: David Hillman one of our soloists.
What were you doing at 7.30 on Saturday 25th March 1961?
What were you doing at 7.30 on Saturday 25th March 1961? If you were like me you were singing or playing in the schools production of The Messiah!
What an event that was, we were rehearsed so often that I think that I could still sing the bass part if required.
Under the leadership of John Stephens we practiced and rehearsed to get this right. About the Society, in the programme for the evening John Stevens wrote: -
“the aim of the School Choral Society was to sing for joy of making music together. Handel’s Messiah may have seemed at first an unusual choice for a school but the enthusiasm of the members of the Society is an indication that they can appreciate a great work of art when the opportunity arises.
We accept the limitations of our young inexperienced voices, most of them far from full maturity; and are pleased to have the assistance of mature voices for this occasion. With a work of the length and difficulty of the Messiah it is necessary for us to make a selection, to preserve the continuity, however, a narrator will read the parts that are not sung. This performance marks the climax of our project; we will enjoy singing and listening to our soloists and we thank you for joining us in our music making”.
Many parents and friends were involved, both my father and my godmother sung with us and many of the pupils helped form the orchestra, whose leader was John Watkins, unfortunately I have no list of them; the only two I can remember are David (John) Wyatt on the violin as was the English teacher Ray Dopson.
The soloists were, at that time, professional or semi-professional and were Lois Sutton (Soprano), Pamela Walker (Contralto), David Hillman (Tenor), Richard Wood (Bass). (In fact many years later Peter Westcott met David Hillman in the staff cafeteria of Saddlers Wells and he actually remembered the performance with some affection. David Hillman died in 2009 aged 74. The pianist was Ena Magee, the trumpet soloist Roy Morgan and the narrator was our own Colin Bell
I do remember that a reel to reel recording was made of the entire concert which was done in three parts with 53 sections and conducted by John Stephens, I wonder what happened to that recording?
Below are the names of the members of the Choral Society, I have highlighted those that are either with us in the Manor Court Group or those that I have knowledge of a total of 44 out of 120. I wonder where the rest are?
SCHOOL CHORAL SOCIETY
Mary Abbott Kattisha Forbes Ann Piper Rosemary Bailey Gillian Gale Hazel Pratt Sharon Ball Janice Garland Barbara Quinnell Jill Budd Jean Griffiths Susan Richards Heather Butt Christine Guymer Margaret Roberts Linda Capp Christine Hall Jaqueline Stone Deborah Coates Madeline Hallman Susan Sutton Rosamund Coates Valerie Hampton June Thorn Lynda Collins Oriana Henwood Anne Turtle Susan Collins Susan Jones Jill Wakdy Kathryn Cooke Michele Laviers Jennifer Went Ann Davies Anthony Lyne Catherine Whiteman Gillian Davis Linda McIntyre Susan Whitwell Joyce Dodd Marilyn Mercer Lyn Willows Graham Elderfield Janet Munford Sheila Wilton
Maureen Albertolli Angela Ellis Pat Keers Janice Austin Roberta English Carole Langford Christine Bailey Anne Fido Diane Ledger Jean Bennett Hazel Flowers Sandra Mack Christine Biddlecombe Pauline Flowers Carole Osborne Geraldine Buckeridge Marilyn Flux Susan Perry Christine Budd Geraldine Foley Berenice Pert Christine Butterfield Carole Gill Norma Plumb Lesley Chapman Yvonne Glasby Kay Ponsford Ann Denly Janet Huggins Diane Thomas Claudia Dunthorn Carol Janczur Irene Thorrowgood Laraine Durow Lorna Judson Ann Williams
Keith Andrews Christopher Farmer Leslie Smith David Bartlett John Halford Christopher Talbot Howard Bradshaw Frank Howells Keith Taylor Peter Bridger Richard James Stuart Turtle Nigel Bridges John Pearce Philip Ward David Cookson John Quarterly Philip Wheaton Anthony Duncan Carl Randall Michael Willenbnich Frederick Dyson Alan Sawyer John Wilson Philip Woods
Colin Blake Stephen Carter Robert Cooke Alan Cox Adrian Gee Melvyn Griffiths Barry Jackman Peter Keat Peter Mereckel John Mortimer Peter Odell Brian Palmer Peter Westcott David Wyatt
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News and Views:
On this day 17th June 1960-1965
On 17/06/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Arnold Palmer wins US Golf Open.
On 17/06/1961 the number one single was Surrender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 17/06/1962 the number one single was Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 17/06/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the week was Cassius Clay defeats Henry Cooper in London
On 17/06/1964 the number one single was You're My World - Cilla Black and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 17/06/1965 the number one single was Crying in the Chapel - Elvis Presley and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was UK drink-drive alcohol limit to be introduced