Music Webmaster Len Mullenger
A 116th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
Stewart Hylton Edwards (1924-87), originally a student at the Guildhall School of Music, but who was to make his career successively in South Africa, Canada and Trinidad, composed (largely neglected) symphonies, concertos and string quartets; but lighter orchestral pieces, such as the Bank Holiday overture, the suite Four Shakespearean Characters and the Five Folk Idylls, together with some incidental music for the theatre and lighter instrumental items like the English Country Scenes and Two Aquarelles, both for solo piano, perhaps entitle him to a place in these Garlands.
We have previously included many of the lesser lights of the English light musical theatre, and another such is the genial Barrington Brown, born in Yorkshire in 1934, who now lives part of the time in America. He has written many popular songs, and at times has aspired to composing a stage musical, most recently Danny, set in Ireland, for which he has provided book, lyrics and music, ( the music is relatively oldfashioned, Ivor Novello rather than Andrew Lloyd Webber), and which was scheduled to receive its world premiere at Doncaster Civic Theatre on 21 July 2000.
Now for three figures in popular music from mid-century, all notable on the radio and elsewhere. Norman Whiteley's compositions included Granny's Spinning Wheel, Kathleen Mary and, most notably and from 1954, Dusky Aristocrat. Jimmy Leach (1905-75) was a pianist and organist, both with the Northern Dance Orchestra and with his own Organolians, who broadcast frequently; his compositions included Ebony and Silver and Serenade to a Lonely Star. Jack Wilson, born in 1907 and still active, was also a pianist, with Charles Shadwell's Coventry Hippodrome Orchestra and his own Versatile Five; his most popular composition was maybe Cloud Nine.
Finally, two musicians who specialise in music, whether arrangements or original compositions, for young (and other) amateurs. Rory Boyle, who lives in Worcestershire, has been responsible for an opera for children, Augustine (1977), a Suite of English Folk Songs (all from Somerset) for orchestra, Carols for brass ensemble, Three Miniatures and Music for a Western (1986), both for woodwind, Little Suite for bassoon and piano, Four Miniatures for trombone and piano and what a lovely title - Dances and Daydreams for saxophone and piano.
David E Stone's output substantially comprises arrangements, whether of popular classics, folk tunes, English and other dances from Playford's Dancing Master (for orchestra) and from the Renaissance period (titled The Minstrels' Gallery, for wind), but his original works include Nocturne and Caprice for orchestra, Twelve Impressions for piano solo. Rounds for violins, Prelude and Scherzetto for wind and Space Travellers, a unison song.
Philip L Scowcroft
Enquiries to Philip at
8 Rowan Mount
S YORKS DN2 5PJ
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.
E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at email@example.com
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