A 235th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
The compositional style of Paul Carr, born in
1961, is lyrical and readily assimilable and to a considerable extent
influenced by jazz, though he is very much an eclectic. Titles include
Girl on a Bench Under a Sunshade, for solo bassoon and orchestra
(inspired by a sketch by Alfred Munnings), and Occasional Postcards,
brief sketches also featuring solo instrument and orchestra.
Michael McDermott, Warrant Officer Royal Marines,
is Staff Arranger to the Marines and also a composer. His arrangements
are legion, his compositions (cum-arrangements) include a suite Festival
of the Sea and Seafarers, both for military band.
Greville (Vaughan Turner) Cooke (1894-1989)
started out as a pupil of Matthay at the Royal Academy but then became
a clergyman. Unsurprisingly much of his compositional output was for
the church, but he earns a Garland mention basically for a number of
his piano pieces, which have something in common with John Ireland’s
lighter miniatures: High Marley Rest, which is quite popular,
Halden Hills, La Petite (1940), Whispering Willows, Meadowsweet,
and Bargain Basement – the latter sounds almost like a "mood
Music" miniature for one of the recorded music libraries (but it
isn’t), while, as regards Meadowsweet, so many pieces called
after flowers imply a "light" composition – think of Billy
Mayerl! Also worth noting are Sea Croon (1953) for cello and
piano and a Prelude for string orchestra dating from 1940.
There have been several Cooks (or Cookes) associated
with light music. There were Kenneth Cook, composer and editor
of brass music; John Cook, composer for TV (notably Oh! Mr
Porter in 1989) and for the stage. Peter Cook; Cecil Cook
and Arnold Cook who both wrote for the light musical stage; the
other, unrelated, Arnold Cooke (1906-), a pupil of Hindemith
and often "serious" in his output but comprising some lighter
instrumental pieces too; and Arthur Cook, composer of light orchestral
miniatures. Another such was Eric Cook, whose Polka Dot (1958)
is not to be comfused with Mark Lubbock’s similarly titled Polka
Dots, once very popular.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.