A 261st GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
There are at least five types of light music composers
which have constantly recurred throughout the bulk of these Garlands:
film/TV, "music theatre", military/brass band, orchestral
and ballad, although some composers overlap two or more of these categories.
We have one from each this time.
The "orchestral" exponent is Harry Stewart
Somers, who is worth a mention for his Movement for Orchestra
(full orchestra, that is) and the four movements for strings entitled
Out film/TV representative is Toby Langton-Gilks,
who most recently (April 2002) provided an appropriately spare and brief
score for the Falklands War documentary Simon’s Heroes.
For our band exponent let me put forward the name of
Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Kingston, who is at present (2002)
Principal Director of Music (Army), who had been in Army bands since
1964 and who is known for his arrangements and for his march, composed
in 1978, The Staffordshire Yeomanry
Now for the light music theatre. William Fullerton,
American-born and Leipzig–trained, settled in Britain and provided
the music for the comic opera The Lady of the Locket (1885: 120
performances in the West End) and contributed to Frankenstein or
the Vampire’s Victim (Gaiety, 1887), after which he slips from our
Finally for our ballad composer Vincent O’Brien
(1870-1948), who also arranged a number of folk and popular songs. He
composed, most notably, the two titles, still sung, The Fairy Tree
and The Fairy Fiddler.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.