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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

A 267th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS

We begin with a curiosity from 1894 when the "musical travesty" Laughs, or Tina and Tony toured through the provinces. Its musical director, C.E. Howells, who had earlier written the music for the "Extravaganza". The Golden Plume (1886) and the musical Eastward Ho (1894) contributed, we may assume, the lionís share of the score of Laughs, but four other people, Thomas and Julia Kent, Scott Folkestone (can that name possibly be a real one?) and W.G. Eaton also provided some of the music.

Still in Victorian times, another of those arrangers of theatre music, to go with Warwick Williams, H.M. Higgs and the Bucalossis, among others, we offer the name of James Weaver.

Our representative of the present-day film/TV/radio incidental music brigade is David Chilton, whose latest score (2002) is for the BBC radio play The Compass Rose: A Tattoo Lexicon. Also still very much active is Mike Walton, who has published various pieces of educational music or concert items suitable for amateur performers, such as Trumpet Rag, also various arrangements similarly suitable including one of The Londonderry Air for clarinet choir, which I heard very recently.

Finally the name of Giles Swayne, born in 1946, may in this context create some raising of eyebrows if we remember his Cry for 28 amplified voices and the fact that he studied with Harrison Birtwistle, whom I cannot imagine being a candidate for these Garlands! But Swayne, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, has wide interests (he is for example, fascinated by the music of Africa) and believes in writing, with his more serious output, at least some accessible music for young performers. From this we may exemplify such pieces as County Down for chorus and percussion, No Quiet Place for childrenís voices, string trio and xylophones, The Song of the Tortoise for narrator, childrenís

voices, recorders, choir and orchestra and the piano pieces for children entitled Zebra Music.

Philip L Scowcroft

May 2002

 


Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount

DONCASTER

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 rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


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