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Growing up with the Leicestershire
  Schools Symphony Orchestra

           Philip Monk

I suppose the idea is a bit strange. Why on earth would I suddenly choose to
write about my childhood after all this time?

Well, in truth, it's because I believe that I had a special childhood. Not
because I'm special, but because I was part of something that was very special
- the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra.

Of course, it's easy to be nostalgic at this time in my life. There's sometimes
sorrow at the loss of one's youth, and a tendency to believe that things were
better in those times than they actually were. But this short story isn't just an
exercise in sentimentality. It's my own very personal account of what it was
like in those days to be part of the County School of Music and play in the
Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra. It's my own private way of
paying tribute to the orchestra and to Eric Pinkett. I don't really care if no-
one reads it; I've set it down on paper for me rather than anyone else.

Perhaps I believe that once I've finished it I can see those days within some
sort of lifespan context and come to terms with where I am now, and what I
may do in the future. Perhaps I rather hope that other close friends who were
part of this period in my life will read it, enjoy some of the stories, and
remember the good times that we had together. But my overriding
motivation is an inner urge to set something down on paper about those days
before I forget the details altogether. I've got other projects planned and I
can't seem to give them my complete concentration until I've fulfilled this
strange need to put the story into words and my record of those days is

Were those of us who were musicians different to other kids? I'm convinced
we were. Other children had their mates, their football and their Boy Scouts,
and so on. But I don't think these activities stand comparison, even taking
into account my own perspective. It's not just how close we all were; it's
about the uniqueness of exploiting a talent and working together to create an
entity that was so very special. It's not an experience that you can replicate in
adult life because of the timely convergence of enthusiasm, youthfulness, and
innocence. Even if some of us are still musicians today, it's not quite the same

I've thought long and hard about including my own personal relationships.
Perhaps I should have just written a straight account of what it was like to be
in the orchestra at that time. But the difficulty is that I can't separate the two.
If this offends some and amuses others, then I offer my apologies to the
former group, and the latter won't mind anyway.

But everything I've written is how I remember it even if I impose my own
subjectivity. Certain events took place that I'm not so proud of now and, in
retrospect, some of them even make me wince with embarrassment. But
that's the whole point about growing up and the integral childishness and
immaturity of youth. We all make mistakes at that age; how else do we

Why bother with all this when Eric did such a good job in his book? Well,
Eric told the story of the County School of Music, and of the way in which he
managed to turn his vision into reality, together with his own part in creating
such an astonishing and marvellous organisation. Well I don't seek to
compete or compare with his own record of events, except perhaps to re-
emphasise his own contribution by adding some further insight into the
scope of his achievement.

My story is merely told from the point of view of one of the hundreds of
children who have played in the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra.
It's only one small part of the tale that continues to this day. It's about the one
thing that Eric couldn't know - what it felt like to be one of the players; what
went on behind the scenes; and, most of all, what it meant to spend one's
youth growing up with music.


1) My thanks to friends for their help in checking my facts and correcting my
mistakes. In addition, in some passages, their own memories and anecdotes have
helped refresh my memories. I'm especially grateful to Judy, Valerie, Dave and Steve
for their special help in corroborating certain details.

2) Particular thanks must go to Dave Smith who allowed me to reproduce some of the
many photographs that he took of the orchestra over the years, and John Whitmore
who checked and corrected some of my dates, places and other details.

3) Where I've mentioned the names of certain girls at various places in the book, I've
gained their permission to do so - if I've been able to contact them. Wherever I
haven't obtained such approval, I've respected their anonymity.


1) In the text, where a number in bold appears thus (17) after a concert date, it refers
to the corresponding program number in Appendix A. In turn, this program number
shows details of the actual program performed on that specific day.

2) My apologies for any omissions in the lists of players. It's difficult to say precisely
who was in the orchestra at a specific point in time since there were always one or
two players in the process of joining or leaving.

                                Chapter One


It was my Dad's idea. I'm not sure why he decided to take me to Market
Harborough Town Band at the tender age of nine and ask them if they would
teach me to play the cornet. Perhaps it was his own love of music or maybe
he thought I'd be the next Louis Armstrong. Anyway, I did what I was told
and went along to our local band, where I was introduced to the bandmaster
and shown how to hold a cornet. By the end of the first practice session I had
managed to blow a primitive note on it, and, to my surprise, was even
allowed to take home a battered instrument and an old scale book. I was the
newest recruit to a small band of six children whom the bandmaster, Mr
Yarrow, would teach twice a week before the senior band rehearsal started.

I wasn't that keen really. It appeared to me that playing with my friends
outside was much more fun, especially as I began to appreciate how difficult
it was to master the instrument. I would have given up but my father was
determined to make me continue, even to the extent of refusing to allow me
to go out to play until I'd completed my compulsory thirty minutes practice
every evening.

So my Dad took me from our house in Gumley to band rehearsals in Market
Harborough twice a week, and the combination of this attendance - together
with his persistence in making me practice - eventually began to pay off. I
still couldn't manage more than a few simple tunes and scales but it didn't
sound quite so much like a ship's foghorn. My playing slowly started to
improve and I began to grasp the rudimentaries of the instrument.

By 1962 I had improved enough to join the senior band. I was allocated to the
second cornet bench alongside a boy called Glenn Pollard.

I was ten years old in May and, shortly afterwards, was asked to play in a
concert for the first time. On June 24th, the band was to be one of the guest
bands invited to play on the bandstand at Northampton's Abington Park.

The incident that I remember most from this occasion wasn‟t the actual
performance of the band. During the interval, all the boys were allowed to
play golf on the putting green. We had only got to the second hole when a
boy swiped his club at the ball, missed, and hit a twelve-year old cornet
player named Colin Downes behind the ear. Colin's wound was soon
pouring with blood while the rest of us stood there aghast as it ran onto his
shirt and uniform. He had to be taken to hospital to have the cut to his head
stitched up and I have never stood behind someone playing golf ever since.

The improvement in my standard of play continued and I began to enjoy the
instrument a little more than I had previously. I got the scales off pretty well
and started to tackle some of the more difficult pieces. I still needed my

Dad's occasional coercion to make me practice, but now and again I would
pick up the cornet myself without needing to be told.

By the Easter of 1963, although I was not yet eleven years of age, I was
deemed ready to play in my first senior band contest at the De Montfort Hall
in Leicester. These were the annual area qualifying rounds for the national
championships that are always held at the Albert Hall in London in October.
Competition was stiff and we weren't placed in the top four - the minimum
result to go through to the nationals.

We gave various concerts in the summer and, by the autumn, Mr Yarrow
decided that some of the youngsters should become accustomed to the
contest atmosphere by entering four of us in a junior quartet competition. He
must have thought we were reasonably proficient because he entered us in
the Junior (under 15) Championships of Great Britain to be held in Coalville
on the 21st September. To our astonishment, our quartet came 5th and we
each received a medal. Fifth in the UK under 15! I was astonished at our
achievement and even more determined to improve my own standard of

The next week our quartet was entered in the Northamptonshire
championships, but on this occasion I was also invited to take part in a solo
contest for the first time. The event took place on the 28th September at the
Kettering Rifles band clubroom.

I was too nervous to do well and dried up completely. Even worse, later in
the contest another youth played the same piece that I had chosen - but
immaculately - and won the contest. His name was Jimmy Watson. He later
became the champion cornet player of Great Britain and is quite famous now
as a performer and conductor. Little did I know then that he and I would
meet again in very different circumstances.

Our quartet failed to be placed this time but, undeterred, we put our name
down for the next competition at the same venue.

However, the most important event of the year had already taken place; I
passed my eleven plus exams and, by September, had moved on to attend
Market Harborough Grammar School.

                                    Chapter Two


I‟d spent the Autumn 1963 term getting used to the complete change of
environment in my new school. But in the early part of the following year I
gradually became aware that there was an orchestra at the school. I heard
them play one day in assembly; they were absolutely terrible.

I thought about whether to tell the music teacher that I could play an
instrument or not, having to judge whether the disadvantages of being part of
something as awful as the orchestra was worth the chance to show off. There
was another reason why this was a decision that I couldn't take lightly. I was
a cornet player and proud of it. I could see that if I joined the orchestra I
would have to play the trumpet. I rather despised the trumpet at the time
because I knew that trumpet players played with a 'straight tone'. I'd spent
the previous two years cultivating a 'vibrato tone'. Cornet players aspire to
this type of tone (because it originally imitated the vibrato of singers) and it is
therefore considered highly desirable in the brass band world. However my
mind was made up for me one day when the teacher asked in class whether
anyone would like to join the School Orchestra and I decided to take the

One of the unfortunate side-effects of my practice and my consequential
accomplishment at a comparatively early age was that I was a real big-head. I
didn't really appreciate at the time that the only reason that I had achieved
any level of skill at all was not due to some inherent talent but that my Dad
had forced me to practice or else! Anyway, joining the School Orchestra
seemed like a good way of showing off even more than I usually did, so I told
the teacher that I could already play the cornet and he invited me to give him
a demonstration. Afterwards, he said that I should not only enrol in the
School Orchestra but also join something I'd never heard of called the 'County
Orchestra'. He arranged for me to stay late after school the following week
and play for a certain Mr Neale who was a County Orchestra music teacher.

In due course I met Mr Neale and he heard me play. As a result he invited
me to join his military wind band, I agreed readily, and from that day
onwards took part in the wind group rehearsal every Tuesday evening.
Being very confident of my own prowess, I overwhelmed the other players
and played twice as loudly as the rest of them put together. After four weeks
of this he called me up to the front of the group. Expecting praise, I was
slightly embarrassed to hear him say:

'Philip, you're on a long sloping hill and you're tumbling to the bottom. At
the bottom of the hill there's a big „D‟. One day you'll slide all the way to the
bottom of the hill and you'll recognise the „D‟. And do you know what the
„D‟ stands for?'

'No', I replied.


I hadn't the faintest idea what he was talking about.

Anyway, on my first rehearsal with the School Orchestra I was in for a big
shock - I wasn't as great a player as I thought I was! Although the rest of the
orchestra was pretty awful, there was a girl trumpeter who was red-hot - her
name was Diane Henderson. She was three or four years older than me and
played in the County Orchestra. I remember asking her how often she
practised and she replied one hour every night for the trumpet and an hour
on the piano without fail. My God!

In no time at all she got me and the rest of the brass players organised and we
were soon having regular brass ensemble practices after school.


In the meantime I was back again in the annual solo brass band contest at the
Kettering Rifles club. Even though I played quite well, Jimmy Watson was
there again in the Junior contest and came first. It was a surprise to me that
his brother Bobby, an excellent tenor horn player, pipped him at the post to
win the overall open solo section.


After a few weeks in the wind band, Mr Neale invited me to join the County
Orchestra. I wasn't quite sure what this involved but it sounded interesting.
Eventually, the day came for my first rehearsal and my father took me to
Market Harborough to catch one of the buses that took children to the regular
Saturday morning orchestra sessions at Birstall. Someone on the bus told me
that there were three orchestras - Junior, Intermediate and Senior, but I wasn't
sure which group I was supposed to be playing with. I arrived, very nervous,
knowing no-one and equally ignorant about where to go or what to do.
Someone must have taken me under their wing because I duly found myself
sitting n an orchestra at the end of a row of about seven trumpet players.

It transpired that I was in the Junior Orchestra but no-one appeared to pay
any attention to me. We proceeded to play the first piece, which seemed to
me to be quite boring and consisted mostly of counting bars rest. After the
continuous involvement that I'd experienced in brass bands, the music
seemed incredibly long drawn out. I hadn't the slightest clue whether anyone
could hear what I was playing, and, even worse, the part I had to play was
absurdly easy.

There was an interval halfway through the morning and I spotted Mr Neale
and went over to him. I was still playing my cornet and he asked me if I
could find a trumpet to play. I went home and the following week asked at
school if they had a trumpet that I could borrow. As luck would have it, they
found a battered old instrument and I gave it a go. I was quite concerned that
playing the trumpet would ruin my cornet technique and was determined to
segregate the two styles completely.

And so began a routine of travelling to Birstall for orchestra rehearsals every
Saturday morning during term time which, although I didn‟t know it at the
time, would last for the next seven years.

I didn't really enjoy it much for the first few weeks because the music was too
easy and it didn't really seem to matter whether I was there or not. Just when
I was considering giving it all up Mr Neale came to see me and said that I
should start going to the Intermediate Orchestra instead.

I gratefully accepted his recommendation and the following Saturday turned
up at a different school in Birstall for my first rehearsal with the

My initial impression of being in this new orchestra was that it seemed so
vast. The hall was crammed with children in every section. I think there
must have been about one hundred and twenty of us. I was introduced to the
conductor, a Mr. Hayworth, and also met a boy called Andrew Holland, and
we quickly became friends. I was impressed with Andrew because, at
thirteen, he was a bit of an old hand and seemed to know all the girls.

I began to notice the girls. I was pretty pubescent at the time and females
were beginning to arouse my attention more than they had previously. I
began to see possibilities, especially when I hung around with Andrew. His
speciality was buying chocolate peanuts and attempting to flick them down
the spectacular (as it seemed to me at the time) cleavage of a girl oboe player
called Helen. She protested in vain and we spent most of rehearsals
laughing, messing about generally, and trying to chat up any girl that would
tolerate the pair of us.

The orchestra seemed to me to make a huge disorganised noise. Sometimes
this was exciting but often you couldn't really get much of an impression of
the overall sound, only of the instruments nearest to you. I was sitting at
about eighth trumpet. The music was mostly straightforward classical works
with one or two more modern ones occasionally thrown into the repertoire.
If I was to enjoy playing a piece, it had to meet one of three criteria; either I
had heard it before; I had a lot to play in it; or the part allowed me to play
very loudly.

I remember playing the Karelia Suite in the first category (it was the theme
tune to the TV programme „This Week‟), Holst‟s Suite in F in the second, and
Malcolm Arnold's Four Scottish Dances in the last.

After a number of rehearsals I played my first concert with the orchestra on
the 19th of December at Longslade School in Birstall (1). An older boy called
Andy Smith played the first movement of the Beethoven Piano concerto. My
parents had had to buy me my first black blazer for the occasion to go with
the dickie bow that I'd used in my band concerts. I don't remember much of
the actual performance but this was probably because I was concentrating so
hard on not making a mistake on my first time out.

                                Chapter Three


The year began and, besides doing all the other things you do as a twelve-
year-old, I continued to divide the time devoted to music between the band
and the Intermediate Orchestra.

The music in the orchestra became a little more difficult. Although
technically it was well within my capability, some parts were written for
trumpet in the key of C, A or, even worse, E. This meant that we all had to
transpose from our natural key of B flat and this was extremely difficult if
you weren't used to it. The leader of the trumpet section, Steve Lenton, asked
me to demonstrate a particular passage to him and to the other trumpet
players. I had been waiting for this opportunity for ages because I already
knew that I was a better player than any of the others. I don‟t say this
conceitedly. It‟s just that they hadn‟t had the constant exposure to the
technical brass band stuff that I had, quite apart from my Dad pushing me on.
Unfortunately, I had to transpose this particular piece and made a real mess
of it. I was mortified that I had fluffed my big chance in front of everyone
and spent the whole bus journey home seething at the injustice of life.

It was about this time that I began to be aware of all the social aspects of
being part of the orchestra. I started to make new friends and we all formed
groups at break times and swapped gossip. A central theme of the break was
the visit to the tuck-shop, where we would scoff Wagon Wheels, Potato Puffs,
and other assorted goodies.

Summer came and there was great excitement for me at the news that I was
about to go to Colwyn Bay on my first orchestra course. I'd never been away
from home before. I didn't really know what going on a course involved but
I'd been told that we were going to stay in a school while we practised for a
concert. I discussed it with one of my new friends, a trombone player from
Market Harborough called Len Tyler. He was also going and he became my
closest friend on the course even though he was a couple of years older than I

The big day came and my Dad took me to catch the bus that would take us to
the course. The bus took us to Leicester and then onwards to Colwyn Bay.
We arrived in the afternoon and were shown a classroom and my first mild
surprise was to be handed some collapsible camp beds that we were expected
to erect and sleep on. No-one showed me how to put these awkward
contraptions together and I had to gawp around stupidly to see how the
others did it. Worse still, nearly everyone else seemed to have sleeping bags
to go on top of the beds. I hadn't been warned about bringing one (not that
I'd ever seen a sleeping bag before) and I had to make do with a sheet and
some blankets, which was decidedly less cool.

So this was my introduction to dormitory life on an orchestra course for the
first time. I quickly learned that when there's a group of you sleeping on
camp beds overnight in a classroom, there's always going to be some fun.
This fun consisted of talking, generally messing around, and not going to
sleep when the lights were switched off. I learnt some amazing new things.
Firstly, some boys smoked! Even more astonishing, I soon realised that some
boys were using a deodorant underarm spray called 'antibo' (it took me two
years to realise that they were talking about anti-b.o. - body odour). I‟d never
realised such things existed.

But the most vivid memory is the talking and laughing after lights out.
Sometimes the talking would last for 20 minutes or so, sometime for a couple
of hours. Sometimes there would be silence for a couple of minutes only for
someone to fart or make a silly sound which would set us all off in a fit of
giggles. The most popular prank consisted of creeping across the dorm in the
dark, grabbing the metal sides of the camp bed and tipping the sleeper onto
the floor. Nobody escaped having this done to them at some time or other,
including me.

Apparently we were allowed to wander out into the town when we were not
rehearsing and, on the second day, Len and I walked down to the sea front
and around the shops. We entered something I'd never seen before called an
amusement arcade and I discovered some electronic games called fruit
machines. I was fascinated, and the next day walked down to the town
myself and into the same amusement arcade. I spent ages just watching the
various games and eventually twigged that one of them was operating on
some sort of a cyclic basis. I started to play this machine and won lots of
money (about seven shillings) until the owner discovered my wheeze and
chased me out. I spent the rest of the holiday trying to sneak in and play the
machine when he wasn't looking, and I've had a penchant for fruit machines
ever since.

I discovered another remarkable feature of the course - we all had to sing
grace before meals. This was very strange to me - particularly since we had
to sing something in Latin called 'Non Nobis Domine'. Worse, we had to sing
it in round form two bars behind the girls and nobody ever taught you the
words. Somehow you were just expected to pick it up as you went along. I
managed to keep a straight face as I attempted to do this, unless I happened
to catch the eye of one of my friends, which would inevitably lead to a bout of
giggles. This custom turned out to be a feature of every course. We did sing
it rather well, mind you, and, on one occasion we even reduced hardened
dinner ladies to tears.

On one of my trips into town I bought a cloth badge to stick on the inside of
my trumpet case. I'd noticed that a lot of players had similar badges fixed
either on the inside or outside of their instrument cases showing the various
places that they'd been to on the different courses. I decided that I'd put mine
on the inside of the case to be a bit more subtle (most unlike me).

We gave two concerts towards the end of the week and then it was all over
and we had to come home. On the return journey I couldn't help but notice
that a boy and girl in the seat opposite me were kissing! I'd never seen such a

thing before (except at the pictures) and tried not to stare even though I was
fascinated by the length of their clinches.

The Autumn term began. Steve Lenton moved up to the Senior Orchestra,
some boys left, and I moved up about three places within the section.

Of course, music wasn't the only thing that I was involved in at the time. I
loved sport, especially athletics and rugby, and had to try and achieve a
balance between these and music. Like most brass players however, I think I
was always conscious whenever I played in the rougher sports as to how I
would play again if I damaged my lips or teeth in any way.

                               Chapter Four


By the turn of the year, I was among five children from the school orchestra
who were being picked up by bus from Market Harborough to travel to
County Orchestra rehearsals on a Saturday morning. Apart from me, they
were Len (trombone), Veronica (flute), Kathryn (violin) and Valerie (clarinet).
If my Dad couldn‟t take me to rehearsals for any reason I would cycle the five
miles to the pick up point with my trumpet case strapped precariously to the
handlebars on my bike.

These rehearsals continued throughout the spring and I made new friends. I
slowly managed to adapt my cornet and trumpet playing technique so that I
could utilise the appropriate style when necessary, avoiding a vibrato tone on
the trumpet at all costs. I learnt to master the transposition to the key of C,
but the other keys were much more difficult.


Our summer orchestra course this year was to be at Lowestoft. The
arrangements followed the usual pattern of coach trips, arrival at the school,
allocation to dormitories, and so on. The combination of a seaside town,
sunshine and plenty of free time meant it was more of a giant holiday than an
orchestra course. But the teachers still made us rehearse rigorously. We
played two works that featured among my favourites - Schubert‟s Unfinished
Symphony and Smetana‟s Vltava.

I gradually became aware of a number of different aspects to the course itself,
and to the way that the rehearsal sessions worked.

The course consisted of communal breakfast in the main dining room
followed by morning rehearsal. We practised all the way to lunchtime and,
after the meal, were allowed to take the afternoons off as free time. We could
do whatever we liked during this period. Some people preferred just to hang
around the dorms but most of us would take ourselves off into the town in
little groups. We had to return for the evening meal, which was usually
served at 5:30 or 6:00. There then followed a shorter evening rehearsal until
7:30 or so, after which we were free to amuse ourselves.

Lights out was nominally at 10:00 or so, but we often switched them on again
as soon as the staff were out of sight. They would catch us out of course and
threaten dire consequences if we didn't go to sleep. At this point we usually
reverted to torches or talked in the semi-darkness.

As far as the rehearsals themselves were concerned, a few things stick in my
mind. Firstly, during the breaks, there were always kids that insisted on
playing all the percussion instruments, or any instrument but their own. This
really got on my nerves as it invariably resulted in a loud horrible noise that
didn't do anything for anyone. They all wanted to bang drums as if it were
clever or something; I was very thankful that I wasn't a percussionist - I
would have hated people messing with the kit.

Secondly, the sheet music folders always seemed to be in a mess. The
problem was that no-one appeared to take responsibility or ownership of the
folder for each section. So you invariably had occasions when we couldn't
find the music or the whole folder itself. It was always worse when the
orchestra started playing a piece and we were still searching frantically
though all the music in the folder trying to find the correct part. I lost count
of the times when I had to play the first entry from memory while one of us
scrabbled through all the sheets of paper.

The course itself was very enjoyable and although I was still rather shy with
girls, I'd pal around with Andrew Holland and one or two others which at
least allowed me the odd conversational opportunity with the opposite sex.
The week itself culminated in two concerts - in Beccles on the 20th of August
(2), and in Lowestoft itself on 22nd (2).

The main problem with these concerts was that they were both in churches.
This was really awkward because of the size of the orchestra and it inevitably
meant that the brass sections would end up occupying the choir stalls. There
was never enough room on these benches and we couldn't hold our
instruments properly - never mind get the music stands right.

I had a number of friends in the orchestra by this time and we would hang
around together or walk down to the beach in small groups. I became
friendlier with Veronica and we bought each other identity bracelets (they
were very fashionable at that time).

One of the traditions of our orchestra tours and courses was that we played a
concert in Leicestershire immediately on our return. Accordingly, the day
after we returned from Lowestoft we were in action at Guthlaxton Grammar
School in Wigston (3). David Pugsley, a Senior Orchestra clarinettist, played
the Weber Concertino.

At the start of the Autumn term I was promoted to lead the trumpet section.
Even though I was proud to take on the role, I still felt that it was a lot less
demanding than playing solo cornet in the band. However, being the
orchestral leader meant that I had to play any solo-marked passages, and so
gave me some extra responsibilities and involvement with the music.

Mr Haworth acknowledged my place in the orchestra by giving me a red
badge. I'd previously noticed when travelling on the bus that a badge scheme
existed right through the three orchestras. I'd asked about it and been told
that each badge denoted which orchestra that you belonged to; yellow for
Junior, red for Intermediates, and blue for Seniors. There didn't seem to be
any formal route to acquiring such a badge but I was very grateful and proud
that I'd received mine.
Mr Haworth himself was a very popular figure. He brought a sense of
humour to his conducting and managed to strike the right balance between
treating us as grown ups as far as the demands of the music were concerned
whilst taking account of our tender years. He would single out various
players and refer to them as famous musicians of yesteryear. The
percussionist was always called Gene Kruper even though none of us had
ever heard of someone who went by this name. If he held up his baton and
failed to get quiet from the players he‟d say “I‟m not holding this stick in the
air for somebody to hang a lamp on”.

On the 14th October and before our next course, we repeated the Guthlaxton
program at Syston Methodist Church (3), again with Dave Pugsley as the

At the end of the month we went to Cambridge for a short concert tour. We
all stayed with hosts and I shared a room with a boy called Stephen Pepper,
who played the bassoon. The room had a record player in it and I remember
it being the first time that I had ever seen one! Stephen and I went through
the record collection and ended up playing Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling
Stones over and over again. I can't remember anything else of significance
concerning the visit except that we gave two schools concerts and eventually
returned home after four days away.

On our return we played much the same program as in Cambridge in a
concert at Oakham (2).

Next month I had my first taste of being asked to play as a 'freelancer'. I was
invited to play in the small pit band at the Phoenix Theatre in the Happiest
Days of Your Life. I received a small fee for my efforts. It was the first time
that I had realised that you could earn money through playing!

Our last Intermediate concert of the year was at Birstall on the 21st December.
We used the occasion to vary the format of our concert program somewhat
and we gave a number of players the opportunity to perform individually or
in quartets (4). Marion Shaw, Richard Anderson, Clive Aucott and Robert
Heard were the soloists in the Vivaldi concerto for four violins; Marion Shaw,
Susan Phipps, Vanessa Hood and Jane Monk were soloists in the Salon Suite;
Nicola Swann played the Haydn Oboe Concerto; Stephen Pepper the Capel
Bond Bassoon Concerto; and Andy Mack the Weber Clarinet Concertino.

        ON THE WAY TO DENMARK, 1967

           Lambert Wilson and Bert Neale

             FERRY TO BERLIN, 1969

Me, Jimmy Watson, Julie Shoulder and Suzanne Wiseman
                                Chapter Five


I obviously had another life outside the band and the orchestra, and, even
though I was part of so many musical activities, I still had time to do some of
the normal things that kids did at that age. Living in the country, I had to
help out on the local farm, but even these chores didn‟t stop me getting up to
the usual sorts of mischief with my pals, such as scrumping and birds‟ egg

I also had my friends at school and, like most of my classmates, I was also
becoming more interested in girls. Make that very interested.


During the Spring half term I travelled with the orchestra to play in Wisbech
(5) and Cambridge (6), (7) on the 13th and 14th of February. The second
concert was a rather unusual double program. It consisted of a morning
concert - where Nicola Swann played the Haydn Oboe Concerto - and an
afternoon concert where Andy Mack repeated his previous day's
performance of the Weber Concertino. The two conductors on this occasion
were John Westcombe and Jim Haworth.

Shortly after Easter, on the 30th April, the orchestra gave a concert at St
Peter's Church in Church Langton (8), where Sue Phipps played Robert
Valentine's Flute Concerto, the first performance of this work since the
eighteenth century. The Mozart Violin Concerto soloist was Stuart Johnson,
and John Adams played the solo cello in the Baumann work. This was a
rather special occasion for me for two reasons. Firstly, I had been to junior
school in Church Langton just a few yards away from the church and knew
the area well. Secondly, because it was local, my parents had come to the
concert to hear us play.

As part of the Leicestershire Schools Music festival, we repeated the concert
at Castle Donington Secondary School (8). Just before this I'd been asked to be
part of yet another musical organisation - the 'Area Orchestra'. This consisted
of orchestras from schools in the south of Leicestershire. In my view this was
an entirely superfluous venture and, although I went along to the rehearsals
in Lutterworth, it just took up even more of the precious little free time that I
had after school each day.

Back at school, I was getting fed up with having to play in school assemblies.
This meant that I had to be separated from my mates, and miss out on the
laughs and larking around. It was also embarrassing given the quality of the
School Orchestra. But I had also taken quite a fancy to a certain woodwind
player, one of the small group of us who went to the County Orchestra from
Market Harborough. We used to mess about in the small musical storeroom
behind one of the main classrooms. Along with other pupils that were in the
School Orchestra, we used to try and play one of the many spare instruments
that were lying about on the shelves. My speciality was playing the hornpipe
on the tuba as fast as I could.

I was fifteen in May and had never really gone out properly with a girl
before. One day a clarinet player in the school orchestra, Gayle Carter, had
walked up to me and asked me straight out if I wanted to go to the cinema to
see the Beatles film - 'Hard Day's Night'. I was so dumbfounded that I went
red, mumbled and ended up saying no. I don't know why I said no; I
suppose I was just too nervous. I spent the next few weeks kicking myself for
the lost opportunity.

The school holidays arrived and I couldn't wait for the day when we would
be off on our next orchestra course. This year it was to be held at Southport.
The week of rehearsals culminated in a concert at the Holy Trinity Church in
Southport on the 1st August (9).

We were based in a large school as usual. There were about a dozen or so of
us in each classroom dormitory and we got up to all the usual pranks. One of
the favourite ones was to loosen all the legs of someone's camp bed so that it
just stayed up but immediately collapsed as soon as you sat or lay on it. We
would also carefully carry people who were fast asleep on their beds outside
to spend the night in the open air. What they thought when they woke up I
don‟t know.

The worst prank that we got up to was when a number of us „bounced‟ a
female member of staff‟s car so that it ended up in a playing field adjacent to
the car park. That wouldn‟t have been so bad except for the final resting
position - lengthways between two goalposts with only a few inches to spare
at either end. In hindsight this was a wicked thing to do but it seemed
hilarious when you were 15 years old.

Half the boys were involved in trying to make new relationships with the
opposite sex (and the half that weren‟t were wimps in my view!). In reality
we were a bit too young to get up to anything completely overt, but that
didn't stop us pretending. I flirted with a flute player but didn't really
achieve anything except to chat to her during our daily walk down to the sea
front. A whole group of us used to go together, and generally fool around
trying to impress our peers - as kids do at that age.

What was especially exciting for a youth of my tender years was that the girls
seemed to be in some sort of perpetual contest as to who could wear the
shortest mini-skirt. How they got away with some of them I'll never know,
but there were definitely no complaints from me personally.

Eventually, we made our way back from the course and after the bus had
dropped most people off at Leicester, we journeyed on to Market
Harborough. Somehow or other Miss Woodwind and I got into a 'staring
contest' (very mature, I don't think). Anyway, one thing led to another after
that and she and I started to spend more time with each other in a kind of
unspoken arrangement, although we weren't really going out together.

As soon as we returned we played a concert at Bushloe High School in
Wigston (10). Among other items, Rob Walker from the Senior Orchestra
played Weber's Hungarian Rondo for Bassoon, and Susan Phipps played the
Dittersdorf Flute Concerto. Included in the same concert was William
Mathias's Sinfonietta, which was specially commissioned for that year's
Leicester Schools Festival of Music. The festival had been inaugurated in
1965 and the intention was that it would be held every two years.

I returned to school in September as a fifth former. Although this would be
my 'O levels' exam year, I was still playing with the School Orchestra after the
end of lessons, with the band on two evenings a week, and with the Area and
County Orchestras in the rest of my spare time.

On top of all this, I had joined a jazz group. A few months earlier, a
clarinettist in the school orchestra, a boy called Brian Downes, had suggested
that a few of us form a small trad jazz group. I agreed, together with a
trombone player called Glenn Pollard (my friend from the early days of the
town band) and a pianist called Steve. The four of us rehearsed and started to
sound reasonably good. Brian supplied all the music and was the real star
because he could play jazz very well. My jazz style was pretty awful since I
had always learned to play 'straight'.

But we soon started to get bookings to play at various functions, including
local clubs and night-spots. After a while Brian informed us that he had
decided to call the group The Briandros Combo. While Glen and I were
falling about laughing at this absurd name, he told us that we were to
audition for Opportunity Knocks on the following week. So a few days later
we went to Nottingham and were one of about two hundred acts taking part.
We made the last twenty-five before being knocked out. I felt that what we
needed was a drummer, otherwise, as none of us were older than sixteen, I
thought we might have made it to the final.


We had only just started Saturday morning rehearsals for the new term when
we were asked to give a concert at the Beauchamp Grammar School on the
13th October. Richard Fairhead played the Mozart Piano Concerto Number 9

A few days later, I had my first call to rehearse with the Senior Orchestra. I
didn't seem to go through any formal promotion process like the other
players. One day, during an Intermediate rehearsal, one of the staff said I
was wanted in the Upper School. To this day I don't know why, I only
remember the feeling of terror as, clutching my trumpet case, I made my way
along the footpath between the schools.
I arrived at the Upper School and just stood around. Eventually, Steve
Lenton spotted me and told me to sit at the end of the trumpet section. I
remember Steve was leader, Colin Clague was second and one or two others
were in between him and me. I was totally overawed by the whole
atmosphere, because, unlike the Intermediates, the Senior brass section sat on
a stage above the main body of the orchestra, and, as a result, the whole
dimension of the orchestra seemed different. Everyone was much older than
me and appeared to be very sophisticated and grown-up.

I quickly learned a number of facts about being in the Senior Orchestra.

Firstly, the older boys had power and the younger ones didn't. Younger ones
such as myself did as we were told otherwise we were threatened with all
sorts of punishments. Funnily enough, these threats rarely seemed to be
carried out. So there was no bullying as such; it was more the implicit threat
of being bullied that maintained the status quo.

I was always being threatened with the „pissoir‟. It took me ages to work out
that the pissoir was the men's urinal and the threat meant that if you didn't
behave you would end up getting dunked in it while it was flushing.
Fortunately, I managed to avoid this experience but I know of one or two
others who weren't so lucky.

Secondly, virtually every boy smoked cigarettes. You almost had to in order
to look cool. So at break time we all cleared off to have crafty fags. I soon got
into the swing of this and remembered to buy my ten Conquest cigarettes
every Saturday while I was waiting at the bus stop in Market Harborough.

Thirdly, the orchestra took things a bit more seriously than we had done in
the Intermediates. The quality of playing and the whole sound of the
orchestra was completely different. Because everyone was that much older,
there was none of the running around and giggling that was part of the
Intermediate set-up.

Another important issue for me was that there was a whole new orchestra of
girls to study closely and evaluate individually. While we were counting bars
rest it was incumbent on me to methodically check out each female and
award them a mental rating (adolescent boys do this, you know). Even
though most of the girls were older than I was and therefore unattainable, I
was struck immediately by how many attractive girls we had playing in the

Although by now I was rehearsing with the Seniors, at the end of October I
was among a number of senior players who were asked to go on a course
with the Intermediate orchestra. It was to be my first trip outside England -
to Ballymena in Northern Ireland. We all looked forward to it tremendously

- especially me - because it would finally mark the proper beginning of my
relationship with Miss Woodwind.

Altogether there were seventy-eight girls and boys and six staff going on the
course. They were (in no particular order):

Linda Coe, Joyce Fraser, Hilary Orton, Ann Smith, Malcolm Bennett, Richard
Harris, John Smith, Martin Walker, Veronica Adcock, Valerie Blissett,
Kathryn Clewlow, Corinne Bradley, Elizabeth Salem, Richard Errington,
Stephen Hopkins, Stephen Hunt, Jonathan Salem, David Stevens, Mary
Greenhow, Andrew Barnwell, Helen Parker, Susan Phipps, Kathryn Marcer,
Stephen Lenton, David Matthews, Graham Pyatt, Christine Wells, Robert
Heard, Peter Lawrence, David Thompson, Helen Barksby, Rosalind Burton,
Eleanor Cooke, Vanessa Hood, Vanessa Knapp, Heather Milbank, Jacqueline
Spiby, Andrew Mack, David Sharp, Jeffrey Zorko, Kathryn Halsall, Lynn
Mace, James Eccles, James Shenton, Lisbeth Ward, Jane Sanders, Clive Aucott,
Richard Fairhead, Lorraine Aucott, Sarah Brookman, Julia Shoulder, Anne
Sim, Alison Tilsley, Neil Marner, Paul Jarvis, Barbara Allen, Gillian Allen,
Barbara Bath, Lynne Faulks, Sheila Smith, Sandra Taylor, John Adams, Barry
Belcher, Stephen Draycott, Andrew Smith, David Smith, Diana Birks, Barbara
Cooper, Catherine Jinks, Patricia Kelly, Helena Kendall, Elizabeth Mackay,
Penelope Roberts, Frances Stedman, Glyn Belcher, Stephen Gee, Charles Jones
and me. The six staff were Messrs Hallam, Matson, Robb and Pinkett, Miss
Chandler and Miss Yorath.

 The bus journey was going to be very special for me. I had finally plucked
up the nerve to ask Miss Woodwind if she would sit with me on the bus and I
was determined that I'd have my first snog with her. We'd only been
travelling a few minutes when I tried the first kiss. She said I was awful. Ah
well, I thought, I could only get better and practised all the way to the ferry.

The ferry was a great adventure for me because I'd never even seen one
before let alone sailed on one. We duly arrived in Belfast and then travelled
on by bus to Ballymena. When we arrived we were all allocated to 'hosts'
who would look after us for the week. I was disappointed to find that
although I'd be staying at a very posh house it would be with a girl (whose
name I won't mention) who was only about thirteen, and another boring
wimp-type boy about my own age.

Each day we were ferried by our hosts to the local school where we practised
or, more often than not, were whisked off by bus to take part in concerts at
various local schools.

On the second night the girl who was staying with me knocked on my door
during the evening. I let her in and she proceeded to try and grab my private
parts. I was totally taken aback and embarrassed by such aggressive sexual
behaviour from a girl who was so young and pushed her away while
simultaneously trying to make a joke of it. She attempted the same thing
almost every night for the rest of the stay. I've often wondered why I didn't
let her just do it and then, in turn, reciprocate the attention. Apart from the
fact that she was so young, I think it was my sheer lack of experience that left
me unable to cope with her forwardness. The times since then that I've
thought that it would have been very exciting to have let her carry on.

Whenever we went away on these orchestra courses the staff would organise
some sort of sightseeing trip and this time was no exception. We were taken
to the Giant's Causeway and allowed to clamber around on the uniquely
shaped stepping stones.

The week consisted of nine concerts:

22nd - Lambeg (11)
23rd - Bushmills Grammar School (schools concert a.m., public p.m.)
24th - Carrickfergus (schools concert a.m., public p.m.)
25th - Magherafelt (schools concert a.m., public p.m.)
26th - Ballymena
27th - Rathcoole

Andy Mack played the clarinet concertos and Richard Fairhead the piano
concertos. The program was broadly the same on each occasion.

During the course I was determined to see Miss Woodwind. She was staying
with another girl who was friendly with one of my pals. One evening my
friend and I met up to walk to the house where they were staying, even
though it was some distance away from our own. We managed to spend a
couple of hours with them because their hosts were out for the evening.
Unfortunately, their hosts discovered our liaison and weren't impressed.
They complained to Eric and he took both Miss W and her friend aside to let
them know that he was not amused, and any repetition of their behaviour
would result in them being sent home.

Before the course ended I had made a number of new friends. For the first
time I met two boys who were to become firm friends for many years to come
- Dave Smith and Steve Draycott.

We returned from Ireland and started school again after the half term. Miss
Woodwind and I started to go out 'properly' and our first date involved
going to the cinema together. My parents had allowed me to go and a local
lad in our village had a girlfriend who also lived nearby which meant that he
could give me a lift home afterwards. I was so excited I don't remember
much about that first date but I think it was reasonably successful as we soon
started going to the cinema regularly on a Saturday evening.

By now I was principle cornet with the Market Harborough Town Band. The
band still weren't very good but I stuck at my practice and enjoyed being
leader of the band at fifteen. I continued to take part in a number of solo
contests with some mixed success.

On the 10th November I played my first concert with the Senior Orchestra at
Ivanhoe College in Ashby (12). The soloists for the Oboe and Violin
Concertos were Philippa Elloway and David Matthews respectively. It was a
thrilling occasion for me and an entirely different matter to the previous
Intermediate concerts. It wasn't just the higher standard of play, but the
whole atmosphere seemed more serious and professional. I enjoyed it
thoroughly even though I felt that I was only a very small part of the whole

I think it's easy to forget now about other aspects of that era which stick
firmly in the mind of those of us who were around in the sixties. It wasn't
just the music, but the social upheaval and sexual freedom that began to
emerge at that time. I particularly remember the advent of the contraceptive
pill and the excitement for us all at the time of the prospect of sex without the
usual encumbrances and worries.

Pop music was all around us as anyone my age will tell you. The clothes
were another symbol of the times. Apart from the mini-skirts, flower power
and influences from America had contrived to completely change everyone's
wardrobe. My mum had made me an orange flowered shirt with a penny
collar, and another in purple silk.
The latter I would proudly wear with my purple corduroy jeans and purple
corduroy jacket!

I had crimplene long-sleeved shirts, tie-dye sleeveless ones, cotton ones with
black lace-up necks, hipsters instead of trousers, and, most of all, waistcoats.
Wearing waistcoats without any coat was somehow significant because
waistcoats were originally designed to be worn as part of a suit and I think
the symbolism was unmistakable. As well as the minis, girls wore hot-pants,
maxis, jeans, smocks, fluffy jumpers and see-through tops. Unfortunately,
they also wore tights.


By the end of the year my relationship with Miss Woodwind had begun to
progress sexually because, although I was totally naive and inexperienced, I
was dead keen to find out all I could about 'doing it'. We were getting past
the kissing stage and going through all the usual teenage groping and
fumbling. However, we still talked about it more than anything else, and had
no opportunity to go any further anyway.

The orchestral diary for 1967 drew to a close with extra rehearsals at Birstall
during the Christmas holidays.



                                 Chapter Six


From late 1967 to early 1968 I was often involved with both the Intermediates
and Senior Orchestras. A number of us who had recently moved to the
Seniors were sometimes brought back for engagements with the
Intermediates while our replacements were gaining experience.

I think Eric Pinkett began to formally acknowledge me as a player at about
this time. Obviously I'd been aware of Eric from my early days in the
Intermediates when someone had pointed him out to me. But I'd never been
in an orchestra that had been conducted by him before and, until someone
pointed it out to me, I didn't quite understand that he was the driving force
behind the whole organisation. It was remarkable that he managed to make
time for so many young musicians and understand their strengths and
capabilities. If one thinks about the hundreds of children who passed
through the various orchestras over the years, it would have been hard
enough to remember their faces let alone their relative ability.

On January 2nd I was with the Seniors when we were filmed during rehearsal
by the BBC as part of the Music International program to be shown on BBC2.
This was an exciting new venture for me. We were at Birstall as usual but the
main hall was packed with huge lights and cameras. We had to play
naturally and pretend to ignore the intrusion of all the equipment. I'm sure
we all looked far more serious than we usually did. Eric had to have make-
up applied to his shiny head and we all attempted to brush our hair and look
our best, knowing that our parents and friends would eventually be seeing us
on TV. The film crew recorded us playing Nimrod, Candide and Tippett‟s
Suite in D conducted by Sir Michael.

The spring term began. Occasionally we would give a concert during term-
time and one of these took place in the half-term in the Temple Speech Room
at Rugby School on the 27th February (13). Dave Matthews played the Bruch
Violin Concerto, but the concert was more memorable for our first public
attempt to play the fiendishly difficult Walton Partita. Perhaps even more
importantly Norman Del Mar was in the audience to listen to us – no doubt
with the summer‟s Vienna tour in mind.

I still hadn't entirely lost touch with the Intermediate Orchestra and helped
them out at their next concert on the 10th of April at Stamford (14).

I used to love going to rehearsals in those days. It was such a marvellous
hobby as well as tremendous fun. The combination of music, girls, larking
around and practical jokes was a heady mixture. Every Saturday, I would
catch up with my friends, male and female, and swap news. There would be
new music to learn and, occasionally, new faces arriving. There was
excitement when Eric announced the next new project, particularly if the

news involved a TV session, a recording, or a course away from home. My
schoolwork suffered because everything else seemed to pale by comparison
to my involvement in the orchestra.

Then one day, out of the blue, I was sitting in the trumpet section when
another boy sat down next to Steve. It was an unbelievable shock for me
because I recognised the boy instantly as Jimmy Watson. In a moment of
truth, I realised that someone had 'discovered' him from the brass band world
and invited him to join us. I knew nothing would ever be the same again.
Jimmy was one of the greatest players in the country, let alone Leicestershire,
and I knew I would never be his equal.

I had mixed emotions about Jimmy‟s arrival. My mental acknowledgement
of Jimmy‟s ability put me in my place and stopped me becoming even cockier
than I already was. However it was also very exciting because I knew that I
would learn from him and that we had the makings of a great trumpet
section as a result.

The players at about this time were:

First Violin               Cello                       Bassoon
David Matthews             Kim Punshon                       Robert Walker
Andrea Sharpe                    Anthony Lewis               Maurice
Judith Allen               Julie Houlton               David Smith
Julia Shoulder                    Fiona Torrance             Stephen Pepper
Stephen Whetstone          Ian Heard
Michael Savidge            Graham Stevenson            Contra-Bassoon
Mary Turner                Vivienne Shorthouse               Maurice
Carol Leader               John Adams
Robert Heard                     Barbara Bath                Horn
Vida Schepens                    Diana Birks                 Thomas Lewis
Marion Davis                     Lyn Eyre                    David
Margaret Smith             Christine Posnett           David Stevens
Margaret Sharpe            Sandra Roberts              Catherine Wortley
Anne Jameson                      Julia Mobbs                Dianne Phillips
Heather Walker             Elizabeth Marlow
Susan Aiers                Elizabeth Salem             Trumpet
Anne Webster                                                 Stephen Lenton
Alison Tilsley                   Double Bass                 James Watson
Sybil Olive                John Smith                  David Hoffler
David Vercoe                     Trevor Nurse                       Philip
Eleanor Cooke              Ruth Hopkinson
Kathryn Clewlow            Elaine Harrison             Trombone
Linda Brice                Pamela Maddock              Roger Harvey
                          Paula Marlow                     John Turner
Second Violin                   Hilary Orton               Martin Slipp
Richard Anderson          Lynda Coe                  John Davis
Elizabeth Deans                                      David Sharp
Jane Hyman                Piccolo                    Richard Fairhead
Kathryn Hopper            Sheila Angrave
Robert Grewcock                                      Tuba
David Abbott                     Flute                      John Smith
John Whitmore             Ruth Webb
Janet Crawshaw            Sheila Angrave             Timpani
Rosemary Carr             Hilary Ball                Andrew Smith
Clive Aucott              Susan Phipps
James Shenton
Paul Jarvis

Second Violin                    Oboe                       Percussion
Judith Proctor                   Philippa Elloway           Margaret
Lynn Mace                 Kathryn Vernon             Stephen Whittaker
Stephen Gee               Karen Griffiths                  Wendy Wilson
Anne Wright               Nicola Swann                     Celia Mulgan
                          Ruth Storer
Viola                     Elizabeth Mackay           Harp
Moira Watkinson                                      Pamela Wright
Helen Leech               Cor Anglais
Susan Taylor              Nicola Swann                     Piano
Alice Freshwater                                     Richard Fairhead
Ian Anderson                     Clarinet
Rona Eastwood             David Pugsley
Malcolm Dicks             Rosalind Lenton
Graham Parker             Robert Oldham
Toni Smith                Susan Underwood
Lynne Faulks                     Andrew Mack
Kathryn Marcer            Jane Monk
Benedict Mason            Valerie Blissett
Glyn Belcher
Stephen Draycott

The Easter course this year was to be held in Chippenham. This was my first
taste of being on a course with the Seniors. Miss Woodwind and I had moved
up to the Senior Orchestra at about the same time and I knew we would be
able to develop our friendship while we were away.

The course was an altogether different affair from my previous Intermediate
courses. I had previously realised that a number of the senior boys formed a
close circle that was tacitly acknowledged as the 'in-crowd'. A sense of
adventure, general bad behaviour and pseudo-adult pastimes marked them
out from the boys who tended to behave themselves. Some of the in-crowd
names that spring to mind were Ian Heard, Dave Pugsley, Robert Walker,
John Smith, Dave Mathews, Andy Smith, Jimmy Watson, and Tony Lewis.
There were no doubt others whom I may have omitted but there were no
absolute criteria and some were more ‟in‟ than others were. I decided from
the start that although the in-crowd boys were older than I was, I was going
to try my best to try and hang around with them.

I managed to get a space in the corner of the 'in-crowd' dorm. This was an
exceptionally daring thing for me to do because I was definitely not „in‟. You
had to be accepted into the group before you stay in their dorm and there was
no way that I had been accepted or even hardly acknowledged. One or two
of the others questioned my right to be there but I managed to hold out by
claiming that the other dorms were full.

I quickly got used to the most important aspect of any course - the drinking.
We all went out each night and knocked back as much beer as possible with
the objective of becoming completely drunk. How we managed to get served
at that age I don't know. We would make our way back from the pub in a
completely inebriated state, falling over, being sick, doing utterly stupid
things, or a combination of all three.

During our drinking trips in the pub we became aware of some of the local
yobbos and we heard that they didn't like us and were spoiling for a fight.
One night some of 'our girls' were insulted by some of these local youths and,
worse still, they had actually hit some of the junior boys. We were incensed
and from somewhere (and I'll never know how) we armed ourselves with
baseball bats, cricket stumps, and assorted weapons and went charging off
around the playing fields determined to remove the threat. Thank God we
didn't find them or we would have been in serious trouble.

The main pub was 15 minutes walk away or about 10 if you cut through a
wood. One night I decided that it would be best if Miss Woodwind and I
walked back through the wood ourselves (because it gave us more chance to
be alone and therefore go for some extra snogging). We were only halfway
through when we heard a rustling in the bushes and as we thought the locals
were after us, decided to make a run for it. We were both terrified and ran as
fast as we could, especially as we could hear someone running after us. We
finally made it gasping to the school entrance only to turn round and see that
we had been chased by a policeman!

I was still getting used to the atmosphere in the dorm. The one thing I was
worried about was the infamous 'blacking' ritual. This involved selecting a
helpless victim at random, holding him down and daubing his private parts
with shoe polish. It used to happen on every course, and I witnessed this
ceremony for this first time when it was performed on a senior bassoon

On the third night we had a seance. Apparently, this was quite a regular
feature of a Senior Orchestra course. About half a dozen of us sat around a
table and each had a finger on an upturned drinking glass. We used to turn
all the lights out and ask questions and the glass used to move in response. I
was never quite sure whether someone was doing this deliberately or not. I
remember once the glass spelled out to us that John Smith's tuba had been
moved from one side of the rehearsal hall to the other and we all dashed
downstairs to see if this was true. It was! John swore that it he'd left it on the
opposite side of the hall. Of course, I never knew whether someone was
taking the mickey and, if so, how many of them were in on it. The majority
seemed to believe it and it seemed to work regardless of who comprised the
group. Mind you, we had at least as many failures as successes - giggling
often spoiling the supposedly occult atmosphere.

The one thing I can't explain is the 'dead boy' ceremony. This involved
someone laying with their eyes closed on a table in the semi-dark. Six of us
stood round the table and each put one finger under the boy, one at each
shoulder, one either side of the hips and one at each calf. We would then
chant...'he looks dead'...pause...'he feels dead'....pause...'he is dead'. We all
then tried to lift him up. The first time we did it I was totally shocked and
amazed. I was one of those who had a finger underneath the boy; he seemed
to weigh nothing and shot up about four feet into the air. There were gasps
from everybody and we had to lower him quickly back to the table.

I couldn't explain it. There didn't seem to be any weight to him at all; how
could that be? Why didn't he fold up in the middle? He stayed as straight as
an ironing board.

We repeated the experiment many times on other nights and other courses. It
didn't always work; sometimes someone got the giggles or didn't lift
properly. But, inexplicably, it often did.

I had realised before the course that one of the days that we were away
coincided with an important contest for the band. After much discussion, the
band agreed with me that I should go on the course and that they would
come and fetch me on the Saturday to take part in the contest and bring me
back afterwards. When the day came a chap called Geoff Orange picked me
up in his car and brought me all the way back from Chippenham to Market
Harborough. I got changed and we all went off in the band bus to
Lutterworth where the contest was being held.

When we arrived there didn't seem to be much activity. Geoff got out of the
bus and asked the first person he met if this was the correct venue. The
person replied that it was. When Geoff asked if he knew about the brass
band contest, the person said yes - it was due to take place on the following

The band were stunned. What a farce. Geoff had got the dates wrong and we
had come all that way for nothing. But it was much worse for me since I had
come all the way back from Chippenham. Geoff had to take me back
afterwards and I had to answer numerous questions from everyone about
how had we got on. It was so embarrassing to have to explain everything.

During these courses the girls had their own way of fooling around (so I'm
told). This often involved raids on the school canteen and subsequent
midnight feasts by torchlight. On one occasion they stuffed pillows under
blankets to cover the absence of a certain oboe player as she disappeared for a
late night tryst with a clarinettist. On another they took someone who was
fast asleep out of the dorm in their sleeping bag to spend a night in the
corridor. Although the staff were supposed to take a tough line over such
behaviour, nobody seemed to get into serious trouble although the teachers
must have known what was going on.

The teachers associated with the Senior Orchestra were somewhat different to
those involved with the Intermediates. Apart from Eric and Jack Smith, there
were a variety of others called in to help, organise and control us all. One of
the favourites who we would take the mickey out of was Johnny Westcombe.
Mr Westcombe always tried to look cool. He was famous for wearing his
shirt or jacket collar up thinking that it was trendy. One day about twenty of
us walked into rehearsal all with our collars up. I couldn't play for laughing
when I saw the expression on his face.

Generally though, the teachers (including Mr Westcombe!) were great. They
helped us enormously and most of them were willing to share the laughter
and enjoy themselves. They would often bring their golf clubs with them on
these residential courses and take the opportunity to have a game if time

During the course I was surprised to notice that not only did we have Jack
Smith as an organiser and the other musical teaching staff, but we also had a
teacher to repair and maintain instruments (often by commandeering the
school woodwork room). Jack himself had a particular affinity with many of
us. He always seemed to be at the centre of everything as someone we could
talk to if we had a problem and who would take care of all the administrative
details. He became a permanent feature of every course and must have put
an enormous amount of effort into organising matters behind the scenes.

I think the main reason that we respected the staff was that they used to have
to put up with the same awful food and conditions that we did. But it didn't
end there. Even guest conductors often had to share dorms with the teaching
staff (although they were sometimes fussed over by some of the girls who
would bring them breakfast in bed).

One day I walked into the main hall to find a dozen or so players sitting on
the stage and singing a Beach Boys hit, acapello-style. I was knocked out at
the great sound that they managed to produce based on their natural grasp of
harmony and range of voices. I would have loved to have been old enough
to join in. It was only at this point that I realised that so many of our players
were such talented singers.

Back to the music. Sir Michael Tippett conducted the Ritual Dances from his
opera „A Midsummer Marriage‟ for a new film called „Music!‟. (A few weeks
later, on May 25th, a BBC sound crew came to our Saturday morning rehearsal
at Longslade to record the sound track to go with this film). Normal Del Mar
also came to conduct us during the course, along with two specialist tutors –
Trevor Williams (Leader, BBC Symphony Orchestra), and Ambrose Gaultlett
(Cello professor at the Royal Academy of Music).

A short digression on Michael Tippett……

Sir Michael first became involved with the CSM in 1965 when he agreed to
take part in the Schools Festival and conduct two major concerts at the De
Montfort Hall. The logistical problems in actually rehearsing the LSSO for
the festival were largely overcome by the orchestra travelling down to
Corsham, close to Sir Michael‟s home, and taking up residence in a local
school for a full week during the Easter holidays.
This enabled Sir Michael to work with the orchestra after his usual days‟
schedule. In this way his routine was not disrupted, but perhaps more
importantly, from an LSSO perspective, there was substantial rehearsal time
for the players and Sir Michael to get to know each other and improve the
overall standard of performance.

After a very successful and eventful experience for me we returned home
after the Easter break in time for the start of the summer term.

Miss Woodwind and I had become even closer during the course. We had
been going out for about seven months and, eventually, were invited to her
friend's house for a party. I knew beforehand that we might have a chance to
make love and this proved to be the case. Her friend allowed us to use the
bedroom and we took advantage of the opportunity offered. It was the first
time for both of us.


The following month it was my sixteenth birthday and my Dad bought me a
small motorbike. This was a marvellous present for me because it gave me
new freedom to travel and allowed me to see Miss Woodwind when I wanted
to. Once I'd got the hang of riding it I even dared to go to one or two
Saturday morning orchestra rehearsals on it.


On May 1st the Senior Orchestra gave a concert in the De Montfort Hall in
Leicester (15). Eric had previously decided that we should form an
association with an outstanding young English pianist called Nicola Gebolys.
She was the soloist on this occasion and joined us in many more
performances on our tours abroad.


On the 5th and 6th of June, the Grammar School put on a play called Noye's
Flood. I had to take part, as did most of the School Orchestra. I thought it
was embarrassing because playing in the School Orchestra didn't compare
well with playing for the LSSO. How awful to think that I had become such
an elitist musical snob at such a tender age.

I was still playing almost every week in the jazz group. I remember one
particular occasion when Brian had booked us to play at Lutterworth
Working Mens Club (Broadway here we come!). We waited behind the
curtain to be introduced to the audience, and the compere turned round and

'Right, lads, on you go. What was the name again?'

'The Briandros Combo' replied Brian. Glenn and I exchanged our usual look
of exasperation.

'The what?', said the compere.

'The Briandros Combo', repeated Brian.

'The Brian what?' said the compere.

'The Briandros Combo', said Brian

The curtains flew open; the compere stepped forward and said:

'Welcome to four special youngsters, here to play jazz for you this evening.
Give a big hand for.... The Tigers!'

Two weeks later I had to go through the annual embarrassing ritual of
playing in the Market Harborough carnival procession. It was a terrible
ordeal for me as my schoolmates would be there and severely take the
mickey because of the uniform and the fact that I was marching. I always
wore dark glasses to try and disguise myself but they still spotted me and
shouted insults from the pavement while doing impressions of marching
German soldiers. Mind you, it didn't help when one of our trombone players
dropped his music. By the time he had run back to retrieve it, it had been run
over by the Carnival Queen lorry.

About this time Miss Woodwind and I were going through a bad patch. This
was entirely my fault through being immature and stupid (a habit I haven‟t
entirely grown out of), and we soon broke up. I knew she would be going
away to college after the summer holidays and it would have been difficult to
maintain our relationship anyway. But it still didn't excuse the fact that I'd
behaved badly.

One of the things that didn't help was the appearance at one Saturday
morning rehearsal of a new double-base player. I don‟t know what the other
boys thought but she seemed to me to be the most gorgeous thing I'd ever
seen - great figure, pretty, long blonde hair, the works. My eyes were on
stalks. Her name was Trudy Vero. A few weeks later a rumour circulated to
Miss Woodwind that I was going out with her (probably because I never
stopped gawping at her). It wasn't true (I should have been so lucky), but it
didn't help matters.

On 28th June the School Orchestra felt brave enough to play a concert in their
own right at the Grammar School. This sort of thing always amazed me. I
couldn't understand how anyone in his or her right mind could stand to listen
to such an awful row, let alone pay for it (there's that musical snobbery

The Senior Orchestra continued to rehearse every Saturday and Sir Michael
Tippett came up to take us through our paces before our next London
concert. We had mixed feelings about Michael's conducting. While we
respected his musicianship, his conducting didn't seem altogether with it.
This may have been partly due to his age and to the fact that his eyesight
wasn't all that good (he suffered from cataracts for some years).
Unfortunately, this meant that he often couldn't quite make out where each
section was. He'd therefore cue the trumpets and look for us in the wrong
area of the orchestra, which was a bit disconcerting (no pun intended).

Eventually, on July 13th this rehearsal activity culminated in an important
concert at the Guildhall as part of the City of London Festival (16). Sir
Michael Tippett conducted the whole of the program apart from Walton‟s
Partita – for which Eric took the baton.

The Intermediate Orchestra's course this year was at Cromer from July 19th -
27th. Although I was in the Senior Orchestra, a few of us were brought back
from time to time to reinforce some of the Intermediate sections and, when
asked, I willingly volunteered.

During the course I met a very young violin player called Maureen.
Although she was much younger than I was (thirteen) she looked very grown
up (so I thought) and had a figure to match. We soon began spending a lot of
our time together. Our favourite pastime was sitting on the pier and putting
money into the jukebox so that it would play 'Young Girl' by Gary Puckett
and the Union Gap over and over again. We would then discuss endlessly
the difference between our ages, because I was so 'old'.

We got up to the usual antics in the dorms at night. One night the boys in the
most senior dorm (me, Ian, Steve, etc.) decided to raid one of the more junior
dorms next door. Unfortunately, the occupants of this room got wind of this
and when we tried to get in after lights out the door was firmly jammed shut.
There then followed two hours of every conceivable assault on the door to
their room. We tried kicking it, charging it with a bench, picking the lock,
and putting lighted matches through the keyhole. I'll never forget the final
scene when Eric, alerted by the commotion, walked up the stairs in his
dressing gown, took one look at the situation and shouted,

'Who's the instigator of all this?

I knew it couldn't have been me because I didn't know what an instigator

The teachers really did have to put up with a great deal of outrageous
behaviour. They were remarkably tolerant all things considered.

During the course we gave a concert in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin,
Happisburgh (17), with Sybil Olive playing the Beethoven Romance in F for
Violin. The course ended and we gave the usual concert on our return at
Bushloe High School repeating the Happisburgh program.

The new term began, and, back with the Senior Orchestra, I took part in a
concert in Leicester Cathedral on the 13th September. We attempted to play
Semiramide but the daunting opening for the horn section proved too much
for us. After the concert Del Mar took the decision to withdraw this item
from the forthcoming summer tour even though the programs had already
been printed. (Instead, a printed flyer was inserted into the tour programs
claiming that a key horn player had been taken ill!).

The following week we embarked on a major tour to Austria. We preceded
this by stopping in London to record Candide for the programme 'How It Is'
for the BBC. We were squeezed into a very cramped studio and were
astonished to discover that it was the same one used by the BBC for „Top of
the Pops‟ because it looked much bigger on the TV.

We gave our final pre-tour concert on the 20th of September at the Fairfield
Halls in Croydon, (18), spent the night in Dover and departed for Austria the
next morning.

By now, like most of my friends, I was very fussy about which bus I was
going to travel on. There were a number of factors to take into consideration:

1) there was usually an 'in-crowd' bus. This was the bus to be seen in if you
were cool. Wimps were discouraged.

2) you didn't want to sit in a bus with important members of staff such as Eric
if possible. Such teachers restricted one's ability to fool around.

3) the further towards the back of the bus, the cooler you were.

4) the 'in-crowd' bus was going to do all the dirty singing. This was a new
phenomenon to me but one that I quickly got into the spirit of. We had our
own versions of rugby songs that would make a prostitute blush. We would
make them as rude as we could get away with. I used to particularly enjoy
seeing girls and 'shy' boys cringe with embarrassment when we went too far.

If you were there you'll certainly remember the old favourites - 'All the nice
girls love a .......'; 'She came from Glamorgan with.....'; etc, etc.'

On all these trips Robinsons of Hinckley supplied the buses. We got to know
the bus drivers as well as we knew the staff - in fact sometimes better. We all
tried to get 'in' with them because we knew they could get items for us that
weren't always available. Sometimes they were able to buy beer or fags on
our behalf if it was otherwise difficult; on other occasions they could be
persuaded to take us out on the bus for a night‟s bar-hopping. When we
were abroad they even managed to get one or two of us into night clubs (even
strip joints).

During the journey we lived on fruit pies, crisps and apples. I guess this was
because they were very compact to carry and had a reasonable shelf life.
Once, when we were loading up some of these items in boxes at St. Margarets
a dog came by and peed on one of the boxes of apples. The boys who
witnessed this immediately swapped it with the one due to be loaded onto
the bus behind.

Whenever we went on these tours there were usually three buses to take all
the staff, players and instruments. In the early days, the back few rows of
seats in Bill‟s bus were removed to make space for all the instruments and
stands. Eventually, even this space wasn‟t sufficient and we included a
separate instrument 'van' (in practice, a large lorry) in the convoy. After each
concert we were all supposed to chip in and help pack all the instruments
away in the van. There never seemed to be an end to the amount of
percussion equipment of the most awkward shapes and sizes that had to be
manhandled from van to stage and vice versa; it was a right pain in the
backside. I always had to wrestle with my conscience about whether to give a
hand with all this stuff or not. Sometimes, I'd do it because I felt guilty,
sometimes I wouldn't because it wasn't very cool to be seen lugging these
things around.

As the bus travelled through Germany I heard our resident barber's shop
quartet for the first time. This consisted of four lads from the trombone and
bassoon section - Roger Harvey, John Turner, Martin Slipp and Maurice
Turlington singing in what to me seemed like perfect four-part harmony. I
was astonished at how good they were and couldn't understand how they
had learned to sing like that. Their best song was an arrangement of 'I
remember you'.

The Austria concert schedule was:
25th September - Linz (Diesterweghalle) (19)
26th September - Eisenstadt (Haydnsaal) (20)
27th September - Leoben (Kammersaal Donawitz)
28th September - Graz (Stepheniensaal) (21)
30th September - Vienna (Grosser Sendesaal) (22)
1st October - Vienna (Musikvereinsaal)
2nd October - Salzberg (Grober Saal des Mozarteums) (23)
3rd October - Munich (Hochschule fuer Musik) (24)

We maintained pretty much the same program throughout the tour, and
were fortunate in having Norman Del Mar with us as guest conductor and
Nichola Gebolys as pianist.

On the way there, we had an interesting night in Frankfurt. About thirty of
us had gone out to get smashed and had had a great evening drinking. We
walked back over one of the many bridges that crossed the Rhine to return to
our hostel. But when we arrived it was locked shut (not surprising as it was
well past midnight). We knocked on the door and demanded quietly to be let
in but no-one could hear us. Eventually, after a long wait, someone in a
nightshirt turned up to open the door and let us in. He made sure that we
understood that this was completely out of order. What made it worse was
that Mr. Westcombe, much to his embarrassment, was with the group and
was supposed to be responsible for us.

The next day we heard that Lambert (one of the staff string teachers) had left
his suitcase on the dock in Dover. We were constantly reminded of this when
we saw him walking around in the same clothes for the duration of the tour.

We soon had a bit of trouble with the accommodation. We were due to stay
in a hotel en route to our first scheduled concert venue in Linz. But,
apparently, the hotel proprietors had been forewarned of our loutish
behaviour in Frankfurt and refused to put us up. So instead we had to stay
outside the city in a youth hostel in a place called Passau.

We disembarked from the bus to find that the hostel was a converted castle
about halfway up a mountain. It was a dead ringer for Colditz. Worse, there
was no easy access for the buses, and we ended up lugging our cases all the
way up the side of the mountain. The conditions were awful, with huge
dormitories and long communal troughs for washing in. It was freezing cold
to boot. The harshness of our surroundings became a topic for discussion
that alternated between disgust and humour, especially when we discovered
that a bar existed in the dungeon – complete with cobwebs and dead insects.

We gave our first concert in Linz and then followed the familiar routine of
travelling between cities - in this case, Eisenstadt, Leoben, Graz - unpacking
everything, rehearsing, giving concerts and moving on. The concerts
received great critical acclaim in the local press and one or two were
broadcast simultaneously on Austrian radio. I think we were mostly aware
of the praise in a vague sort of way but became a bit blasé about it after a

The repertoire on this trip comprised a number of pieces that we'd rehearsed
regularly together, with the addition of one or two newer works. In my
somewhat limited judgement, Nichola Gebolys seemed to be excellent as the
soloist in the Franck concerto. I enjoyed playing a number of the 'English'
works particularly Brigg Fair and the Enigma Variations. Mind you, I was
still heavily influenced by how interesting or challenging my own part was in
each work, rather than the overall merit of the piece as a whole.

Halfway through the tour we arrived in Vienna. Each player was assigned a
'host'. For some reason Jimmy Watson, Johnny Whitmore, and I ended up
without hosts and were billeted in the local youth hostel.

To make up for not having any families to stay with, the three of us were
invited to lunch at the British Consulate by a lady called Mrs Hawkins. I‟m
not sure why, but someone decided that this kindness merited the purchase
of some flowers. Much to my embarrassment I was assigned to carry these
and, in due course, I boarded a tram to take us to the event. This was fine
until I realised that Jimmy and John had boarded a tram going in the opposite
direction and all I could see of them was their raised two-fingered gestures as
we passed each other going in opposite directions. I got off at the next stop,
and, by some miracle we found each other again.

Anyway, we eventually arrived at the Hawkins residence and huge gates
were opened after we had announced ourselves via the intercom. An
excellent lunch ensued accompanied by copious amounts of beer. After the
lunch was completed Jimmy announced that he wasn‟t feeling well and made
his own way back to the hostel. John and I went off drinking.

John and I arrived back at the hostel in the small hours and, as you would
expect, it was locked. We tried knocking on the door but without success.
After some inebriated discussion we deduced that the only way we were
going to get in was around the back and through the ground floor windows.
We made our way around the side of the building but were dismayed to find
that the gardens of private houses went all the way to the back of the hostel
windows. It was obvious that we were going to have to go through a number
of these gardens to get there. So over the fences we went getting dirty and
scratched by thorns while continuously 'shushing' each other.

Eventually we got to one of the back windows and rapped on it as hard as we
dare. After a minute or two it was opened by a sleepy local youth who didn't
understand a word we were saying but helped us climb in anyway. We made
our way through the dorm and into the corridor. It was pretty dark and we
couldn't see very well or remember which dorm was ours. We walked into
one room and there was an immediate scuffling noise and people moving
around. Someone shouted at us in an aggressive manner.

The lights went on and it was obvious to John and I that there was some
homosexual activity going on! There were protests and we disappeared as
quickly as we could. Eventually, we managed to find our beds and get our
heads down for a couple of hours sleep.

What I did find a little disconcerting was that we had been issued with a
street map of Vienna and expected to find our way around. Some of our
friends had hosts to look after them, but those of us at the hostel seemed to
have been left to work out for ourselves how to get from one place to another.

While we were in Vienna we played a memorable concert at the
Musikvereinsaal. This was a huge honour for us. We were the first amateur
orchestra in history to be allowed to play at this illustrious venue - it being
the home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Of all the great occasions in
the history of the CSM, this must arguably have been the pinnacle of success
for us, and, more especially, for Eric. He must have been incredibly proud of
this landmark achievement.

Between Austrian towns we obviously had to make long bus journeys. At
lunch time large hampers used to appear from somewhere and packed
lunches used to be passed around. These were always awful, and invariably
consisted of salami or meat of a similar consistency. We would usually throw
them out of the bus windows onto the autobahn.

We hated the routine with the suitcases. We were forever loading and
unloading the cases on and off the buses, and then heaving them along
lengthy corridors into some temporary accommodation or other. You often
lost track of which bus your own case was on, and when you wanted it in a
hurry (to get in the best dorm) it inevitably came off the bus last.

Each time we stopped in a town or city we tried to have as much fun as
possible in the spare time that we were allowed. Unfortunately, this was a
particularly gruelling tour with limited free time for relaxation between
venues and concerts. We moved on to Salzburg and another round of
unpacking, playing our concert, and travelling onwards.

Our last concert was to be in Munich. We had already heard that the famous
beer festival was taking place at around this time and were determined to
visit the Bier Kellers. To our initial dismay, Eric had left John Westcombe in
charge of us (a thankless task I might add!) and he refused to let us visit the
festival. Well, the only way he could have stopped us attending a beer
festival was to put us in chains. Initially we took to singing rude songs about
him (only, because we were the LSSO, we did it in four-part harmony). When
that didn't work we just ignored him and went anyway. We soon found a
basement cellar with the long tables and foaming beers, and had joined in
with the oompah band in no time at all.

The concert itself, conducted by Del Mar, was truly memorable. Because this
would be the last tour and concert for many players, an encore was
inevitable. We wanted Eric to take us through this and he duly appeared to
conduct selected Enigma variations with a good many of the senior players in
tears for the whole of Nimrod.

We eventually arrived back in England. Most of us were exhausted by the
timetable, the travelling, the late nights and the drinking and slept for most of
the journey back.

I often wonder when the Senior Orchestra reached its peak. I guess only Eric
could judge that having been there from the beginning. Perhaps it was at its
best in the fifties; perhaps it's better than ever today.

But I like to think that it has never been better than it was in 1968. I've tried
to be objective about it but, coincidentally, we had somehow brought
together great players in every section at the same time and it showed. Every
section had a terrific player as leader, all capable of playing the major
instrumental concerti in the orchestral repertoire. The sense of ensemble was
amazing and, in those few moments when, by some chance, I was listening
from outside the orchestra, it appeared to me to be indistinguishable from a
professional orchestra. Of course, in reality, it wasn't up to that standard, but
I absolutely refuse to believe that there was any better youth orchestra in the

Certainly, if one reads Eric's book, it's transparent that he believed that this
was the greatest tour of all, not just in terms of the quality of our playing, but
also the prestige of the venues and the critical acclaim.

As usual, the end of the summer tour and the start of the new term meant
that several senior players would now leave the orchestra and go on to
colleges or careers in the commercial world. Some of these individuals were
outstanding musicians but, as always, we had new talent coming through to
take their places.

And so the orchestra was transformed, and a new era began.


We continued to rehearse every Saturday. Each week, Maureen and her
friend, Penny Wiseman, would come up from the Intermediates at break
times and we would meet and chat about anything and everything. Maureen
and I wrote to each other frequently over the next few months and I even
visited her once or twice but it was difficult to sustain the relationship when
she lived in Hinckley and I in Market Harborough.

I continued to be busy with the band. It was still important to me because the
pieces themselves were so demanding and I enjoyed the sound as well as
meeting old friends at the contests and concerts. It paled into insignificance
compared to my involvement with the orchestra but I realised that it was still
the best way to keep me in practice and maintain my standard of play.

On the 24th November, the Senior Orchestra did something unusual in that
we travelled all the way to Worcester and back in one day to give a concert at
the Worcester College of Education.

We usually held a mini-course at Birstall during the Christmas holidays and
this year was no exception. This proved to be valuable rehearsal time for us
as we could concentrate a great deal of work into two or three days as well as
practice in our own specialist ensemble groups. This small ensemble type of
rehearsal was more common in the string sections, but whenever this took
place it allowed the woodwind and brass to rehearse together as a military
band in the room behind the stage. I used to especially look forward to these
occasions because we had so much more to play when performing Sousa
marches, and other similar items from the repertoire.

For some strange reason we had been asked to give a concert in Southport on
the 14th February (I ask you, Southport in February?). After 30 minutes
travelling in the buses, the whole show was called off when it started
snowing heavily. But there‟s always a silver lining. John Whitmore and
Robert Grewcock‟s parents had decided to travel independently to the venue.
No parents meant an impromptu party at John‟s house with our host
attempting to play the drunken version of the Liszt piano sonata.
We had been greatly assisted a few years earlier by the creation of the Friends
of the County School of music. This organisation had been specifically
formed to help us with our organisation, funding, transport, and so on. It
contributed hugely to our success and, among other things, allowed us to
purchase a number of instruments which would have otherwise proved to be
beyond our means. Many of us will remember the sterling efforts of Mr and
Mrs Mobbs who ran the organisation so enthusiastically for so many years.

By this time the Friends had already raised money to enable us to purchase
our first set of tubular bells, and on the 21st December invited parents along
to see us at work in rehearsals as well as running the inevitable Bring and
Buy stall and coffee and biscuits.

We had a number of different conductors at the helm over the years. Apart
from the guest conductors, you could expect any one of half a dozen staff to
take the orchestra for a particular piece or rehearsal. Often this was because
Eric was busy or, more probably, he wanted to expose us to different
conductors and the variety of style and interpretation that they would bring
to the music.

Whether it was John Westcombe or a guest, one could usually tell pretty
quickly how competent they were or what they could add to the work.
Obviously personality played a big part and a sense of humour was essential
if they were to win us over. It also helped if they knew when to cue us from
the score or to notice if we made mistakes. What we didn't like was any sort
of ambiguity when bringing us in at the start of the piece or a beat that wasn't
clear. The conductor‟s performance was particularly important if the work
featured a soloist – usually someone performing a flute or a violin concerto.
On these occasions they had to get the balance right between the performer
and the orchestra, adjusting pace and volume as appropriate.

Eric was a reasonable conductor and we knew and trusted him. But, of
course, he was so much more than that. He would stand in front of us and
tell us about the tours, the rehearsals and any other of the other things that
we needed to know. He would chide us if we deserved it and praise us if we
were worthy of it. In truth, he was our guiding spirit, we were his orchestra,
and everything we had become was down to his vision all those years ago.
I'm sure he must have been immensely
proud of his creation.

                             Eric Pinkett in 1966

                               AUSTRIA 1968

 Julie Houlton, Kate Vernon, Andy Sharpe, Alice Freshwater, Nicola Swann,
Carol Leader, Margaret Smith, Julie Shoulder, Vida Schepens, Nicola Gebolys,
                        Avril Schepens, Helen Leech

Penelope Roberts, Hilary Orton, Jack Smith, Joyce Fraser, Pam Wright, Andy

                             BERLIN 1969

   Gordon ( Robinsons ), Hilary Ball, Anne Jameson, Margaret Whiteley

                            AUSTRIA 1968

Mary Jessop, Dave Matthews, Rob Walker, Dave Pugsley, John Smith, Martin
  Maurice Turlington, Graham Parker, Avril Schepens, Andy Smith, John

       Phillippa Elloway, Kate Vernon, Roger Harvey, Kim Punshon

                             AUSTRIA 1968

Janet Crawshaw, Robert Heard, Tony Lewis, Marion Davis, Alice Freshwater,
  Jimmy Watson, Andy Sharpe, Julie Shoulder, Hilary Ball, Pamela Wright,
                        Jane Monk, Julie Houlton

John Turner, Ian Heard, Robert Heard, Tony Lewis, Marion Davs, Alice
Andy Sharpe, Julie Shoulder, Hilary Ball, Pam Wright, Jane Monk, Julie

                           AUSTRIA, 1968

Robert Heard, Steve Draycott                 Sandra Roberts, Sybil Olive

                               BERLIN 1969

Stephen Gee, Robert Heard, Barbara Bath, Sandra Roberts, David Thomson

                 AUSTRIA, 1968

Jack Smith                         Passau Youth Hostel

             Passau Bathing Facilities

                                Chapter Seven


On January 23rd we played our first orchestra concert of the year at Melton
Mowbray. By now I was becoming annoyed that everyone in the orchestra
appeared to have been awarded his or her blue badge except me. No one had
ever offered me one and there didn't seem to be any obvious route to being
awarded one. It didn't appear to me to be quite the done thing to march up
to one of the teachers and enquire what criteria had to be met to acquire one,
so I quietly seethed that none of them had noticed that I didn't have one. I
pretended to everyone else that I wasn't bothered.


By now I was constantly juggling my diary to cram in all the different musical
activities and trying to ensure that they didn't clash with each other. Besides
this, I was also part of a thriving social scene at school that was quite separate
from the orchestra. I had a number of friends of both sexes that I met through
school and through going out with my mates in the evenings. This was the
sixties after all, and we went through all the contemporary experiences of the
time: making love without worrying about AIDS, smoking pot, parties, discos
and driving scooters, motorbikes, or old cars.

Discos were brilliant in these years. We would go along and dance to the
latest pop, soul or Tamla Motown records. Much of the social activity
surrounded travel to the discos and pubs and we all went through stages of
owning scooters, motorbikes or cars that were forever breaking down.
Nobody cared about drinking and driving; we hadn't heard of a seatbelt and
rarely bothered with a crash helmet.


Our next big orchestral event took place on 22nd February when we took part
in an afternoon recording session for Radio 3 at the De Montfort Hall. This
was our contribution to the „Youth Orchestras of the World‟ series. Strangely
enough the concert wasn‟t actually transmitted until the 9th April on the
following year – a mere 14 months later!

On March 28th we were invited to the Royal Festival Hall in London to play
in a mixed concert (with other schools) as part of the 'Youth Makes Music'
festival (25). This was a particular honour for us as the patron, Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, was present in the auditorium during
the performance.

On Thursday 3rd April, I, along with every other orchestra player, had to
obtain permission to leave school at 1:00 p.m. and travel to Leicester to set off
for our annual residential Easter course that was to be based in Cirencester.
This was a deliberate choice of venue as it was close to Michael Tippett's

home and therefore allowed us to rehearse with him without the need for
extensive travel on his part.

I had mixed feelings about our relationship with Sir Michael because,
although I respected him as a composer and appreciated the prestige that he
brought to the CSM, I didn't really care for his music. All of us had our
favourite and not so favourite pieces and composers. I didn't like modern
music very much and some of Tippett's work seemed to me to be without
shape or form, or to be downright discordant to the point of being painful. I
supposed I must have had very unsophisticated tastes; I certainly didn't have
the musical experience to make proper judgements on these issues. I was
much happier with other 20th Century composers such as Copland and
Bernstein but still couldn't bring myself to fully endorse the Tippett, Mathias,
and Ives school of modern composition. I think the final straw for me came
when Michael decided in his Shire Suite that the percussion section should
drop tin trays of cutlery on the floor as part of the sound effects. But it was
just a personal point of view; I know others who had the opposite

Cirencester was another great course. After our first rehearsal our top
priority was to discover the nearest pub. Having done so we would take it
over completely. Of course, we wouldn't consider 'adopting' a pub without it
meeting three criteria:

a) it had to be big enough to accommodate all of us
b) it had to turn a blind eye to the fact that we were all under-age
c) it had to have a jukebox

Our chosen local met all three demands satisfactorily, and the main song that
we would put on the juke box and sing along with would be Mary Hopkin's
'Those were the days my friend'. Of course, the second line soon became
'..they made my ..... bend' and we quickly made other substitutions. The
whole pub was in uproar as about fifty of us sang along to our own version of
the song. The local reaction varied between bemusement and annoyance.

It's hard to believe now, but in those days it was much more common to find
a piano in a pub. You could usually find a local who could bash out a few
tunes on a Saturday night and everyone would have a sing-along. Obviously,
this took on a new dimension when the kids from the LSSO arrived. We had
dozens of piano players. In Cirencester we would normally pester Richard
Fairhead until he got up and played. Although he could play popular stuff, I
doubt if the local drinkers had often heard a sixteen-year-old play the
Tchaikowsky piano concerto in their bar.

There was the usual riotous behaviour back in the dorms. I was introduced
to the most amazing phenomena. One of the boys demonstrated that if you
held a match to your bottom and farted, the gas would ignite briefly and
produce a flash of light. I couldn't believe this initially and thought it was
some sort of trick. It soon became obvious that it wasn't and that anyone
could do it. A number of us spent the rest of the course trying to produce the
most spectacular explosion (but not me).

Halfway through the course I became aware that a new trombone player had
joined the orchestra. His name was Paul Barrett and he came from Ratby, a
village near Leicester. He was totally unused to the unique social aspects of
our orchestra courses and was therefore teased by some of the older boys. I
stuck up for him a bit (carefully though) and we soon became friends - as we
are to this day.

During the course Eric introduced a new piece into the repertoire; it was
called Rhapsody in Blue. From the opening clarinet glissando we knew that
this was something different. It was jazz! Well, almost. It was certainly
different to some of the traditional classical or modern works that we were
used to. There was a trumpet solo near the beginning of the piece (which was
always nerve-racking) and this led into the main part of the work, the piano
solo played normally by Richard. It seemed wonderful to me that the
orchestra could change idioms so quickly for a piece that we'd never
previously played and a style that we hadn't encountered before. I took to it
straight away, and, because we could jazz up our part in various places, it
quickly became a firm favourite.

The percussion section featured largely in this piece. One of things that
always fascinated me was the sheer range of percussion instruments that
existed in the orchestra. We seemed to have every conceivable device that
was capable of making a noise. Apart from the obligatory timps, base and
side drum, they could wheel out vibraphones, gongs, glockenspiels, tubular
bells, cymbals and triangles. You name it, they had it. There were generally
about four or five players in the section, and they all appeared to me to
possess a kind of mutually telepathic understanding of who was playing
what without ever discussing it amongst themselves. The standard of play in
this section always seemed very high.

One of the fascinating aspects of being in the orchestra was the constant ebb
and flow of personal relationships. Each time we came together for a course,
new relationships between boys and girls would develop and, in no time at
all, they would start 'going together'. The corollary of this was that there was
always a sense of expectation or anticipation, the surprise that so-and-so
would have taken to you-know-who, the passions that were aroused, and
which emerged from seemingly innocent friendships.

Sometimes a couple would get together and the pairing would last forever -
even leading eventually to marriage. Ask Jimmy and Julie, or Glenn and
Toni. I‟ve always felt slightly envious, in a strange sort of way, that these
friends and fellow players embarked on a lifelong relationship where both of
them knew what it was like to be in the orchestra at the same time, with all
the shared memories and friends.

Naturally the friendships didn't have to turn into romantic involvement.
Both boys and girls drifted from one group to another as they adopted new
friends, or became part of an acknowledged circle of players, like
permutations of the in-crowd.

I took part in an unusual event during the course. Someone from one of the
major music companies had come down to the course to ask if we could
produce a demonstration tape for a brass quartet that they were about to
publish. Jimmy and I were selected as first and second trumpet and, together
with our first horn and trombonist, we rattled off the piece (which was
actually quite difficult) with some accomplishment. It was only afterwards
that I had the thought that it might have been nice if we had received some
kind of payment or recognition for our efforts. It was the first time in the
orchestra that I'd felt exploited in any way.

We gave a concert towards the end of the course and also did some recording
for TV. As usual, whenever we gave a concert, we took every opportunity to
grab a pint if there was time. One of the unfortunate side effects of this was
that you could easily get caught short and be desperate to go to the toilet half-
way through the first or second half of the concert.
Sometimes we were in absolute agony. We'd be crossing our legs, rocking
back and forward in pain, and would literally sprint for the toilet when the
applause died down.


This year was an important one for the CSM and for Eric in particular, since it
was the twenty-first birthday of Eric's appointment as County Music Advisor
and therefore of the CSM itself. The celebrations began on the 28th April and
continued for a week.

The festival began with a concert at the De Montfort Hall involving the
Intermediate and Junior orchestras and the Intermediate Orchestra Military
Band. During the week a number of area concerts were given around the
county and, in Leicester itself, a number of informal talks with composers,
such as Richard Rodney Bennett, were also arranged.

The climax of the festival was a concert given by the Senior Orchestra and
mixed schools choirs, conducted by Eric (Sir Michael Tippett was taken ill the
day before the concert) with Richard Rodney Bennett as the piano soloist (26).
I was personally less bothered about the concert and far more concerned at
the prospect of getting back to a party in Market Harborough afterwards
where I knew I had a fair chance of getting off with a girl that I fancied from
school. So much for musicianship.

As far as I was concerned, there were always other musical events going on.
If it wasn't the LSSO or the band, it was something to do with school. I
remember playing every night for weeks on end, taking part in everything
from a concert with local musicians in St Hugh's church in Market
Harborough, to an invitation to play with my cousin's pop group.

I'd previously been involved with a number of pop events initially through
being heard in the jazz group and then through word of mouth. My cousin,
Steve Fearn, used to play regularly at the County Arms in Wigston and I
played with him there and with other guest bands - including the Worzels! I
went on to play on a couple of records that my cousin hoped would make
him famous but although he managed an appearance on Top of the Pops, he
never quite made it into the charts.

Apart from all this, throughout all the Saturday morning orchestra rehearsals
and tours, I was still playing regularly with the Harborough brass band. We
would take part in various concerts and contests playing everything from
traditional marches to solos and popular music. We would give concerts that
would cater for popular tastes on the bandstand in the local park. I had to
play items like the post-horn gallop on a real post-horn. A far cry from
Michael Tippett!

My schoolwork was not going well. I was always dashing from one rehearsal
to the next and never had time to revise for exams. I couldn't say I was really
bothered; I was only interested in girls and music.

My seventeenth birthday arrived and my father took me out for my first
driving lesson in his car. This was a relatively straightforward learning curve
for me because I had become accustomed to driving all sorts of different
vehicles when I had helped out on the local farm. The main difference this
time was that I had to learn to keep the car on the road.


On the 30th May the Senior Orchestra played its next concert at the
Loughborough College of Art and Design under the baton of Norman Del
Mar, as part of the Loughborough Festival (27). One of the main features of
the concert was Marion Turner playing the Brahms Violin Concerto. Two
days later, our Cirencester recording of Putnam‟s Camp was shown on BBC2.

So what was it like to play in the orchestra then? Well, the atmosphere was a
mixture of youthful enthusiasm, comradeship and being part of this
wonderful complex sound. You looked around and saw your colleagues
playing difficult passages competently and you took it for granted that they
were as much in control of the music as you were. Strangely enough, we
never really became over-nervous in the concerts. I suppose because we
weren't a professional orchestra we could relax to a certain extent, playing
works that we'd rehearsed and were familiar with. But I believe that the real
secret was the fact that we believed in ourselves. We were all good at what
we did. It wasn't that we didn't make mistakes, but it was an unusual event if
one of us couldn't actually master our own particular part. To me, we played
Russlan and Ludmilla, Brigg Fair, Rhapsody in Blue, and all the rest just as
well as the score described. To a practiced ear, if we had a weakness it must
have been intonation especially in the strings where there were so many
players working in unison. I suppose the main problem with being
completely objective about this was that we weren't sitting in the audience
and so we weren't in the best place to judge the overall sound.

I certainly felt that I was playing the part as well as it could be played. The
notes were all there and the tone reasonable. Perhaps the main difference in
the standard of play between the professionals and ourselves was that we
didn‟t have the strength in depth in each section, or the consistency of
performance. Inevitably, we didn't have soloists in each group down to the
last desk or player. You wouldn't expect it at our age.

The orchestra took part in the Bath festival in June. On the 21st, at the Forum,
we performed a program conducted in its entirety by Michael Tippett and
which included Richard Rodney Bennett playing Rhapsody in Blue (28).
More importantly we performed the world premier of Michael‟s Interlude II,
with Colin Davis an interested observer in the audience. We returned to
Leicester immediately after the concert, arriving back in the early hours of the

We continued to rehearse faithfully every Saturday but I don't think any of us
ever objected to the routine. Not only was it great fun, but I think our
youthfulness gave us a resilience and an unquestioning acceptance of the
demands placed on us. Whether everyone else felt the same enthusiasm that
I did, I don't know, but I may have been slightly biased because I was in the
brass section. I thought we had the best laughs because, a) we were right at
the back and far away from the conductor's discipline, b) we could sneak out
through the back of the stage for a quick fag, and c) we had the least to do so
there was plenty of time for playing pranks.

The best times were when Jimmy led, I sat next to him and Malcolm Bennett
sat next to me. We were always taking the mickey out of the other sections.
The woodwind used to get it worst, especially if they played a duff note. We
would jeer or hiss (good-naturedly, of course) or rattle our trumpet mutes.

When a particularly jaunty number would come along, Jimmy and I would
mince about with our wrists in time with the rhythm, or jiggle around in our
seats. Inevitably, amid all this larking around, we would occasionally either
knock the music stands over, accidentally kick all the mutes that were lined
up on the floor in front of us, or dislodge the music from the stand. One of
our favourite tricks was to play a B flat when the orchestra was trying to tune
to concert A.

There was a serious side though. Although we could play the music easily
enough, there were two big problems. The first was counting thousands of
bars rest and coming in in the right place. This was especially difficult if
someone distracted you - as they often did. The second was when a piece
was set for trumpet in a different key. Although we could all transpose
pretty well if the part was written for trumpet in C, the other keys were a
devil to transpose to if the notes came quickly.

One of the major events of the summer was that Eric's book 'Time to
Remember' was published. It recorded the history of the CSM from its
foundation, through the early years, and up to the present day. It included a
wonderful account of his early struggles for support and funding, and the
tributes from the many famous people who were associated with the CSM
spoke for themselves.

But at the time, and because I didn't know any better, I thought the book was
interesting but that the girls in the orchestra were more interesting. There
were so many pretty and attractive ones that I was always trying to work out
whether there was some sort of link between musicianship and the fact that
we appeared to attract girls who were prettier than the average for the female
population. There just seemed to be so many girls that looked lovely. Not
that I was fussy of course; I had no morals or standards whatsoever. I
remember spending hours kissing a double bass player after orchestra
rehearsals even though we weren‟t actually in a relationship together.


The summer holidays came and I went on a family holiday. This was a
slightly unusual event for me because I was so accustomed to going away on
orchestra courses instead. We went to Butlins and I took a friend from
school. The event that I remember most vividly was being stuck at the top of
the 'Big Wheel' when it broke down.


The summer wore on and soon the great day arrived when the Senior
Orchestra would go to Germany for two weeks. It was a prestigious tour; the
full itinerary was:

Berlin: concerts at the Kaiserwilhelmkirke (29) on the 10th; at the
Philharmonie (30) on the 12th; and again (31) on the 13th.

Hannover: concert at the Theater am Aegi (32) on the 15th

Gelsenkirchen: concert at the Hans-Sachs-Hans Grosser Saal (32) on the 16th

Cologne: concert at the Gymnasium Kreuzgasse (32) on the 17th

Eric conducted the first concert and we were joined by Michael Tippett and
Richard Rodney Bennett for the remainder of the performances. For the last
four concerts we were accompanied by various German choirs for the Tippett

We were all bleary-eyed when we left home as the buses started to arrive at
the various pick-up points at 4:45 a.m.! We had the usual journey to the ferry
but this time we sailed to Hamburg for a change to save on overland
travelling time. This meant that we had overnight cabins, which were very
handy if you felt sick. I failed miserably at trying to tempt any unwary
females back to mine. We arrived on the continent and travelled on in our
fleet of Robinson buses, stopping now and again for toilets and the obligatory
packed lunches of fruit pies, crisps, etc. We had some limited sponsorship in
those days and various organisations paid for bits and pieces, although I'm
not sure if many saw the irony in the fact that the sandwiches on the way to
Berlin were paid for by Petfoods of Melton Mowbray.

The Robinson bus drivers were all familiar to us by now and we treated them
like old friends. On this trip we had the usual stalwarts - Bill, Gordon and
John. I felt some sympathy with them as we had this expectation of asking
them to drive us to this or that concert hall in some completely unfamiliar city
and assuming without question that they knew where they were going.
Inevitably we often got lost, made worse by the fact that if we did, there were
usually three buses and a lorry in convoy that got lost. We also had the habit
of asking them to drive to, and park in, some completely unsuitable places for
buses. We invariably wanted them to get us as close as possible to the stage
door of some concert hall or other only to discover there wasn't room to park
or turn around. We would all stare out of the windows as they attempted to
do thirty-point turns with inches to spare between lines of parked cars.

We arrived in Berlin and, to our delight, found that we were staying in a
brand new youth hostel complete with bar and table football machine but,
more importantly, we could come and go as we pleased. Of course, our top
priority as soon as we had settled in was to find and adopt our own bar. I
remember five of us setting out on this noble quest (including Jimmy, Lew
and Ian Heard), and, after much lager-sampling in various bars, eventually
succeeding and establishing ourselves around a table in 'our' new bar and
basically trying to drink our lagers faster than the barman could keep
bringing them to us. Within a couple of hours we were completely drunk.
As soon as we got outside two of us were sick in the street.

It wasn't all that surprising that I started to develop stomach problems, and
although I didn't know it at the time, I had managed to develop a stomach
ulcer. I was in quite a bit of discomfort and Jimmy, anxious to protect his
number two trumpet player, offered to come with me to the chemist to obtain
something to make me feel better. An elaborate mime ensued as Jimmy tried
to explain to the Pharmacist (with lots of pointing) that I had a bad stomach.
The Pharmacist at last got the message and came back with a nice bottle of
medicine and I took three teaspoonfuls. The next day I had the worst
diarrhoea in the history of the CSM.

None of us knew much German. As far as we were concerned all we had to
learn was the numbers so that we could order the right number of beers and
we were simply happy that the word for beer was the same. We only ever
learnt the name of one meal; it was 'Scrammer Max', which meant ham and
eggs. Whenever we were in doubt about what to eat in some strange bar we
always reverted to Scrammer Max.

On the second day I formed a friendship with an oboe player who shall
remain nameless. I'm not sure how it started except for the usual smiles but
in no time at all we were starry-eyed with each other. I was incredibly
excited because I just knew (don't ask me how!) that she felt the same way as I
did about us making love.

Things progressed very well indeed. By the second week, when a crowd of
us walked back to the hostel after a good night out in our favourite bar, Miss
Oboe and I would hang back to be by ourselves. One night it was very late
and we were about the last to arrive at the hostel. We stopped for a kiss
outside the room where she and three or four other girls were sleeping. One
thing led to another and before I knew it we were making love on the
corridor floor (twice). I don't know what came over us.

When I look back on it now I'm horrified. We must have been mad. God
knows what would have happened if someone had caught us. There's no
question that Eric would have thrown us out of the orchestra and sent us

…………but it was rather wonderful.


We rehearsed with our usual gusto and the time soon came for our first Berlin
concert at the world-famous Philharmonie hall. The program included our
own familiar mixture of modern English (Tippett) and early 20th Century
English (Delius‟s Brigg Fair). It turned out to be one of our all-time great
performances and earned us a great deal of critical acclaim. Stewart Mason
(the Director of Education), sitting in the front row, was moved to tears.

I don't think we really paid much attention to the customary praise that we
received in those days. We took it pretty much for granted and I don't
remember any of us getting too excited. We didn't need telling when we'd
played well or badly - we knew it instinctively anyway. But we were very
much aware of our own competence. We didn't need to be in the audience to
judge the overall effect. If the notes were all there - and the intonation was
acceptable across all the sections - we knew we must have been close to the
mark. Furthermore, we had all heard each other play many times both
individually and in sections during rehearsals, and we knew that we weren't
carrying any passengers. Still, the applause and the verbal tributes were
always welcome and gave us that extra confidence that helped us relax.

Anyway, the next day my mind was on other things as a small crisis
developed. We were rehearsing in one of the big churches when Jimmy was
suddenly taken ill. He developed bad stomach pains and started coughing
up a little blood. We were all very concerned.

Mind you, we were all smoking like troopers and Jimmy was one of the
worst, so if you take the over-drinking into account, it wasn't surprising that
one of us would be ill. Jimmy had to take the rest of the day off to recover

and I had to lead the section. Fortunately, it turned out not to be as serious as
we had at first feared, and he managed to recover on the following day.

I'll say one thing for the staff on these tours; they were forever organising
excursions to enable us to see the famous landmarks while we were abroad -
presumably to further our education or perhaps to make sure that it wasn't all

The first sightseeing stop on this tour was a trip to the Olympic stadium. I'll
never forget standing on the top steps of the auditorium and seeing the vast
empty arena and imagining the scene all those years ago when Hitler was the
guest of honour for the activities. It was pretty eerie.

The next day we were all herded onto a riverboat for a trip down the Rhine.
This was actually pretty boring because there was nothing to drink.

It didn't take us long to discover that all the good bars were in a big street
called the Kurfustendamm. This street was all bright lights - some of them
red - and loud bars. We made one, called The Showboat, our favourite and
would head for it every evening. The second night we went there I
discovered the 'boot of beer' tradition for the first time. This involved filling a
large glass boot with beer and trying to drink it down in one. I'm not sure
how much beer it held, certainly it was a litre - maybe two. There was also a
particular knack to drinking it because the beer would suddenly force its way
along the glass and hit you in the face. We all had a go at trying to knock it
back but usually managed to spill most of it down our chins and shirts.

We would often skip whatever evening meal had been prepared for us
wherever we were staying, and eat out during one of our drinking binges.
Apart from Scrammer Max, our diet in Germany seemed to consist of
veinerschnitzel, gildenschnitzel or wurst, washed down with lager and a fag
for afterwards.

Whenever we went on tour we would be constantly singing the latest hits,
rugby songs, or our own tunes, and our tour to Germany was no exception.
It was truly the great sixties pop era. The Beatles, The Stones and all the rest
were at the height of their fame and we would sing along with whatever
came on the bus radio or the jukebox in a local bar. Even when we were
abroad, the most popular records were in English and were the ones we were
used to hearing back home. Being musicians we were always improvising or
creating our own words and harmonies. Our favourite on this trip was Hey
Jude by the Beatles, although we also liked J'taime because it was a bit
naughty in those days.

One of the features of these types of concerts was the encore. Normally, we
would assume that we would be asked to play an encore, but you could never
be quite sure whether the audience would be big enough, whether they
would clap long enough, or whether we'd played well enough! The worst
aspect of this was the uncertainty; we never seemed to agree in advance what
the encore might be. It was all very well for the strings when, at the last
moment, Eric murmured which piece he decided that we should play for the
encore. But at the back we had to rely on Chinese whispers to find out what
the hell was going on amidst significant background noise from the hall. If
the woodwind failed to pass the message on, we'd be left panicking about
what we were supposed to be doing with the seconds ticking away and no
music on the stand.

At the end of the first week we heard that we were going to be taken on a
visit to East Germany. This was a bit of a shock since there weren't many
visitors to East Berlin in those days. We duly arrived at Checkpoint Charlie
and had to wait for an hour while all the Russian soldiers entered the bus,
checked us all, and looked around the seats and in the baggage holds. There
was no talking allowed while this was going on and they were unusually
suspicious of any Western-type souvenirs, particularly one of Polly Whitely's
cuddly-toy mascots.

We got a tour of the East, which I remember mostly for the number of
buildings that were in exactly the same state as they must have been after the
end of the war. They still had the bullet holes in the walls, and the whole
place was grey, drab and desolate beyond description. The organisers had
actually pre-booked us into a hotel for a short break mid-way through the
excursion and we had some horrible coffee and cake for refreshments before
it was back on the buses to return to the West. We weren't unhappy to get
back to West Berlin.

The members of staff weren't always saints on these foreign tours. They
would sometimes take part in something that Eric turned a blind eye on and
which parents would definitely have disapproved of. One night some of
them went to what can only be described as a strip club. They soon found
themselves in trouble when they were charged for food and drink at
exorbitant prices. This caught them out completely and they were unable to
pay the bill - which led to one of them ignominiously having to send back to
the hostel for more money.

We left Berlin and moved on to the other cities on the itinerary. We went
through all the normal routines associated with our changes of
accommodation and giving concerts while trying to squeeze in a quick drink
at every spare moment. One thing that always amazed me was that we could
arrive at some strange venue, tired, dishevelled, drunk or asleep, and within
a matter of minutes transform ourselves in the changing rooms to a smart
concert orchestra complete with shined shoes, pressed clothes, combed hair
and washed faces. We would walk onto the platform with the audience none
the wiser about the state that we had been in less than an hour before. I'm
sure that one of the reasons for ability to uplift ourselves in this way was the
team spirit that existed within the orchestra. No one wanted to let anyone
else down and we all knew that the contribution of each and every one of us
was vital.

             In the Philharmonie, Berlin with Sir Michael Tippett

 We eventually returned exhausted from Germany amid the familiar scenes of
sorrow, celebration and praise. Nearly all the senior players that had been
with the orchestra when I had first started had now to leave to go their
separate ways. A number of leaders of the various sections were excellent
instrumentalists and would be sorely missed.

More importantly for me, the time had come for Jimmy to move to London
and the Royal Academy. For the first time I was now the leader of the
trumpet section. I was both honoured and determined to try and be just as
good a player and leader as Jimmy had been. I reasoned that although Jimmy
had this exceptional ability, there was no reason why I couldn't lead the
section just as well. Like all my colleagues, I was able to play all the works in
the repertoire competently, and had all the necessary ability to tackle new
challenges built up by eight years experience of being a musician.

My new number two became Malcolm Bennett, who had been sitting on my
left all through the previous year, and Philip Rea joined from the
Intermediate Orchestra as second trumpet.

And so the orchestra was transformed and a new era began.


Of course, the instrumental changes were only one aspect of the new order.
Dave, Ian, Steve, Paul and myself had become the senior boys and the
nucleus of the new 'in-crowd'. This was a proud tradition of hooliganism and

drinking that we had inherited. We knew what was expected, and there was
a silent acknowledgement between us that we would 'do it in', and be 'over
the top' just as dozens of other boys had done and been before us. Ian was
the only link between the two eras having been 'in' with both the old and the

Miss Oboe and I continued to see each other now and again when we
returned form the tour although it was difficult with her living in Hinckley
and me in Market Harborough.

My summer exam results were poor as a result of not having revised at all
and I left school on our return from Germany to look around for a job. I was
offered a place in a local company as a Computer Operator - which I accepted
- and soon began to earn a living for the first time. I told Eric about this and,
to my eternal gratitude, he overlooked the fact that you were only supposed
to be in the orchestra if you were at school.

I was also spending more time working on the farm so as to earn enough
money to go out and buy drinks, clothes, etc. Just after I‟d returned from
Berlin I found myself assigned to the particularly horrible, boring task of
mucking out the cowsheds. While sweating away, I‟d have a quiet chuckle to
myself at the utter incongruity of it all. It was absurd to think that here I was
shifting compost on Kelly‟s farm in a cowshed in the middle of nowhere
when, a week ago, I was on the stage in the Berlin Philharmonie being
applauded by an enthusiastic audience! It was crazy!


I continued to take part in a number of brass band events. I became
disillusioned with the standard of play with the Market Harborough band
and decided to join Ratby band instead. This enabled me to play in the same
band as Paul, which meant that I had a splendid drinking pal at all the gigs.


As a general rule, activity in the orchestra was relatively low during the
autumn term. We had to absorb the new intake of players, and, often as not,
new music would be introduced into the repertoire at the same time.

The most important event for me was that during November I passed my
driving test. Two weeks later my Dad had bought me my first car - probably
because he was already fed up with me pestering him to borrow his. So for
£45, I was the proud owner of a green Standard Eight. Being a bit of an
individual sort of chap, I immediately painted the wheels yellow.

I began to take it to rehearsals, partly to show off, but also so that I could
avoid catching the bus and having to ask my father to pick me up. By
Christmas I was an experienced driver of six weeks and my best friend from
school and I decided we would drive to London just for the hell of it. We got
lost of course and spent Christmas Eve night sleeping in the car.
So the orchestral year was virtually at an end. As well as all the other
concerts, we'd played at the Roundhouse in London, performed on BBC
Radio 3 for 'Youth Orchestras of the World', and BBC2 for 'Music Now'.
There was nothing left but to prepare for our usual end of term Birstall course
by rehearsing all day on Saturday 20th December.

                               Chapter Eight


The New Year began and the orchestra began to take shape. Although we
had lost many good players during the autumn, new ones of excellent ability
had taken their place. Andy Mack had taken over the legacy of Dave Pugsley
as our solo clarinet player, Margaret Whitely had followed in the footsteps of
Andy Smith on timps, Sue Phipps establishing herself as the solo flautist, and
Robert Heard and Sybil Olive came to prominence on violin.

Early in January twenty-five of us were selected to travel to London for the
weekend to make a recording of a special piece, called Dead in Tune, which
had been commissioned for us with music by Herbert Chappell, and words
by Robin Ray.

This piece had been originally played by members of the Vienna ‟68 tour and
was broadcast as part of the „Sounds Exciting‟ series in February of that year.
Now we had found that we had been asked to record the piece two years
later as a follow up to the initial broadcast.

We all stayed in single rooms at the Royal Hotel overnight. Even though
there wasn't much time for drinking we still managed to stay up most of the
night. My main objective, as usual, was to try and discover the room numbers
of the eligible girls.

It turned out to be a gruelling weekend, not helped by vast amounts of
alcohol. Our only light relief was the endless fascination of watching Robin
Ray chain-smoke but only doing so by using the first half an inch of his
cigarette before stubbing it out. We couldn‟t comprehend such extravagance.

The recording was a daunting experience for me. Because, in effect, we
became a chamber orchestra, I, along with all the other wind and brass
leaders, was the only representative of my instrument. This exposure put a
great deal of pressure on each one of us, with no one else to cover up
mistakes or count time.

We rehearsed tirelessly. I played reasonably well on Dead in Tune but pretty
badly on the reverse side - a piece called George and the Dragonfly. I'm sure
that the producers had no idea that you couldn't run through the piece seven
times if you're a brass player without it having an effect on your lip. I played
well through all the first takes but by the last one I was exhausted and played
a glaring bum note. I was mortified when they used this final take for the


We returned from Leicester and Eric gave me a blue badge! I didn't know
whether to be very pleased at the award or annoyed that it had taken him so
long. On balance, I suppose I was pleased really.

I was still seeing Miss Oboe although I had been severely put off when I
discovered that her father was a senior police officer. On my first visit to her
house he had examined the lights on my motorbike!

On the 16th March, I was invited to play in a week-long local operatic
production of Carmen in Ashby with Ian and one or two other members of
the CSM. This was another reminder to me that one could earn money from
music by playing in these sorts of local events.

The following week, on the 26th March, I was back with the Senior Orchestra
again as we gave a concert in Peterborough as part of the Festival


Earlier in the year Paul had told me that he was going to try and make music
his career and, in order to achieve this ambition, that he was going to
audition for one of the music colleges in London. He suggested that I do the

I hadn't really thought about this before. I was very naive in these sorts of
matters. Nobody had ever discussed with me the idea of college, university
or anything after school. Worse than this, in terms of the county's musical
effort, the Market Harborough area had always seemed to me to be the poor
relation as regards the amount of coaching, advice and tuition available to
young musicians. Certainly, I'd never had - or been offered - a lesson of any
kind. No one had ever talked to me about my musical aspirations, my
performances or technique. I just got on with playing.

So I asked Paul about the colleges. He said I had to play the piano as well as
the trumpet for my audition. I couldn't play the piano and thought it was a
bit late to start. He also said something about a theory exam that I didn't
understand. I took up the subject of the entrance audition with one of the
teachers and he advised me to play something modern since the judges didn't
like ex-cornettists playing some technical brass-band-type solo.

By the time I'd found out where to apply to and what to do, there was only
time to apply to one college - the Royal College of Music in London.
Eventually, on April 15th, I went down and tried my best at the theory, even
though I didn't really know any. I didn't have anything to offer on the piano
or second instrumental piece, and I played a complicated modern piece for
my trumpet audition that even the piano accompanist couldn't manage. She
had to keep stopping, which, not surprisingly, rather put me off. After I'd
finished they asked me to play a minor scale. A what?

Of course, I didn't make it. It was weeks later before I heard that Jimmy had
played 'The Forresters' at his Royal Academy audition. The Forresters is a
classic brass band solo designed to show off one's technical ability. But I
could play this piece!

So, there it was. I supposed I could have tried again the following year but I
didn't fancy being twelve months behind Paul and by then I was earning
good money from my job in the computer industry.

Like many of my contemporaries in the LSSO, I was left wondering whether I
would have made it as a professional musician. Who can say? I knew I was
as good as many who had got into college. I guess I would either have
struggled against the really exceptional players or maybe - with lessons and
tuition for the first time - I would have become one myself. I think I
subconsciously resented missing out on being a professional musician for
some years afterwards but I suppose I've mostly come to terms with it since


Shortly after my audition Miss Oboe and I broke up in slightly unusual
circumstances. We had arranged to meet in Leicester and I had told her
parents that we were going to the cinema and would be back by 11:00.
Instead, I took her out towards a village near Market Harborough and parked
in a gateway for a snogging session. Unfortunately I had borrowed my Dad's
old car (mine was always being repaired) and, even more unfortunately, had
left the sidelights on while we were in the gateway. When it was time to take
her home, the battery was flat and the car wouldn't start! In a slight panic I
had to run to the nearest village where I knew a friend would be able to give
me a tow to get me going.

We eventually got the car started again but by now it was seriously late. We
arrived back at Miss Oboe's house and her Dad hit the roof. If it had been
possible I‟m sure he would have arrested me. I tried to explain that the car
battery was flat but he wasn't having any of it. After he had slammed the
front door in my face I tried to drive off but the car wouldn't start!

I had no choice but to sleep in the car. At around 6:00 a.m. a policeman
knocked on the window of the car. I wound the window down and I'll never
forget the immortal words:

"I've been ordered to give you a push".

So he did and I went home. Her parents forbade me to see her at all and
although we spoke on the phone a few times and exchanged many letters, the
strain was too much and we never met or saw each other ever again.


The Easter course this year took place in Oxford. I took my car to St.
Margarets bus station and left it in the open-air car park. It was very early in
the morning and as there was no attendant there, I didn't know what to do
about paying. In the end I stuck a note under the windscreen that said 'Back
in 8 days'. When I boarded the bus everyone laughed when I told them about
it but it seemed to me to be a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

The social side of this course was superb. Basically, we invaded the New Inn
in Cowley Road every night and got drunk. The pub was absolutely packed
with under-aged drinkers; you couldn't move. God knows what the locals
thought. We built up an amazing rapport with the hosts of the pub and they
quickly became friends with us all.

It wasn't just that we spent money and packed the pub every evening; they
seemed genuinely interested in what we were doing. We would keep the
jukebox going all night and once we'd had a few drinks, sing along to
whatever was playing. The favourite soon became 'Bridge over Troubled
Water' by Simon and Garfunkel.

There were other highlights to the course, such as one young player
accidentally setting fire to the school dormitory (don't ask me how!). My own
personal ambition was finally fulfilled when I managed to persuade Trudi to
stop for a prolonged snogging session on the way back from the pub.

During the course we made a television recording for 'Omnibus'. Meanwhile,
at break time we were kept amused by a violin player called Stephen Gee.
Stephen had a remarkable gift for mimicry and he would do wonderful
impressions of people in the orchestra, or, more often, the conductors and
teachers. He had Eric off to a tee with his famous start-of-rehearsal
expression of 'I'm working!' (Eric had another couple of variations on this
theme. Prior to performing the Walton, he would bring us to attention by
calling out “I‟m partitaring”, and, perhaps best of all, before a Hindemith
rehearsal he actually uttered the immortal phase “I‟m metamorphosing”).

Some of the old traditions lived on. 'Blacking' ceremonies still took place
occasionally, although on this course it took a new twist. Some of the girls
were fascinated by this ritual and wanted to see it for themselves.
Unbelievably, a certain young cellist, who I won't name, offered to show
them the whole thing by having himself 'done' and the girls were duly

The highlight of the course was a formal concert by us in the main hall of
Oxford School on April 8th (33). Apart from Eric as conductor, Bryan Kelly
also came to take charge for his own composition - Sancho Panza, as well as
Bliss‟s Introduction and Allegro.

Robert Heard played the Bruch violin concerto. Robert was leader of the
orchestra by now, which was a justifiable recognition of his talent and even
more remarkable given that he was quite a bit younger than some of the other
section leaders. Even before he became leader he had benefited from an
orchestra policy that I always thought commendable where violinists were
often brought forward to play major concertos even thought they weren‟t
front desk players at the time.

However, the performance didn‟t go quite to plan when Eric accidentally
bashed into Robert‟s violin with his left hand and, after a few minutes,
Robert‟s strings began to unwind. We were forced to stop while he re-tuned,
and eventually we had to start the piece from the beginning again!

The Oxford course was attended by Argo producer Fred Woods, Sir Authur
and Lady Bliss, Frank Wibaut, Michael Tippett, William Glock (Head of BBC
Radio), Bert Chappell and the TV producers from Midlands Today. After the
concert we all had dinner together. This was a celebration of the concert, the
recording, and all that we had achieved. Halfway through the event, an
urgent telegram arrived which Eric, expecting great praise at the performance
of Bryan Kelly's work, proudly opened in front of us. It was from the
landlord of the New Inn and his wife wishing us good luck for the concert.

We returned to Leicester. My car was still there and I got into it and drove
off together with my sticker. I never did pay anything for the privilege of
using the car park.


Orchestra rehearsals began again as soon as the summer term started. I loved
them and looked forward to Saturday mornings all through the week. Some
of the best laughs we had were when particular sections or individuals were
selected to play a few bars of a piece which they hadn't got quite right. When
they did it well we didn't say anything. Standards were generally high and
we expected competence. But now and again, a section would make a cock-
up of something and we would either giggle, hiss, or make derogatory
comments. Of course, being right behind the bassoons, adjacent to the horns,
and just in front of the percussion, gave us the opportunity to insult everyone
at random.

Sometimes we would liven things up by throwing various objects at other
players. Sweet wrappers, bits of paper, in fact anything that was to hand was
a legitimate object to lob at other players providing it didn't do them any
physical damage. The bassoons definitely got it worse; we would wait for the
loudest part possible and lean forward to blast their eardrums - whenever we
could play for laughing that is.

Our next concert was on May 1st when we played at the Edward Herbert
Hall at Loughborough University. With scarcely time to draw breath, we
were soon back in action on the following weekend at the Long Eaton

Whenever we staged these concerts, there were always chamber orchestra
pieces where brass players weren't required. We took the opportunity to
sneak off the stage and either have a fag or nip to the nearest pub if it was
practical. If we weren't required for a piece before the interval, or
immediately afterwards, this was an added bonus. Sometimes we took this to
extremes and managed to get back in our seats before the next item with
seconds to spare. On many occasions you would be looking around
desperately hoping for the appearance of your fellow instrumentalists before
the start of some work which would highlight their part. On one occasion
Paul and Dave got back from the pub just too late to join the orchestra at the
start of Bliss's Introduction and Allegro. Eric was incensed and, after the
initial ticking off, threatened to ban them from the orchestra. Eric being Eric,
he later let them off - albeit with a stern warning.


By this time Ian, Paul, Dave, Steve and myself quite often met socially outside
the orchestra for nights out together on the beer. Sometimes we would all
turn up at someone's party, including one memorable one at Dave's house.
On other occasions it would be the Plough Inn at Ratby followed by chips on
the way home. Nobody cared less about drinking and driving (God forgive
me) and we would do anything for a laugh. Ian and I were particularly bad
for each other and inclined to be completely over the top at drinking and
hooliganism if left to our own devices. One night we crashed my car just
outside Glenfield, and on a few other occasions things got out of hand, but I
don‟t think it would be appropriate to go into details here.


We took part in the Cheltenham Festival this year and went away for a few
days to give two concerts on the 8th and 9th of July. The first program
included the first complete performance of Sir Michael Tippett's The Shires
Suite, especially written for the orchestra. Michael conducted us for his work
- both for the rehearsals and the concerts. The second concert took place at
the Cheltenham Ladies' College.

Unfortunately though, on this brief trip the powers that be hadn't been able to
find us anywhere convenient to stay, and it had been hastily arranged that we
were to be billetted in an RAF camp.

On our first night there we were determined to find the nearest pub as soon
as possible. We walked for hours without success only to find that the
wretched camp was miles from anywhere. Dejectedly, we returned only to
find that the main gate had been locked. We had to search along the fence for
another way in, and although the darkness didn't help, there's no doubt that
we were spurred on by the distant barking of patrol dogs. Some of us -
convinced we were about to be torn apart by the dogs or shot as intruders -
actually climbed the fence to get back inside the camp.

On 28th August we went to London for three days to make our third record.
This was a very important project for we were to be conducted by Sir Arthur
Bliss, Sir Michael Tippett and Andre Previn. Andre Previn was a very
popular public figure in those days and we were all excited at the prospect of
being conducted by someone so famous. We stayed at the Royal Hotel again,
propping up the bar into the early hours as usual.

Whenever there's talk of conductors and the difference they may or may not
make to an orchestra, I always think of Andre Previn. Obviously he was
famous and we were all a little intimidated to have such a well-known
personality in charge. But there was no getting away from the fact that there
was a marked improvement when he took over the baton. He somehow
managed to obtain a cohesion and sound that I‟d not heard us produce
before. He was particularly fussy about the strings, and demanded perfection
by taking them over their part again and again. It really paid off. Whether
one can tell from the record or not, I don't know, but the impact on the
performance was unquestionable.


The Senior tour abroad this year was to Munster, and we left on 6th

We gave four concerts:

Munster - Stadttheater (34)
Ludinghausen - Appollotheater (35)
Wuppertal (36)
Munster - Apostelkirche (37)

During the tour Vanessa Hood played the Albinoni; Stephen Whittaker, the
Gershwin; and Robert Heard the Bruch Violin Concerto.

As usual, we all got paralytic on the boat. Some of us were sick but it was
difficult to tell whether the cause of this was the sea or the booze. Dave had a
particularly bad time. Before we got off the boat the next morning, he was
advised to drink a 'Prairie Oyster' as a hangover cure. Being alcoholic, this
sounded intriguing to us until we discovered that it contained a raw egg. To
Dave's eternal credit, he drank it.

Paul was the only one of us who didn't smoke like a chimney. To avoid being
left out of things he decided to adopt a pipe as being a substitute form of
tobacco worship. He thought this looked very dignified. So did we until he
went to the toilet, pulled up his trousers at the same time as he flushed the
loo, and the pipe disappeared down the pan.

We arrived in Belgium and boarded the buses. One of the worst examples of
our general behaviour when we went abroad was the shoplifting. We were
little sods at nicking things. I'm horrified to think of it today but in those
days we just thought it was one big laugh. Our speciality was to wait until
the bus stopped and then crowd into a small shop so that the place was
absolutely jam-packed. Although there were some legitimate purchases
going on at the front of the counter, we were virtually passing thing out of
the shop from hand to hand and straight onto the bus. The shopkeepers just
couldn't keep an eye on so many children at once. How we got away without
being caught I'll never know.

We arrived in Munster. The buses pulled up and we couldn't believe our
eyes - we were staying in a convent!

It actually turned out to be pretty good place to stay. We were all allocated to
our own small room and I quickly spotted the potential for a bit of hanky-
panky. I had previously always fancied a flute player. I managed to get
chatting to her, and we soon became involved with each other.

The social aspect to the course was great because we were based in the same
place and had lots of time off in the evenings. We soon marked out our
favourite bars, soon deciding that the „Black Horse Disco‟ was the place to be.

The place was full of British soldiers. Whatever bar we were in, they seemed
to be there too. We soon made friends with several of them, especially the
ones in our 'local'.

One night we were drinking with half a dozen of them. Somehow or other
we ended up challenging them to a 'down in one' contest. They were totally
confident and put forward their biggest chap - a man-mountain of about
eighteen stone. Our champion was Steve, whom we knew could knock them
back pretty quickly. We set the beers up on the bar, the order was given to
go, and they went for it. One-point-five seconds later Steve had finished his
and we went wild with celebration. I'd never seen a drink vanish more
speedily; I'd had no idea of Steve's prowess, and we were in complete awe of
him. The place was in uproar and the squaddies couldn't believe it.

Often we hadn't sobered up from the previous drinking session before we
went on another. Johnny Whitmore was incessantly drunk and had a sort of
party trick where he would either dress up in silly clothes or put his existing
clothes on back to front or upside down. We called this transformation
'changing back'. It got so popular that he would be called on to go through
the routine every time we went out. Quite what the German passers-by
thought of it when he went through the routine on the pavement surrounded
by the rest of us splitting our sides with laughter, I'll never know.

In the meantime, Miss Flute and I were forever kissing when we went out
and I fancied her like mad. I decided to see if she felt the same way. She did,
I did, and we did together in her room.

I can't remember much about the concerts on this tour. Actually, it wasn't a
particularly prestigious trip compared to previous years, more of a
continental residential course. But I don't think we worried about this
excessively at the time because staying in one place certainly had its social

One of the aspects of the time that I do remember was the way that we would
troop into a concert venue for the first time only to utter a dispirited groan
when we instinctively realised that there's wasn't enough room for all of us.
This was particularly true of churches and school halls. When you've got
somewhere between seventy and a hundred musicians with chairs, music
stands, percussion, and so on, it takes up an awful lot of room. Many's the
time that we were jammed right up next to each other in the wrong place
physically and musically to hear what was happening in the section that was
most closely related to your own.
I suppose another issue that went hand-in-hand with this was that the
changing rooms were sometimes equally cramped. We'd all be falling over
each other trying to change from our casual clothes into our black concert
gear, attempting to comb our hair and warm up our instruments. On one or
two treasured occasions, there were no separate facilities for boys and girls
and we had to change together. This was tremendously exciting given the
challenge of sneaking looks at the girls in their underwear while pretending
casual indifference.

There are a number of pieces that were my 'favourites' during the various
concerts and tours. But, out of all of them, the two violin concertos - Bruch
and Mendelssohn - are definitely in my top ten. The Bruch was especially
haunting and every year we always seemed to be able to come up with a
young musician that could take on the challenges of the work.

Later in the week we were back in the bar again. We all got drunk as skunks,
as did the squaddies. As we came out, the squaddies backed their car into the
orchestra bus (one of the bus drivers had taken us to the bar in it). We took
the matter very seriously and threatened to report the soldier to his
commanding officer unless he recompensed us on the spot. He offered to
take us to the NAAFI on the following night for cheap booze and fags. We
agreed immediately.

So the next night we met as planned and he smuggled us into the army base.
We walked into a huge NAAFI canteen full of soldiers. Slowly the buzz of
conversation tailed off as we walked down the middle of the room until there
was total silence. I don't think it was so much the surprise of seeing civilian
youths as much as the fact that some of us had very long hair. One of the
soldiers shouted out 'long-haired bastards', and this broke the atmosphere.
One of 'our' soldiers gave us free whisky and cigarettes and we scarpered
quickly before they changed their minds.

By the second week, some over-enthusiastic administrator had decided that it
would be a good idea for us to play one of the local German schools at
football. I was very apprehensive when I heard about this given that most
schools had about five hundred boys and we had thirty-five. Half a dozen of
us, myself included, were reasonable footballers but I knew from the
beginning that we were sure to be outplayed.

Anyway, the big day arrived and we prepared ourselves appropriately for
the occasion. Obviously nobody had warned us about this match before we
had left home and we didn't possess any suitable kit of any kind. So there
was nothing for it except to improvise by wearing the most outrageous and
outlandish strip in the history of the Bundesleague. We had on anything we
thought would raise a laugh including borrowed clothes from the female
members of the orchestra. But we did have a secret weapon - a number of
girls who would act as trainers.

The match started and, unbelievably, we scored first! We were amazed and
did a lap of honour to celebrate. That was the end of our stamina, so our lead
didn't last long and they soon equalised and then went ahead. We then
proceeded to come up with every sort of delaying tactic, foul, or diversion
Every five minutes, one of us would retire to the sidelines for an 'injury' to be
tended to by the girls. Suitable fortified by beer and schnapps, we would
then return to the field of battle. We eventually lost 8-1, which I thought was
pretty good in the circumstances.

All too soon the tour was over and we made our way wearily home. We gave
our customary return concert at the De Montfort Hall (38). Eleanor Cooke
played the Dvorak violin work, and Nigel Allcoat the organ in the Poulenc.

Miss Flute and I didn't last long after we returned from Munster. She lived
right on the other side of the county and it was never going to be easy for us
to meet regularly. But at least we remained friends afterwards.

It was time again for some of the senior players to move on. The biggest blow
for me was that Paul would be leaving to go to music college in London. It
was time for Lew, who was the last but one of the old in-crowd, to leave,
along with several other notable players.

And so the orchestra was transformed and a new era began.


I counted myself particularly fortunate. I was eighteen, and, strictly
speaking, I should have left the orchestra by now but Eric had shown no
signs of asking me to step down and I wasn't going to volunteer. Amazingly,
it meant that I could stay with the orchestra - alongside all my friends - for
the whole of the next academic year. What super good luck!


All the social events in my non-orchestra life continued. I went to the local
discos with my friends where the big chart-toppers would be Deep Purple,
Free, and all the rest. We would get back to someone's house and listen to
Tubular Bells on the record player until we knew it by heart. We would
pursue women relentlessly, but there was often an undercurrent of violence
from other youths who would react to a careless stare or slight nudge on the
dance floor.

Once Paul had settled down in London, I went to visit him as often as I could,
especially if it was a weekend when there would be a party. I always felt at
home then because the guests would be almost exclusively other musicians -
amateurs, professionals, and students.

We had the usual Christmas course at Birstall during the holidays. The
highlight for me this time was that Paul came back from college to play with
us on the last day. Immediately afterwards we decided to jump in my car
and drive to Glasgow so that we could spend the new year with his relatives.

                         MUNSTER 1970

Paul Barrett, Dave Smith, Tony Lewis, John Whitmore, Bill Robinson,
   Mick Robinson, Ian Heard, Stephen Draycott and Yours Truly

                          AUSTRIA 1968

Bill Robinson, Malcolm Bennett, John Coney, Philip Rea, Eric Pinkett

                                Chapter Nine


The new year came and I decided that even if I wasn't going to attend music
college, I would leave home this year to move down to London as soon as I
left the LSSO in September. London seemed pretty glamorous compared to
Gumley and Leicester.

Paul still came back from college at weekends to play alongside me in the
Ratby band. We drank five or six pints after rehearsals on a Sunday morning,
and slept it off around his grandmother's house before starting on the beer
again in the evening.

The Saturday morning orchestra rehearsals continued but with one
difference. Now we were old enough to drink legally and had our own
transport, we would often go to a pub in Birstall following the morning
sessions. Gone were the days of the tuck-shop, Vimto and Hula-hoops!


The Easter course this year was to take place in the Isle of Man.

I think we took drinking to new height on this course. We started on the
ferry and Ian, Dave, Steve and I drank fifty-six cans of beer. How do I
remember the number? Simple, we wouldn't let the waiter take the empties
away. We created a stack on the table in front of us that looked like some sort
of grotesque sculpture.

I was completely drunk for three days. I'm told that I was carried down the
gangplank (I find this hard to believe), and the first couple of days were a

We were billeted in a school again but at least it was quite close to the town
centre of Douglas. It meant that we had no trouble getting to the pubs every

We had an excellent time on the course, mainly it seemed because we were
concentrating on rehearsals in one location rather than trouping around from
one venue to another. Apart from the drinking, we got up to all the usual
tricks, including hiring pushbikes to ride along the sea front. While this
doesn't seem unusual, it takes on a different perspective when one is
completely blotto (particularly from the other pedestrians' point of view).

Luckily, you can't be prosecuted for drunk-cycling. We got back and decided
it would be a good idea to go for a swim in the sea. We didn't have any
swimming costumes so we just went in with our clothes on anyway.

Strangely enough, I can‟t really remember anything about the music on this
course, with one exception. The Easter course was always a good time to
introduce new works, and we continued with this tradition when Eric
confronted us with West Side Story. It was a marvellous piece to play,
alternating between jazz and ballad. Our part was both exciting and difficult,
giving us lots of chance to blast out the part and scream the high notes at the
top of our lungs. Such subtlety!

The school where we were staying was situated in the heart of Douglas, and
the girls in the orchestra attracted the usual unwelcome attention of the local
boys (in retrospect, I guess this attention may not have been so unwelcome
from the girls' point of view). As it was our sworn duty to protect the girls
from these outsiders (so we could have them to ourselves), we began nightly

On the first night Ian and I were walking along the corridors armed with
sticks (cricket stumps; there were always cricket stumps in schools) when we
spotted two unfortunate local boys. We shouted, they fled, we caught them,
and Ian was in one of his less charitable moods. Poking the tapered end of
his stump up the nostril of one of the hapless victims, he threatened to insert
the remainder in the same place if he ever saw them again. We didn't see
them again.

There was further trouble when we were down in the centre of Douglas one
day. For no apparent reason, Malcolm Bennett was attacked by one of the
local youths. The police were called, and when they asked Malcolm to
describe his attacker, all he could remember was that the youth had 'green
teeth'. Armed with this vital information, the rest of us obtained various
weapons, and scoured the town looking very closely at boys to see if their
teeth were the aforementioned colour. God knows what would have
happened if we'd have found him; luckily we never did.

Just after the course began I met a viola player and things were never quite
the same for me again. So started a long relationship between us that lasted
many years. Being teenagers, we were crazy about each other, as only
teenagers can be. On the return ferry trip we spent the whole voyage glued
to the rail at the back of the boat watching the sea and kissing. It seemed very

We gave our usual local concert in Douglas before returning home.


On May 7th the orchestra went to Brighton for a short break which would
involve giving a performance at the famous Pavilion. Also, as part of this
mini-tour, we were invited to play at Roedean College, and we gave a concert
in their main hall.

We were installed in quite a decent Brighton hotel and soon got up to the
usual tricks. Ian was worse than any of us and, with the help of Dave‟s mini
van key, borrowed a car! Even a hooligan like me was impressed. He
promised that he would only take it for a brief spin along the front and then
return it unharmed to its original position in front of the owner's house and
nobody would be any the wiser. It was a good plan except for one fatal flaw;
when he got back the parking space had been taken up by another car.

Throughout our time in the orchestra there had always been a certain amount
of covert bullying, nothing serious but it was there nevertheless. Obviously,
in hindsight, I regret this now although I was no worse or better than anyone
else. But I am ashamed at one or two things that went on, and even more
ashamed that I didn't try and stop them. A few boys just seemed to be in the
wrong place at the wrong time even though in the vast majority of cases, it
wasn't anything physical, just mickey-taking, abuse or the odd flicked ear
lobe. But now and then it went too far and I wished it hadn't.


We returned from the Brighton trip and were soon back in rehearsals in
anticipation of our summer tour.

Miss Viola and I had started going out seriously since our return from the Isle
of Man. We went everywhere together if we could - despite her parent's
reservations (she was two year's younger than me). But one thing led to
another and we became lovers just after my birthday in May.


We had been invited to the Harrogate Festival on the 1st August and played a
single concert there. For a change we were installed in a very posh hotel and
returned there after the concert and drank in the bar until 2:00 a.m.. We then
decided we were hungry and ordered rounds of beef sandwiches which were
very expensive and for which we had not the slightest intention of paying. I
was lucky enough to spend the night with a clarinet player, even though I
was disappointed to find that my usual charm offensive failed to win her
over to my obvious but dishonourable objective.


The summer holidays came around and, in September, we went to
Switzerland in what would be the last concert tour for many of us, myself
included. We were determined to have a good time.

We would be playing concerts in Lugano, Le Locle, Neuchatel, St. Maurice,
Sierre and Geneva.

In hindsight, because it was our last trip, the demons got into some of us. The
hooliganism reached outrageous proportions, the drunkenness legendary, the
bullying, mickey-taking, and sheer immaturity were breathtaking. The only
thing that stopped us going completely over the top was the fact that most of
us had girlfriends by this time. Certainly Miss Viola and I were very close
and she kept me from getting totally out of hand.
We started with all the usual routines: load the orchestra van, board the buses
carrying suitcases and booze, and off we went. We had the usual binge on
the ferry, although I toned it down a bit because I was with Miss Viola for
some of the time and didn't want to show myself up in front of her even more
than I usually did. However, the problem with drinking on the ferry before
boarding the buses was the same one that we‟d all had experience of for
many years. Within the first few miles we would be bursting for a pee! It
was always the same story, with us becoming increasingly desperate and
imploring the bus driver to stop even though the staff weren‟t keen to do so.
Sometimes only passionate pleading from us would result in a quick comfort
stop and we all raced off the bus to pee in the nearest hedge, while everyone
looked at us through the bus windows with either amusement or pity.

We stopped fairly regularly on the autobahns and at roadside lay-bys nearer
Switzerland. Although I wasn't particularly interested in it, the scenery was
breathtaking (I can‟t remember any of it but I can tell from the photos)
although I was more interested in the social side of things. Still, we would
often stop for up to an hour and walk up the mountains and it made a
welcome break from sitting in the buses all the time.

Many couples like Miss Viola and myself would wander off to lie on the grass
to talk and kiss in relative privacy compared to the bus (there were always
loads of us kissing on the bus). Unfortunately, one of our trombonists
suffered some severe embarrassment when he got carried away with a viola
player and failed to spot that we had all returned to the bus. A hundred of us
watched them from the lay-by as they lay on the mountainside oblivious to
our shouting.

We arrived in Lugano for our first concert. There was a huge lake there and
we lost no time in taking out rowing boats. I was determined to get Miss
Viola in my own boat for obvious reasons and this paid off handsomely when
we were able to make love about half a mile away from the shore - all the
while hoping that nobody could see us.

We were all pretty grown up by now (physically if not mentally) and I think
Eric may have been worried that some of us would get ourselves into trouble.
He was certainly very annoyed to find Miss Viola sitting on my bed in the
dorm one day and threatened to send her home for what would have been an
entirely innocent interlude.

We settled down to rehearsals and practised some of our newer repertoire.
But by the evening we were out on the town again getting completely
plastered. Returning home late from a bar we borrowed some bicycles to
take us back to the hotel, and some of us fell off, as you would expect. What
you wouldn't expect is that when we got back to the hotel we threw all the
bikes in the lake.

Malcolm Bennett nearly got the whole tour cancelled. He was out of his head
with drink and threatened to throw himself out of the hotel window. I don't
know why he wanted to do this (unless it was because he sat next to me) but
he seemed determined to go through with it. We were all pleading with him
that he was neither Superman nor a bird, when Ian came to the rescue by
grabbing him from the window ledge and 'persuading' him that the leap
wouldn't be in his interest or ours.

We performed our first concert to much acclaim and then went on to the
other cities in the itinerary. In Geneva we had plenty of free time, and spent
many most of our time exploring the nightlife.

All the lads had 'steady' girlfriends by now. Miss Viola and myself, Dave and
Jenny, Steve and Eleanor, Ian and Sandra (sometimes). We thought we were
quite mature to have 'settled down' in this way.

Miss Viola and I managed to find time to go off together and we stopped and
bought coffee at a pavement cafe. Being a romantic sort of chap I'd bought
her a ring and used the occasion to present it to her - praying that the lads
wouldn't find out.

Eventually, the time came for us to give our last concert together with the
present membership of the orchestra. It was an incredibly emotional and
moving occasion for so many of us.

I don't know who put the program together. I only know that to include the
Enigma variations was either a cruel coincidence or deliberate act of wanton
nostalgia. As we went through Nimrod we were all in tears. There can never
have been a moment like it for most of us, except perhaps afterwards, when
we'd completed our encore and trooped off-stage.
I put my trumpet away in its case and instead of all the usual noise and
chatter, a strange subdued atmosphere existed in the changing rooms. As I
closed my case I knew that I would never play in the orchestra again. It was
the saddest day of my life; the orchestra had been everything to me.

We journeyed home in the bus without the usual high spirits, just having a
few quiet drinks from our duty-frees. However, we did have one more
chance of a good night out before we got back to England. To break up the
journey it had been decided that we would stop for the night in Paris. As you
can imagine, we weren't deeply upset by this.

We arrived at the hotel and couldn't wait to get out on the town. We went to
get changed, had a few quick drinks in the bar, and returned to the car park
to pick up our girlfriends only to find trouble instead. A number of French
youths had found out that the girls were staying there. Worse, they were
chatting them up! We were outraged (the drink inside us was especially
outraged) and we came very close to an out-and-out punch up. In vain the
French boys tried to explain that girls were for 'toutes la monde'. Well our
world didn't include them. The fight was only averted by our girls acting as
mediators and eventually persuading the froglets to push off. Our irrational
jealousy didn't really deserve such loyalty.

Because we hadn't known in advance that we were going to be stopping in
France, none of us had any French money. All except Steve that is; so off we
went by metro to a bar in the Rue de L'Opera where we had beaucoup de
bieres and a good meal. Why Steve had the money, and how he had enough
to treat us all, I'll never know, but we were all grateful for his generosity.

The next day we travelled back on the ferry and returned to Leicester. I got
off the bus at St. Margaret's and said goodbye to my friends. This involved
lots of hugging and kissing and more tears. I kissed girls who I‟d never
kissed before because I knew it would be the last time I‟d see them. Many of
us knew subconsciously that we were saying goodbye to each other for the
last time after so many years of growing up together and sharing our lives,
loves, work and passions. But, above all, sharing our childhood. None of us
wanted to be the first to leave, even though many had parents waiting for
them to take them home. Eventually I forced myself to say a last goodbye
and went to find my car. I‟ll never forget the emotional upheaval as I walked
along the pavement knowing that after nearly eight wonderful years it was
all over.


Obviously, I continued to play with other musical groups but that unique
part of my life had gone forever. I think the only things that helped mitigate
the blow was that I continued to see Miss Viola, which maintained a link with
the orchestra, and that I'd at least made some plans for the future with my
best friends.

The orchestra actually gave a concert at the De Montfort on the 24th
September as our return had coincided with the retirement of Stewart Mason,
the County Director of Education, and the concert was to be in his
honour(39). Mr Mason had been a very influential part of the whole County
School of Music story, especially in his appointment of Eric, and his support
for him over the years.

                        SWITZERLAND, 1971

A Coach Stop in the Swiss Mountains: Boys to the Left, Girls to the Right

      SWITZERLAND, 1971


                                 Chapter 10

                                1972 onwards

Of course, that wasn't the end of the music. In September, Steve, Dave and I
moved to London to join up with Paul. Steve and Paul were at music college
while Dave and I had decided to pursue our careers in the business world.

Early in 1972 I joined the newly-formed City of London Band. This was a
new venture made up of brass players who were based in London - usually at
the colleges - and who didn't get the chance to play with brass bands back
home. Imagine my delight to walk into my first rehearsal to find so many ex-
LSSO players there - Roger Harvey, John Smith, Glenn Pollard and Jimmy
Watson. The band went on over the next few years to some great success
including television and recording work.

Paul and I continued to play for the Ratby band for another year or two and
got up to our old tricks, especially when we went with the band on a tour to
Holland. We had a tradition to live up to! I've since played in other bands
and orchestras and continue to enjoy being involved in music in my own
way. But I'm sure that I feel the same as all my fellow players in the LSSO,
when I say that music-making as an adult is an altogether different
proposition to those early days when we were so young.

Dave, Steve, and I lived together in London for a few years and saw Paul
almost every day. All our social life revolved around our friendship and
other musicians, and we had many great times together (perhaps another

Nowadays we've all made our own lives and careers, some of us involved in
the music business professionally and some of us as amateurs. But I'm
immensely proud that we've stayed in touch, and, indeed, we still get
together every now and then for a few drinks.

As you can imagine if you've read this far, there's a special bond between us
because we all spent our youth 'Growing up with the Leicestershire Schools
Symphony Orchestra'.


So what was it all about then? In essence, I think it was about Eric's legacy to
us all; about the influence he had on all our lives, and the influence, that, in
turn, we have had on our family, friends and the people we've come into
contact with. If you harness and nurture a creative force in people it spurs
them on to achievement and to accomplishment. By enriching us and
teaching us about music and life - as well as bringing music to so many - I
sincerely believe that Eric made a small but unique contribution to the culture
of this country.

What a wonderful vision he had. Who among us can claim to have had such
fulfilling lives? His legacy to all of us lives on in the countless thousands of
children who have learnt to play a musical instrument, and who have been
part of the LSSO.

I must also say that we were incredibly privileged. Education and leisure
budgets weren't under the pressure in those days that they are now. Buses
were paid for without complaint, schools and concert halls lent free. But the
greatest privilege was to have grown up with music and to have toured and
performed at so many famous venues without even realising the significance
of it at the time.

It was also about growing up in a spirit of comradeship and with a common
sense of purpose. Although this spirit can be emulated or reproduced in
adulthood, it's difficult to re-capture the wonder of childhood that is unique
to that period of discovery in one's life. I suppose there are other youth
organisations that strive to achieve a similar bond. But schools aren‟t
optional and youth clubs don't require hours of practice, or living and eating
together in relative intimacy. But more especially, there's the simultaneous
taking part, the combining and nurturing of a shared talent with each
individual contributing to the overall art that is the unique entity that is an
orchestra. This surely then is what is so very special about making music as
a child.

And so the orchestra was transformed and a new era began......

                                                            Philip Monk
                                                            13th March 1996

This edition fully revised and published for the Longslade Reunion, June
10th, 2000

Appendix A

Orchestral Programs

Program No. 1

Russlan and Ludmilla                    Glinka
Piano Concerto No. 1                    Beethoven
The Morning                     Arne
Ritual Fire Dance               De Falla
Divertimento                    Malcolm Arnold
Loch Lomond (Wind Band)               Arr. Richardson
Two Elegiac Melodies                  Grieg
Folk Songs of the Four          Vaughan Williams

Program No. 2

Thieving Magpie                 Rossini
Clarinet Concertino             Weber
Wand of Youth                   Elgar
Music for Wind
Simple Symphony                 Britten
Variations on an English        Baumann
Folk Song for Cello and
Vltava                          Smetana

Program No. 3

Thieving Magpie                 Rossini
Concertino for Clarinet         Weber
Wand of Youth                   Elgar
Music for Wind
Simple Symphony                 Britten
Vltava                          Smetana

Program No. 4

Si J'etais Roi                  Adam
Concerto for 4 Violins                Vivaldi
Salon Suite                     Bridgeman
Concerto for Oboe               Haydn
The 'bb' and 'cf' (Wind Band)
Concerto for Bassoon                    Capel Bond
Concertino for Clarinet         Weber
Polly Wolly Doodle             arr. Richardson

Program No. 5

Italian Girl in Algiers                  Rossini
Concertino for Clarinet        Weber
Karelia Suite                  Sibelius
Suite in F                     Holst
Simple Symphony                Britten
Classical Symphony (Gavotte)   Prokofiev
Four Scottish Dances                   Malcolm Arnold

Program No. 6

Italian Girl in Algiers                  Rossini
Oboe Concerto                  Haydn
Karelia Suite                  Sibelius
Simple Symphony                Britten
Sinfonietta                    Arne
Four Scottish Dances                     Malcolm Arnold

Program No. 7

Italian Girl in Algiers                  Rossini
Concertino for Clarinet        Weber
Classical Symphony (Gavotte)   Prokofiev
Karelia Suite                  Sibelius
Suite in F (Wind Band)         Holst
Simple Symphony                Britten
Four Scottish Dances                     Malcolm Arnold

Program No. 8

The Italian Girl in Algiers    Rossini
March Caprice                         Delius
Violin Concerto in D                  Mozart
Original Suite (wind band)     Gordon Jacob
Flute Concerto                 Robert Valentine
Variations on an English       Herbert Baumann
Divertimento                   Malcolm Arnold

Program No. 9

Men of Prometheus            Beethoven
Hungarian Rondo              Weber
Concerto in E Flat           Stravinsky
(Dumbarton Oaks)
Sinfonietta                  William Mathias
Les Petits Riens             Mozart
Flute Concerto               Dittersdorf
English Dances               Malcolm Arnold

Program No. 10

Rosamunde                    Schubert
New World Symphony           Dvorak
Hungarian Rondo              Weber
Sinfonietta                  William Mathias
Les Petits Riens             Mozart
Music for Wind Group
Concerto in E Minor                   Dittersdorf
Eight English Dances                  Malcolm Arnold

Program No. 11

Men of Prometheus            Beethoven
New World Symphony           Dvorak
Flute Concerto               Dittersdorf
Sinfonietta                  William Mathias
Piano Concerto No. 9                  Mozart
Music for Wind Group
Four English Dances                   Malcolm Arnold

Program No. 12

Semiramide                   Rossini
St Anthony Chorale           Brahms
Concerto for Oboe and        J.S. Bach
Divertimento                 Malcolm Arnold
Concertante Music            Alan Ridout
Moorside Suite (Wind Band)          Holst
Sinfonietta                  William Mathias

Program No. 13

Overture: Candide            Leonard Bernstein
Violin Concerto in G Minor         Max Bruch
Partita for Orchestra              Sir William Walton
St. Anthony Chorale                 Brahms
Boutique Fantasque           Rossini-Respighi
El Salon Mexico              Aaron Copland

Program No. 14

Pique Dame                   Suppe
Clarinet Quintet             Mozart
Pineapple Poll                      Sullivan
Symphony No. 3               Beethoven
Sinfonia Semplice            Anthony Hedges
Violin Concerto No. 6               Vivaldi
Sinfonietta                  William Mathias

Program No. 15

Overture: Candide            Leonard Bernstein
Variations symphoniques      Cesar Franck
For piano and orchestra
Partita for orchestra        Sir William Walton
Divertissement               Ibert
For chamber orchestra
Brigg fair                   Delius
(an English Rhapsody)
El salon Mexico              Aaron Copland

Program No. 16

Fantasia on Greensleeves     Vaughan Williams
Brigg Fair                   Delius
Partita                      Walton
Little Music for Strings     Michael Tippett
Variations on an             Elgar
Original Theme

Program No. 17

Peter Smoll                      Weber
Matinees Musicales               Benjamin Britten
Romance No. 2 In F Major         Beethoven
Sinfonia Semplice                Anthony Hedges
Original Suite (For Wind Band)   Gordon Jacob
Music for Strings                Vaughan Williams
Elizabethan Dances               William Alwyn
Serenade For Orchestra           William Mathias

Program No. 18

Overture: Candide                Leonard Bernstein
Variations Symphoniques          Cesar Franck
For Piano and Orchestra
Partita for Orchestra                     Sir William Walton
Brigg Fair                       Delius
(An English Rhapsody)
Little Music for Strings         Michael Tippett
El Salon Mexico                  Aaron Copland

Program No. 19

Candide                          Bernstein
Variations Symphoniques          Cesar Franck
For Piano and Orchestra
Brigg Fair                       Delius
(An English Rhapsody)
Partita for Orchestra                  Sir William Walton
El Salon Mexico                  Aaron Copland

Program No. 20

Candide                          Bernstein
Little Music for Strings         Michael Tippett
Variations Symphoniques          Cesar Franck
For Piano and Orchestra
Brigg Fair                       Delius
(An English Rhapsody)
Partita for Orchestra               Sir William Walton

Program No. 21

Candide                    Bernstein
Partita for Orchestra             Sir William Walton
Variations Symphoniques    Cesar Franck
For Piano and Orchestra
Fantasia on Greensleeves   Vaughan Williams
Enigma Variations          Elgar

Program No. 22

Overture: Candide          Leonard Bernstein
Piano Concerto No. 2             Alan Rawsthorne
Divertissement             Ibert
For Chamber Orchestra
Little Music for Strings   Michael Tippett
El Salon Mexico            Aaron Copland

Program No. 23

Overture: Candide          Leonard Bernstein
Little Music for Strings   Michael Tippett
Variations Symphoniques    Cesar Franck
For Piano and Orchestra
Brigg Fair                 Delius
(An English Rhapsody)
El Salon Mexico            Aaron Copland

Program No. 24

Concertante Music          Alan Ridout
Little Music for Strings   Michael Tippett
Piano Concerto No. 2             Alan Rawsthorne
Brigg Fair                 Delius
(An English Rhapsody)
Partita for Orchestra               Sir William Walton

Program No. 25

Metamorphoses On Themes              Hindemith
Of Weber
Scottish Dances             Iain Hamilton
Old Hundredth               Arr. Vaughan Williams

Program No. 26

Prologue                    Michael Tippett
Metamorphoses On Themes           Hindemith
Of Weber
Rio Grande                  Lambert
Overture: Sancho Panza      Bryan Kelly
Scottish Dances             Iain Hamilton
Rhapsody in Blue            Gershwin
Epilogue                    Michael Tippett

Program No. 27

Russlan and Ludmilla                 Glinka
Violin Concerto in D                 Brahms
Metamorphoses On Themes              Hindemith
Of Weber
Scottish Dances             Iain Hamilton

Program No. 28

Putnam's Camp               Ives
Quiet City                  Copland
The Rio Grande              Lambert
Sellinger's Round           Michael Tippett
Rhapsody in Blue            Gershwin
Prologue, Interlude II            Michael Tippett
and Epilogue

Program No. 29

The Banks of Green Willow            Butterworth
Metamorphoses On Themes              Hindemith
Of Weber
Overture: Sancho Panza      Bryan Kelly
Sellinger's Round            Michael Tippett
Brigg Fair                   Delius

Program No. 30

Russlan and Ludmilla                   Glinka
Metamorphoses On Themes                Hindemith
Of Weber
Rhapsody in Blue             Gershwin
Sellinger's Round            Michael Tippett
Scottish Dances              Iain Hamilton

Program No. 31

Metamorphoses On Themes                Hindemith
Of Weber
Brigg Fair                   Delius
Putnam's Camp                Ives
Quiet City                   Aaron Copland
Rhapsody in Blue             Gershwin
Prologue, Interlude II             Michael Tippett
and Epilogue

Program No. 32

Russlan and Ludmilla                   Glinka
Metamorphoses On Themes                Hindemith
Of Weber
Rhapsody in Blue             Gershwin
Putnam's Camp                Ives
Prologue, Interlude II             Michael Tippett
and Epilogue

Program No. 33

Sancho Panza                        Bryan Kelly
Introduction and Allegro     Sir Arthur Bliss
Violin Concerto in G Minor          Max Bruch
Spirituals                   Morton Gould
Rhapsody in Blue             Gershwin
Boutique Fantasque           Rossini-Respighi

Program No. 34

Cockaigne                    Elgar
Elegy for Strings            Ireland
Introduction and Allegro       Bliss
Oboe Concerto No. 3                  Albinoni
Rhapsody in Blue               Gershwin
Cuban Suite                    Bryan Kelly

Program No. 35

Russlan and Ludmilla                    Glinka
La Calinda                     Delius
Violin Concerto                Bruch
Cuban Suite                    Bryan Kelly
Rhapsody in Blue               Gershwin
Boutique Fantasque             Rossini-Respighi

Program No. 36

Cockaigne                      Elgar
Elegy for Strings              Ireland
Cuban Suite                    Bryan Kelly
Introduction and Allegro       Bliss
Rhapsody in Blue               Gershwin
Boutique Fantasque             Rossini-Respighi

Program No. 37

Oboe Concert No. 3             Albinoni
Canzona                        Gabrieli
Minuet and Elegy for Strings          Ireland
O, Had I Jubel's Lyre                 Handel
Trevelyan Suite                Malcolm Arnold
Concerto in G major            Poulenc

Program No. 38

Overture: Festival             Herbert Chappell
Spirituals                     Morton Gould
Romance for Violin             Dvorak
and Orchestra
Introduction and Allegro       Bliss
Concerto in G                           Poulenc
Elegy for Strings              Ireland
Cuban Suite                    Bryan Kelly

Program No. 39

Introduction and allegro       Bliss
Pohjola's Daughter             Sibelius
Cello concerto in A minor        Schumann
Suite in D (for the birthday     Michael Tippett
of Prince Charles)
Symphonic dances from            Leonard Bernstein
West Side story

The Records
1. PYE

GSGC 14103

Suite for Birthday of Prince Charles            Tippett
Concertante Music                        Alan Ridout
Sinfonietta                              William Mathias
Divertimento                             Malcolm Arnold
(The first three works conducted by the composers)


ZDA 134

Dead in Tune                                     Robin Ray/Herbert Chappell
George and the Dragonfly                  John Kerhsaw/Herbert Chappell


ZRG 685

Introduction and Allegro                  Bliss
Interlude II and Epilogue                 Tippett
Overture to a Comedy                              Andre Previn
Overture Panache                          Chappell
Elegy                                     Ireland

Cuban Suite                             Kelly
(Conducted by Bliss, Previn, Tippett and Pinkett)