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HomeSearchGetRecordBBC Concert Orchestra (1955-67)

Collection Description

Collection Title
BBC Concert Orchestra (1955-67)
Unique Identifier
A collection of 93 programmes for performances given by the BBC Concert Orchestra at various English venues outside of central London between 1955 and 1967, held loosely with programmes for single performances by the BBC Symphony Orchestra (22 March 1961) and the New BBC Orchestra (15 April 1966) and souvenir brochures for the 13th Annual BBC Light Music Festival (June 1965) and An Evening of Excellence with Mel Tormé and George Shearing (June 1991).

1. BBC Concert Orchestra Programmes
Unless otherwise stated below, programmes for the 1955 and 1956 seasons carry photographs of the principal performers whilst documents for all subsequent years include a list of the orchestral ensemble. A number of programmes also provide historical, descriptive, and/or biographical notes.

Unless otherwise stated below, concerts were led and conducted by the following combinations: John Sharpe and Charles Mackerras (1955); William Armon and Vilem Tausky (1956-62); Arthur Leavins and Vilem Tausky (1963-65) and Arthur Leavins and Sidney Torch (1966-67).

Owen Brannigan (vocal) and Ernest Lush (piano) appeared at a great many of these performances. Where no other indication is given, the remaining performers listed below were vocalists.

Programmes are listed here by venue, with those venues for which only a single programme is held listed at the end under Miscellaneous venues.

- Bexhill-on-Sea, De La Warr Pavilion (10 programmes)
12 August 1955: Lizbeth Webb and the Hastings Girls’ Choir.
17 August 1956: Julia Shelley.
9 August 1957: Doreen Hume.
5 August 1960: Diane Dubarry.
11 August 1961: June Bronhill.
13 January [1962]: Ralph Holmes (violin).
10 August 1962:
16 August 1963: Doreen Hume.
7 August 1964: Mary Thomas.
14 July 1967: Semprini (piano) and Cherry Lind, Leslie Fyson, Stephanie Voss and John Lawrenson.
These concerts featured: Bexhill Choral Society (1956, 1957 and 1960-62); The Friday Knights (1964 and 1967); Owen Brannigan (except 13 January [1962] and 14 July 1967); and Ernest Lush (1960-63). The programme for 13 January 1962 contains historical and descriptive notes by Mark Lubbock.

- Bournemouth, Winter Gardens (2 programmes)
16 August 1957: Doreen Hume and Owen Brannigan with Ernest Lush (piano) and the Margate Festival Choir.
19 November 1960: Clive Lythgoe (piano) and Sidney Torch (guest conductor) (with notes).

- Bradford (3 programmes)
The second and third of these concerts both took place at St. George's Hall, Bradford and featured the Black Dyke Mills Band.
26 September 1955, Corn Exchange: Campoli (violin) (with notes by Deryck Cooke).
28 September 1956: Vanessa Lee and John Hauxvell, with the Bradford Police Male Voice Choir and Sidney Naylor (guest conductor).
3 October 1958: Vanessa Lee, with Peter Katin (piano) and Harry Mortimer (guest conductor).

- Brighton, The Dome (10 programmes)
Featuring: Owen Brannigan (except 19 December 1964 and 1 July [1966]), Brighton and Hove Harmonic Society (1956 and 1957) and Brighton Girls’ Choir and Brighton Male Voice Choir (1956-58). Also, Ernest Lush (1957, 1958, 1961-63).
22 July 1955: Gladys Ripley and Ilford Girls’ Choir.
20 July 1956: Vanessa Lee.
26 July 1957: Doreen Hume.
22 August 1958: Doreen Hume, with Sidney Torch (guest conductor).
18 August 1961: Iris Villiers, with the BBC Studio Choir.
17 August 1962: Jenifer Eddy.
23 August 1963: Doreen Hume.
17 July 1964: Raymonde Serverius, with The Friday Knights, accompanied by Wilfred Parry.
19 December 1964: Rae Woodland, Thomas Round, Jean Allister and Leslie Fyson, with the Ambrosian Singers (with notes by C.B. Rees).
1 July [1966]: Cherry Lind, Madge Stephens and John Lawrenson, with the Band of the Welsh Guards and the Friday Knights.

- Clacton-on-Sea, Princes Theatre (Town Hall) (9 programmes)
Featuring: Owen Brannigan (except 23 July 1965); Ernest Lush (1957-1963); Dorothy Hume (1957, 1958, 1963 and 1965); the BBC Men’s Chorus (1956-58); and The Friday Knights (1964-65).
15 July 1955: Gwen Catley.
24 August 1956: Julia Shelley.
2 August 1957:
1 August 1958: Jack Coles (guest conductor).
22 July 1960: Diane Dubarry.
20 July 1962: Jenifer Eddy.
2 August 1963:
31 July 1964: Rae Woodland, accompanied by Wilfrid Parry.
23 July 1965: John Mitchinson, accompanied by William Davies.

- Croydon, Fairfield Halls (2 programmes)
These documents include notes, by Robert Irwin and Barrie Hall respectively.
19 October 1963: Peter Katin (piano).
18 January 1964: Denis Matthews (piano).

- Derby, King’s Hall (2 programmes)
10 October 1958: Campoli (violin) and Vanessa Lee.
19 February 1961: Cynthia Glover with Elton Hayes (guitar).
Both concerts featured the Rolls Royce Male Voice Choir.

- Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall (7 programmes)
Featuring: Owen Brannigan (1955, 1956, 1960 and 1964); The Friday Knights (1064-67); and the Folkestone Halliday Girls’ Choir (1956 and 1960), accompanied by Ernest Lush.
5 August 1955: Nancy Evans and Orpington Junior Singers.
3 August 1956: Julia Shelley.
29 July 1960: Diane Dubarry.
24 July 1964: Pamela Woolmore, accompanied by Wilfrid Parry.
16 July 1965: Cynthia Glover and Laurie Payne, accompanied by Vic Hammett.
2 September 1966: Cherry Lind, Madge Stephens and John Lawrenson.
7 July 1967: Semprini (piano) with Cherry Lind, Leslie Fyson, Stephanie Voss and John Lawrenson, accompanied by William Davies.

- Grimsby, Central Hall (2 programmes)
27 September 1956: Tessa Robbins (violin).
6 October 1958: Peter Katin (piano).
Both concerts featured the Redshaw Singers.

- Hove, Town Hall (3 programmes)
28 July 1961: Patricia Clark.
13 July 1962: Cynthia Glover.
19 July 1963: Doreen Hume.
Both concerts featured Owen Brannigan and Ernest Lush.

- Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall (2 programmes)
16 July 1960: Phyllis Sellick (piano) and Sidney Torch (guest conductor).
8 July 1961: Joan Carlyle and Robert Thomas, with Clive Lythgoe (piano).

- Margate, Winter Gardens (2 programmes)
13 July 1956: Danish Radio Entertainment Choir and Owen Brannigan.
19 August 1960: Diane Dubarry, with Owen Brannigan, Ernest Lush and the Margate Festival Choir.

- Newcastle-upon-Tyne, City Hall (3 programmes)
5 December 1958: Phyllis Sellick and Owen Brannigan, with the Crookhall Colliery Band.
17 February 1961: David Hughes and Bill Robinson, with the Newcastle Ladies’ Choir, Low Fell Ladies’ Choir, and Tanfield Lea Epworth Methodist Choir.
11 December 1964: Doreen Hume and David Hughes, with William Davies (piano/organ) and Cowpen and Crofton Workmen’s Band, conducted by Sidney Torch.
All concerts featured the Felling Male Voice Choir.

- Portsmouth, Guildhall (5 programmes)
The concerts in 1963 and on 3 April 1964 both featured the Portsmouth City Police Male Voice Choir and were conducted by Sidney Torch. Those on 21 August 1964 and 6 August 1965 featured The Friday Knights.
24 March 1961: Doreen Hume, with the Band of H. M. Royal Marines (Portsmouth).
22 February 1963: Doreen Hume and Frederick Harvey, with the Band of the Royal Marines School of Music.
3 April, 1964: Pamela Woolmore and David Hughes, with the Band of the Grenadier Guards.
21 August 1964: Owen Brannigan and Elizabeth Fretwell.
6 August 1965: Mary Thomas and Jan Joris.

- Southampton, Guildhall (2 programmes)
31 August 1956: Julia Shelley and Owen Brannigan, with Campoli (violin).
18 November 1960: Frederick Harvey, with Clive Lythgoe (piano) and the Band of H. M. Royal Marines (Portsmouth).

- Southend-on-Sea, Kursaal Ballroom (2 programmes)
10 October 1955: Adèle Leigh (with notes by Deryck Cooke and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
27 July 1956: Julia Shelley and Owen Brannigan, with the Freda Parry Choir.

- Southport, Floral Hall (2 programmes)
15 July 1960: Diane Dubarry.
7 July 1961: Joan Carlyle.
Both concerts featured Owen Brannigan and Ernest Lush.

- Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall (9 programmes)
The programmes for all of these concerts include brief notes, written predominantly by Lubbock.
17 October 1955: Gordon Heard (flute) and Eileen Joyce (piano) (with a list of the orchestral ensemble).
19 March 1960: Peter Katin (piano).
15 October 1960: Semprini [Fernando Riccardo Alberto] (piano).
11 February 1961: Beryl Kimber (violin), conducted by Henry Krips.
14 April 1962: Beryl Kimber (violin).
24 November 1962: Peter Katin (piano), led by Frederick Parrington.
23 November 1963: Phyllis Sellick (piano).
16 February 1963: Heather Harper and William McAlpine.
14 March 1964: Victoria Elliott and Rowland Jones.

- Worthing, Assembly Hall (6 programmes)
Featuring: the Worthing Municipal Choir and Owen Brannigan (except 28 April 1962) and Ernest Lush (piano, 1957, 1958 and 1962).
29 July 1955: Doris Gambell.
10 August 1956: Julia Shelley.
19 July 1957: Doreen Hume.
25 July 1958: Doreen Hume, with Sidney Torch (guest conductor).
28 April 1962: Denis Matthews (piano). Notes by Lubbock.
3 August 1962:

- Miscellaneous venues (10 programmes)
Bristol, Colston Hall: 20 November 1960, Doreen Hume and John Lawrenson, with Clive Lythgoe (piano).
Chatham, Central Hall: 13 April 1963, Tommy Reilly (harmonica) (with notes by Mark Lubbock).
Doncaster, Doncaster Grammar School, Hall: 14 February 1960, Doreen Hume and John Lawrenson, with the New Danensian Singers.
Dunstable, Queensway Hall: 5 May 1967, Stephanie Voss, Cherry Lind, John Lawrenson and Leslie Fyson, with William Davies (piano), The Friday Knights and the BMC Band.
Grays, Civic Hall: 19 November 1965, Patricia McCarry and David Hughes, with the Band of the Coldstream Guards and Thurrock Male Voice Choir.
Hanley, Victoria Hall: 9 October 1958, Joan Butler and Owen Brannigan, with Ernest Lush and the Stoke-on-Trent Choral Society.
Kingston-upon-Hull, City Hall: 5 October 1958, Doreen Hume, with the Max Jaffa [piano] Trio (Max Jaffa, Reginald Kilbey and Jack Byfield) and the Marigarth Singers.
Leicester, De Montfort Hall: 11 October 1958, Marion Studholme, Joyce Gartside, Monica Sinclair, Gwent Lewis and John Camerom, with the massed choirs of Leicester and Sir Arthur Bliss and Leslie Woodgate (guest conductors).
Llandudno, Pier Pavilion: 17 July 1960, Diane Dubarry, with Phyllis Sellick (piano).
Nottingham, Albert Hall: 7 October [no year], Frederick Harvey (baritone) and Michael Krein (saxaphone), conducted by Stanford Robinson, including the first performance of Arthur Benjamin, Overture, For Amusement Only.

2. Other programmes
22 March 1961, Royal Festival Hall: BBC Symphony Orchestra, led by Paul Beard and conducted by Hans Rosbaud, with Tibor Varga (violin) and Aloys Kontarsky (piano), including the first English performance of Stravinsky, Movements, for piano and orchestra, which was played once in each half (with programme notes by Francis Burt, Hans Keller and Humphrey Searle, and a list of orchestral ensemble).
15 April 1966, Colston Hall, Bristol: New BBC Orchestra (first public concert), with Michael Roll (piano), conducted by Leonard Hirsch (with notes by Willis Grant, photographs of the conductor and soloist and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
5, 12, 19 and 26 June 1965, Royal Festival Hall: 13th Annual BBC Light Music Festival 1965, presented by the BBC in association with the GLC. This includes the programmes for four concerts given by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Vilem Tausky, with various guest conductors and soloists (Souvenir Brochure, with programme notes, photographs and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
24, 25, 27, 29 and 30 June 1991: An Evening of Excellence with Mel Tormé and George Shearing, given in Birmingham, London, Jersey, Cardiff and Glasgow, presented by BBC Radio 2 with Donny Osborne (drums) and Neil Swainson (bass) (brochure with biographical notes, photographs of key performers, and lists of the BBC Big Band and the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra, who appeared in certain performances).
Date range of collection
1955 - 1967
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

Location Details

British Library
The British Library St Pancras ,96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
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For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

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Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
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Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council