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HomeSearchGetRecordOxford Orchestral Society (1926-73)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Oxford Orchestral Society (1926-73)
Unique Identifier
A miscellaneous collection of handbills and programmes for performances given by the Oxford Orchestral Society at various venues in Oxford and the surrounding area between 1926 and 1973, held loosely as one parcel.

Also contained in this box is a separate parcel including a miscellaneous selection of handwritten and printed documentation relating to the Oxford Orchestral Society, including correspondence, press cuttings, financial statements/accounts and term cards/prospectuses. There is also material relating to the meetings of the Society and a number of photographs.

All items are held loosely and are ordered here by venue:

1. College venues, Oxford
2. Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
- Oxford Bach Choir
- Miscellaneous Sheldonian concerts
3. Town Hall, Oxford
- Oxford Harmonic Society
- Oxford Subscription Concerts
- Oxfordshire Choirs
- Popular Evening Concerts/Sunday Concerts
- Miscellaneous Town Hall concerts
4. Miscellaneous venues
- Oxfordshire County Music Committee Concerts
- Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham
- Other concerts

1. College venues
27 May 1962, New College Chapel: Britten, St. Nicholas with Gerald English (tenor) and the Oxford Harmonic Society, conducted by David Lumsden (with notes).
21 May 1964, Magdalen College Chapel: Mozart, Requiem, with Christian Hunter, Elizabeth Butler, Robert Lowrie and Peter Reynolds (vocal) and the Oxford Harmonic Society, conducted by Richard Silk.
16 June 1964, Keble College Chapel: Marion Milford (soprano) and Oxford Bach Choir, conducted by Sydney Watson (handbill).
Saturday 5 June [1965], St. Anne's College Hall: with Julia Rayson (clarinet), conducted by Watson (handbill).

2. Sheldonian Theatre
- Oxford Bach Choir
The concerts were conducted (unless otherwise stated below) by Sydney Watson (1943-69) and Jack Westrup (1970-71) and featured the vocal soloists listed. The majority of the programmes include words and some provide brief notes.
5 March 1933: A Concert to commemorate the Centenary of the birth of Johannes Brahms, with Dorothy Silk and Keith Falkner, conducted by W. H. Harris.
12 May 1938: Vaughan Williams Concert with Joan Coxon, Frederick Burton and Roy Henderson and the Oxford Harmonic Society, conducted by Thomas Armstrong, Sydney Watson and Bernard Naylor.
16 May 1943: Bach-Handel-Parry Concert, with the Dame Myra Hess and Hugh Allen (piano), conducted by Thomas Armstrong.
13 May 1956: Joan Alexander, Nancy Evans and Thomas Hemsley.
18 November 1956: Verdi, Requiem with Sheila McShee, Nancy Evans, David Galliver and Roger Stalman.
24 November 1957: Nancy Evans, Eric Greene and Gordon Clinton.
8 March 1959: Handel, Solomon, with Jennifer Vyvyan, Judith Loius, David Galliver and Hervey Alan.
22 November 1959: Brahms, Requiem/Verdi, Stabat Mater with Margaret Ritchie and Hervey Alan.
27 November 1960: Kodaly/Vaughan Williams with Keith Falkner.
5 March 1961: Monteverdi, Vespers of 1610.
10 May 1964: Janet Edmunds, Wilfred Brown and Peter, including the first performance of Bryan Kelly, Canticum Festivum.
[no date] November 1964: Bach, Mass in B minor with Marion Milford, Maureen Lehane, Wilfred Brown and Hervey Alan.
2 May 1965: Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius with Norma Procter, Kenneth Bowen and Roger Stalman.
10 March 1966: Walton, The Twelve/Handel, Israel in Egypt, with April Cantelo, Helen Watts, Marion Milford and Nigel Rogers.
20 November 1966: Bach, Christmas Oratorio with Ilse Wolf, Janet Edmunds, Wilfred Brown and John Carol Case, conducted by Bernard Rose.
24 November 1968: Handel, Judas Maccabaeus, with Eileen Poulter, Pamela Bowden, Robert Tear and John Noble.
4 May 1969: Jean Allister and Thomas Hemsley.
15 June 1969: A Commemoration of Hugh Percy Allen, with Thomas Armstrong (additional conductor).
30 November 1969, Bach, Mass in B minor with Marion Milford, Helen Attfield, Ian Patridge and Christopher Keyte.
10 May 1970: Elgar, Dream of Gerontius with Pamela Bowden, Gerald English and Brian Rayner Cook.
22 November 1970: Elgar, The Kingdom, with Iris Bourne, Barbara Robotham, Adrian de Peyer and John Carol Case.
16 May 1971: Vaughan Williams/Britten with Sally Le Sage, Jean Allister, Rowland Jones and John Cameron.

- Miscellaneous Sheldonian concerts
8-10 May 1932: Three Festival Concerts in Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Joseph Haydn (single document containing programmes with words and notes).
4 March 1943: Oxford Subscription Concerts (23rd season, no. 6) with Henry Holst (violin) and Anthony Pini (cello), conducted by Thomas Armstrong (with notes and list of the orchestral ensemble).
14 June 1952: Jubilee Concert (with notes and photographs about the Society, including lists of previous leaders and conductors).
15 October 1960: Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius with Helen Watts, David Galliver and Roderick Williams (vocal) and the Oxfordshire Choirs, conducted by David Lumsden (with words).
28 September 1963: Oxfordshire Choirs with David Galliver (vocal), conducted by Sydney Watson (with words).
18 October 1970: Radcliffe Infirmary Bicentenary Concert, being Handel, Jephtha given by the Oxford Harmonic Society, conducted by Richard Silk (with notes).

3. Town Hall, Oxford
- Oxford Harmonic Society
The concerts were conducted by George Thewlis (1959-61) and Richard Silk (1962-69) and featured the vocal soloists listed below.
15 November 1959: Handel, Messiah with Heather Harper, Jean Evans, Gerald English and Kenneth Gough (with notes).
20 November 1960: Handel, Messiah with Iris Kells, Jean Evans, Gerald English and Jeffrey Taylor.
26 February 1961: Haydn/Mendelssohn, with Heather Harper, Elizabeth Butler, Duncan Robertson and Malcolm Shaw (with words and notes).
11 March 1962: Bach, St. John Passion, conducted by David Lumsden (two copies).
24 November 1963: Handel, The Messiah with Heather Harper, Georgina Evenett, Gerald English and Kenneth Gough.
1 March 1964: Handel, Jephtha with Marion Milford, Ruth Little, Kenneth Bowen, James Bowman, Peter Woodbridge and Frank Green.
15 November 1964: Handel, The Messiah, with Susan Longfield, Rosemary Phillips, Gerald English and John McKenzie.
28 February 1965: Poulenc/Honegger with Heather Harper, Ruth Little and Robert Lowrie.
27 February 1966: Haydn, Creation with Hazel Holt, Ian Partridge and Christopher Keyte.
21 May 1967: Vaughan Williams, Sea Symphony.
3 March 1968: Handel and Bach with Marion Milford, Caryl Stokes, Robert Lowrie and Brian Kay (vocal) and the Capriol Orchestra of London (with words and notes).
18 May 1969: Verdi, Requiem with Marie Hayward, Jean Allister, Kenneth Bowen and Bryan Drake (with notes and a list of the choral ensemble).
23 November 1969: Handel, The Messiah, with Hazel Holt, Pauline Stevens, Adrian de Peyer and Noel Noble (vocal), conducted by Silk (with list of the choral ensemble).
1 March 1970: Vaughan Williams/Orff with Angela Jenkins, Jean Temperley, John Stoddard and John Noble (with notes).

- Oxford Subscription Concerts
2 December 1926 and 5 March 1942: programmes with notes for 7th series no. 3 and 22nd series no. 6, conducted by Guy Warrack/Thomas Armstrong. The programme for 1942 includes a list of the orchestral ensemble.

- Oxfordshire Choirs
Programmes with words for performances conducted by Sydney Watson, with the vocal soloists listed below.
15 July 1961: Handel, Samson, with Christian Hunter, Elizabeth Butler, Wilfred Brown and Roger Stalman.
22 September 1962: Bach, Mass in B minor, with Marion Milford, Elizabeth Butler, Wilfred Brown and Christopher Keyte.

- Popular Evening Concerts/Sunday Concerts
Programmes (with notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble) for concert nos. 3-7 and 9-20, conducted (unless otherwise stated below) by Sydney Watson. Additional handbills are held for some concerts.
3 February [1957]: Ralph Holmes (violin).
2 February [1958]: Elizabeth Vernon Powell (piano).
1 February 1959: Ralph Holmes (violin) and Rohan de Saram (cello).
31 January 1960: Joseph Cooper (piano).
15 May 1960: Sydney Watson (organ).
4 February 1962: Frederick Riddle (viola).
17 February 1963: Malcolm Binns (piano).
23 February 1964: Edward Harper and Robert Bottone (piano).
7 February [1965]: Ralph Holmes (violin) (handbill, with list of the orchestral ensemble).
6 February [1966]: Robert Bottone (piano) (handbill only)
29 January 1967: Roger Hellyer (bassoon), conducted by David Lumsden.
18 February 1968: Michael Hill (piano).
8 February 1970: Ralph Holmes (violin).
7 February 1971: Rohan de Saram (cello), conducted by Jack Westrup.
11 February 1973: conducted by Bernard Rose.

- Miscellaneous Town Hall Concerts
Sunday 4 February [no year]: Frederick Riddle (viola), conducted by Sydney Watson (handbill).
1 June 1972: Summer Serenade with Robert Sherlaw Johnson (piano), conducted by Bernard Rose (with list of the orchestral ensemble).
Tuesday 10 December [1974]: conducted by Robin Nelson (with notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble).

Also held are tickets, with provisional programmes, for the Oxford City Concerts for Children, given at the Town Hall on 20 June 1941 and 11 June 1942.

4. Miscellaneous venues
- Oxfordshire County Music Committee Concerts
4 and 11 June and 12 and 19 July 1958: programmes with notes for concerts conducted by Sydney Watson, given at the following venues: Town Hall, Chipping Norton, Grammar School, Witney; Dorchester Abbey; Sheldonian Theatre. Also held is a handbill for a concert given on 29 May 1957 at the Town Hall, Chipping Norton.

- Dr. Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham
Programmes with words and notes for concerts given by the Amersham and Chesham Bois Choral Society, conducted by Michael Pelloe, with the vocal soloists listed below.
23 March 1963: Iris Bourne and Gordon Clinton and Luton Choral Society. Also, Hamish Milne (piano).
6 May 1967: Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius with Sybil Michelow, Kenneth Bowen and Christopher Field.
9 December 1967: Beethoven, Mass in C/Rossini, Stabat Mater with Rae Woodland, Jean Allister, Wilfred Brown and Roger Stalman.
30 March 1968: Orff, Carmina Burana, with Doreen Price, Francis Egerton and William Elvin.
2 May 1970: Vaughan Williams/Beethoven with Iris Bourne and John Cameron (vocal) and Manoug Parikian (violin).
5 December 1970: Elgar, Music Makers/Orff, Carmina Burana with Norma Burrowes, Barbara Robotham, Francis Egerton and John Cameron.
8 May 1971: Bruckner, Te Deum/Brahms, Requiem with Ilse Wolf, Valerie Baulard, John Elwes and John Barrow.
4 December 1971: Berlioz, The Childhood of Christ with Rae Woodland, Kenneth Bowen, Antony Ransome and Roger Stalman.

- Other concerts
[1959], [no venue]: South Chiltern Choral Society with Joan Davies, Ena Mitchell, Eric Greene and Hervey Alan (vocal), conducted by Michael Pelloe (with words).
7 May 1960, Chiltern Edge School, Sonning Common: South Chiltern Choral Society with Margaret Ritchie, Muriel Harvey, Eric Greene, John Carol Case and Philip Browne (vocal), conducted by Michael Pelloe
7 February 1961, St. Birinus' School Hall, Didcot: Haydn, The Creation by Didcot and District Musical Society, conducted by Greader E. Bussell (with words)
24 December 1961 and 17 December 1972 [no venue]: The Mayor of Oxford's Christmas Carols, conducted Sydney Watson (with words and music).
2 March 1963, Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Coventry: Beethoven, Missa Solennis with Jennifer Vyvyan, Kathleen Joyce, Ronald Dowd and Hervey Alan (vocal) and the Oxford Bach Choir, conducted by Sydney Watson (with words)
30 March 1963, Drill Hall, Luton: Choral and Orchestral Concert by the Amersham and Chesham Bois Choral Society and Luton Choral Society with Hamish Milne (piano) and Adrienne Cole and Geoffrey Shaw (vocal), conducted by Kenneth Abbott (with words and notes).
5 June 1964, Bicester Grammar School: Bicester and District Musical Society with Martin Jones (piano), conducted by Sydney Watson (with notes).
20 June 1964, Malmesbury Abbey: Marion Milford (soprano) and Oxford Bach Choir, conducted by Sydney Watson (handbill).
27 March 1965, Chiltern Edge Secondary School, Sonning Common: South Chiltern Choral Society with Carolyn Lambourne, Alison Parker, David Little and Robert Carpenter Turner (vocal), conducted by Bernard Williams (with words and notes and a list of the choral ensemble).
8 December 1969, Royal College of Music: Tribute to Sir Hugh Percy Allen, with ensembles from the RCM and the Choir of New College, Oxford, variously conducted by Mr Harvey Phillips, David Lumsden, John Russell and Adrian Boult (handbill).
Sunday 22 February [1976], Newman Rooms: conducted by Robin Nelson (with notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
Saturday 6 March [1976], Little Theatre, Old Gaol, Abingdon: Judith Shapiro (violin), Rachel Stoughton-Harris (cello) and Christopher Oakden (piano) (handbill).
Date range of collection
1926 - 1973
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

Location Details

Bodleian Library, Music Library
Broad Street,Music Library Oxford OX1 3BG
Open Map
01865 277063
01865 277182 
Visiting Information
Membership fee for users outside the UK academic community; charges for photocopying and inter-library loans
Collections Overview
The collection has very strong holdings of British music and related material acquired in part by legal deposit. Many collected editions and scholarly series. Very strong periodical coverage, including major 19thC European journals. Largest collection of American song material in UK.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council