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HomeSearchGetRecordWessex Philharmonic Orchestra (1940-55)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra (1940-55)
Unique Identifier
A collection of prospectuses, programmes and handbills relating to performance given by (or in aid of) the Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra between 1940 and 1942, held in a single envelope within an extended sequence of material relating to this organization housed at the Royal College of Music (see also M39 and M40 and other items at shelf mark 26D).

This envelope also includes a handbill for a performance given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir at the Royal Festival Hall, London on 20 November 1955. This concert consisted principally of music by Holst and included the first performance of Stanley Bate, Symphony no. 4, with George Malcolm (organ), conducted by Sir Adrian Boult.

The Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in November 1939 to given employment to a number of musicians who, owing to war-time circumstances, had lost their work. It was conducted by Reginald Goodall and included a number of ex-members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In February 1942, the Wessex became officially associated with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Where no other venue is stated below, these performances took place at St. Peter's Hall, Bournemouth and featured the Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Reginald Goodall.

1. Lunch Hour and Evening Concerts
1 January 1940 (and subsequent Mondays): double-sided handbill announcement.
6 May 1940: with Kendall Taylor (piano) and Robert Bossert (violin) (with a list of the orchestral ensemble.
20 May 1940: with Eda Kersey (violin) (with a list of the orchestral ensemble).

2. Symphony Concerts
1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 April and 6 May 1940: 3rd Series (single document with introductory statement by S.W.R. concerning the origins of the Wessex Philharmonic).
20 May-5 August 1940: 4th series of Summer Symphony Concerts (handbill announcement, 2 copies). One of the copies of this document carries a handwritten annotation noting that 'Reggie [Reginald Goodall] has later regretted he had so many guest conductors. M.A.'.
9, 16 and 30 December 1940 and 6, 13 and 20 January 1941: 7th Series (prospectus, containing the programme for a Special Christmas benefit Concert given with the Wessex Philharmonic Choir on 23 December).
30 March, 6, 13, 20 and 27 April and 4 May 1942 and 6, 13, 20 and 27 July and 3 and 10 August [1942]: 16th and 18th series of Monday Symphony Concerts (prospectuses).

3. Miscellaneous concerts
6 February [1940], Alexandra Hall, St. Peter's Road, Bournemouth: Violin and Piano Recital by Myfanwy Armon and Elsie Hankins, in aid of the Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra (handbill).
3 April 1940, Shrubsall Hall: Rhona Parkinson (piano) (handbill, 2 copies).
17, 24 and 31 May and 7 June [1940]: Four Chamber Concerts under the auspices of the Czechoslovakian Club, Bournemouth, given by the Bossert String Quartet and Albert Dyball (piano) (handbill prospectus).
Sunday 19 May [1940], Bournemouth Pier/Boscombe Pier: Bournemouth Military Band and Boscombe Silver Band, held as part of the Official Programme of Bournemouth Pier, Boscombe Piece and the Pine Walk.
21 May 1940, Immanuel Church: Orchestral and Choral Music given with Immanuel Church Choir, the evening's proceedings including a Silver Collection for the funds of the Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra (handbill).
28 November 1942: Recital by Maurice Cole (piano), Harold Fairhurst (violin) and Margaret Bissett (vocal). This programme bears a handwritten annotation which implies that this performance was 'one of attempts to fill gap when Wessex travelled and gave no Bournemouth Concerts'.
Date range of collection
1940 - 1955
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated Times

Location Details

Royal College of Music, Library
Prince Consort Road London SW7 2BS United Kingdom
Open Map
020 7591 4323
020 7589 7740 
Visiting Information
Loans of performance sets to individual societies or persons; binding; reprographics; photocopying; microform printing
Collections Overview
Founded in 1883, the RCM Library primarily supports the performance, study and research of RCM members. It is also open to the public for reference and research. It contains some 300,000 items, including significant collections of early printed and manuscript material from the 16th to 19th centuries, given to the College upon its foundation, specifically the Libraries of the Sacred Harmonic Society and of the Concerts of Ancient Music. Donations since have included autographs of composers of international renown, amongst them Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, as well as manuscripts and archives of major British composers. Although a British bias is apparent, the collection also has significant German and Italian manuscripts and early printed holdings. Later acquisitions of printed music include large quantities of out-of-print material, and sizeable collections of performance sets. Audio-visual holdings and the RCM's own sound archive's are also extensive.
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