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HomeSearchGetRecordWessex Philharmonic Orchestra: scrap books (1939-42)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra: scrap books (1939-42)
Unique Identifier
A collection of prospectuses, programmes and handbills for performances given at St. Peter's Hall and other venues in Bournemouth, Christchurch and the surrounding area between 1939 and 1942, the majority involving the Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra, held within the 2nd and 3rd of 4 scrapbooks compiled by Ms Maisie Aldridge and held within the extended sequence of material relating to the Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra housed in the library of the Royal College of Music (see also boxes M39 and M30 and additional material at this shelf mark).

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.

Book 2 (red)
1. Wessex Philharmonic Orchestra
Where no other indication is given below, these performances were held at St. Peter's Hall, Bournemouth and were conducted by Reginald Goodall. All individual programmes include a list of the orchestral ensemble.

8 December 1939, Christchurch Town Hall: First Concert, with Peggy Shiffner (oboe) (handbill and 2 copies of the programme).
22 July 1940: Afternoon and Evening Concert with Sophie Wyss (soprano), including Gordon Jacob, Suite in F (first concert performance) and Willi Burkhard, Toccato for String Orchestra and Benjamin Britten, Les Illuminations (first Bournemouth performances) (with wordbook).
11 November 1940: Afternoon and Evening Concert with Edie Marr (piano), being Mozart concerts given by Margaret Field-Hyde, Muriel Pursey, Arthur Jordan and Charles Beresford (vocal) (with Introductory Note by S. H. Braithwaite).
6 January 1941: with Maurice Cole (piano) (with Descriptive Notes).
19 and 26 May, 2, 9, 16 and 23 June [1941]: Tenth Series of Monday Symphony Concert, with Basil Cameron and Richard Austin (guest conductors) and Laurence Holmes and Sophie Wyss (vocal), Clifford Curzon, Iso Elinson, Moura Lympany and Phyllis Sellick (piano) and Adrian Beers (double bass) (prospectus, 2 copies). The concert on 19 May included the first concert performance of Alan Rawsthorne, Three French Nursery Songs and that on 23 June the first performance of S. H. Braithwaite, Suite of 18th Century Dances.

2. Miscellaneous concerts
[undated], [no venue]: 300 Years of Orchestral Music, given as part of the 10th Series of Historical Concerts with George Harten and Antonia Butler (cello), Louis Kentner and Solomon (piano), Leighton Lucas (violin) and Sophie Wyss (vocal), conducted by Boyd Neel, Reginald Jacques, Reginald Goodall and Leighton Lucas (handbill, with a considerable number of handwritten annotations, the majority of which offer comments on the repertory selection).
27 January 1941: Second Concert of Ballet Music, conducted by Reginald Goodall with Leighton Lucas (guest conductor) (Souvenir Programme with a commentary by Arnold L. Haskell and a number of illustrations, 2 copies, one of which would appear to be a draft copy, including hand-drawn illustrations).
26 January 1941 (week beginning), Bournemouth Pavilion: Weekly Programme, including listings for performances given by the Municipal Orchestra on 26 and 30 January, conducted by Montague Birch. These concerts featured Dale Smith (baritone) and Albert Sammons (violin) respectively, the second being described as a Celebrity Concert.

Book 3, (green)
26 and 30 July and 6, 13 and 16 August 1941, Large Hall, Municipal College, Lansdowne: Five Chamber Concerts given as part of the Bournemouth Arts Club 21st Annual Exhibition, with Harold Fairhurst and Irene Spier (violin), Cedric Morgan (viola), Ernst Slaney (cello), Helen Gaskell (oboe) and S. H. Braithwaite, Nina Milkina and Malcolm Sargent (piano) (prospectus).

24 and 31 August and 7, 14, 21 and 28 September 1942, St. Peter's Hall: Holidays at Home, Six Concerts given under the auspices of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, featuring the following performers:
24 August 1942: New Fairhurst String Quartet
31 August 1942: Harold Fairhurst, Norina Semino and Harry Isaacs.
7 September 1942: Maurice Cole (piano).
14 September 1942: New Fairhurst String Quartet.
21 September 1942: Jacques String Orchestra.
28 September 1942: Phyllis Sellick and Cyril Smith (pianos).
The collection contains extensive documentation for the performances, including a poster, preliminary announcement, handbills and programme sheets.

28 November 1942, St. Peter's Hall: Recital by Maurice Cole (piano), Harold Fairhurst (violin) and Margaret Bissett (alto), in aid of the Linen Guild of the Royal Victoria and West Hants Hospital (handbill, programme and programme with historical and biographical notes).
Date range of collection
1939 - 1942
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