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We begin again with one or two more lesser-known names from the post-Second World War English stage. Jack Sherman was a theatre director who also composed – two musicals in particular, though neither of them aspired to more than a provincial run: Harvest Time (1957) and, based on Dickens' novel Great Expectations, My Gentleman Pip (1968). Another director, Francis Essex, combined with Norman Dannatt in 1955 to compose the score for Cloakroom Ticket No. 3, which similarly only enjoyed a brief existence. Another "singleton", The Belles, produced at the Irving Theatre in 1955, had music by Reynell Wreford.

Bob Chilcott is very much active at the present time, particularly in the field of popular vocal music carols and also the cantata for children’s choir and brass quintet, A Sporting Chance, each of its light short movements being based on a different sport.

Roy Agnew (1893-1944) is an almost forgotten figure who excelled in the fields of vocal and instrumental – especially piano – music. Of his songs, Beauty, The Flowers of Sleep and June Twilight are in effect ballads; his piano solos include sonatas and other serious pieces but also pictorial miniatures – Trains, dating from 1935, Elf Dance, A May Day, Pangbourne Fields, Rabbit Hill, Noontide and four Rural Sketches.

The name Wilfred Shaw is known to choirs and specifically to male voice choirs, who still sing his An Evening's Pastorale, published in 1914 and sounding like a choral drawing room ballad. His output included solo examples of the genre, too, of which we can instance Rest of the Weary.

Philip L Scowcroft


Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at

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