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The compositional style of Paul Carr, born in 1961, is lyrical and readily assimilable and to a considerable extent influenced by jazz, though he is very much an eclectic. Titles include Girl on a Bench Under a Sunshade, for solo bassoon and orchestra (inspired by a sketch by Alfred Munnings), and Occasional Postcards, brief sketches also featuring solo instrument and orchestra.

Michael McDermott, Warrant Officer Royal Marines, is Staff Arranger to the Marines and also a composer. His arrangements are legion, his compositions (cum-arrangements) include a suite Festival of the Sea and Seafarers, both for military band.

Greville (Vaughan Turner) Cooke (1894-1989) started out as a pupil of Matthay at the Royal Academy but then became a clergyman. Unsurprisingly much of his compositional output was for the church, but he earns a Garland mention basically for a number of his piano pieces, which have something in common with John Irelandís lighter miniatures: High Marley Rest, which is quite popular, Halden Hills, La Petite (1940), Whispering Willows, Meadowsweet, and Bargain Basement Ė the latter sounds almost like a "mood Music" miniature for one of the recorded music libraries (but it isnít), while, as regards Meadowsweet, so many pieces called after flowers imply a "light" composition Ė think of Billy Mayerl! Also worth noting are Sea Croon (1953) for cello and piano and a Prelude for string orchestra dating from 1940.

There have been several Cooks (or Cookes) associated with light music. There were Kenneth Cook, composer and editor of brass music; John Cook, composer for TV (notably Oh! Mr Porter in 1989) and for the stage. Peter Cook; Cecil Cook and Arnold Cook who both wrote for the light musical stage; the other, unrelated, Arnold Cooke (1906-), a pupil of Hindemith and often "serious" in his output but comprising some lighter instrumental pieces too; and Arthur Cook, composer of light orchestral miniatures. Another such was Eric Cook, whose Polka Dot (1958) is not to be comfused with Mark Lubbockís similarly titled Polka Dots, once very popular.

Philip L Scowcroft

November 2001

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



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

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