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We begin with June Clark, active in the 1960s as a composer of choral music, both unison and in parts, which were suitable for young performers and solo piano music similarly appropriate. Examples are March of the Astronauts, a seven piece Holiday in the Holy Land and a suite, King Arthur and the Knight of the Round Table.

From the 1970s for twenty years she followed an international career as a duo pianist with Joan Ryall, during which time June made numerous arrangements for two pianos and piano duet. From 1990 she took up her composing again with new works for choirs and solo voice, many of which have been performed by herself at the piano with her son, the counter tenor, Nick Pepin in concert and on CD. There are many new transcriptions of songs, such as Shenandoah, My love is like a red, red rose, The Ashgrove, O can ye sew cushions, new SATB carols, Sleep now O Babe of Bethlehem, Let us light a candle to the Christ Child, and a number of new transcriptions of well loved carols, an anthem O Saviour Christ, and four new children’s songs, Mr Pennyfather, The Miller, Captain Leather and The Colonel’s Gallop. This year (2005) sees the launching of her own publishing company, Charlemagne Music, which is now issuing many of these compositions. For complete catalogue and info see:

Our film/TV composer this time is Ilona Sekacz (resident in this country) who has produced a number of series for TV, most recently for the drama Station Jim (December 2001) set in the Victorian period at a railway station.

J. Michael Watson, active around the turn of the 20th century, composed, like so many musicians at that time, a Coronation March (1902) for King Edward VII, but he was perhaps better known for his ballad-like songs, some of which survived for many years: Anchored, Hush You Gently, Honey, I Wish to Tune My Quivering Lyre, The Press Gang and The Powder Monkey. His much later namesake Geoffrey Watson produced a quantity of music suitable for young amateurs during the 1960s – unison songs, Here and There (a suite for piano) and, also for piano solo, Seven Pastorals, published in 1964.

Charles James Mott (1880-1918) was a distinguished baritone singer cut off in his prime when he was killed on the Western Front. During his last three years he had become associated with Elgar’s music, especially The Starlight Express and The Fringes of the Fleet, both of which he recorded. Like several singers he also composed and his ballads Love’s Appeal and The Gift of Life were recorded, too.

Clive Carey, born in 1883, also had an oblique connection with Elgar in that Carey set some of The Starlight Express songs before Sir Edward "got the nod" to do the music for the stage production in 1915. Carey however had many of his songs, which are often of a ballad-like character, published, examples being April Children, In the Highlands, Love On My Heart From Heaven Fell, Melmillo, The Nightingale, Rondel, Song of the Sirens, The Spring, Since Thou O Fondest and Truest, Twice Happy She and To Violets.

Philip L Scowcroft

January 2002

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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