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Henry Gibson, active in the early part of the 20th Century and especially the 1930s, is a rather elusive figure, but I can at least list a few of his works. His light stage piece, Sir Roger de Coverley, included two songs which were at least modest hits and were recorded by Maggie Teyte: Sweet Mistress Prue and Carefree. His light orchestral "Japanese suite" Kakemonos (its individual movements were entitled The Bells of Spring, Autumn Wind and In the Tea House) catered for the long held English love of Far Eastern things musical. His songs (e.g. AutumnWinds) and instrumental music (e.g. Cornish Legend) for violin and piano) also achieved publication. But details of his life are scanty.

Douglas Young (1947-), who lives in Buckinghamshire, has composed music for film and TV, also children’s pieces and, from 1988, the Reflections for flute and piano. Others who have contributed to the vast sum of compositions for young performers include Essex resident Bryan Barnes and Christopher Bowers Broadbent (1945-), the latter well known as an organist (he was Professor of the instrument at the Royal Academy, where he had studied, between 1976 and 1992). His "operas" for young people include The Seacock Bane and The Pied Piper.

Francis Richard Shaw also composed a children’s opera (The Selfish Giant, based on Oscar Wilde). Other lighter effusions by him include a Wedding March for organ, Four Little Pieces for piano solo and music for film and TV – indeed the Gaelic Lament from Ireland, a Television History, was published as a piece for solo piano.

Nicholas Hare, born in 1940, is a prolific and inventive arranger, both under his own name and that of Colin Asher. "Asher" publications have included the Three Sea Shanties (1982) and Four Spirituals (1984), both for student brass ensemble. I recently heard two of the latter and very cleverly worked they are.

Philip L Scowcroft

February 2002

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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