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To take up where the 46th of these bundles left off, here are three brass band composers of the present day. DENZIL STEPHENS is well respected as a conductor and arranger in that field; his solo Rhapsody for euphonium was recorded and also other titles like Fiddle-de-de and Papercase, STUART JOHNSON is best known for his work for young musicians - his more main-stream compositions for brass, in an attractive eclectic style, include Ceramic City Festival, A Circus Suite ("Bareback Riders"), A Northumbrian Suite and Bandstand Boogie. WILLIAM RELTON is well known as an conductor, arranger and broadcaster; his compositions are mainly light in character and include Chevalier d'Honneur, Trumpetistics and The Trouble With the Tuba Is, the latter two featuring solo instruments.

Moving a little further back in time it is salutary to recall how much music, mainly light music, was provided by members of British orchestra during the period of roughly 1895-1950. One thinks, among many others, of BYRON BROOKE, leader and assistant conductor of the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, dealt with in an earlier Garland; or of Eric Coates, sometime a viola player in Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra, whose Miniature Suite, his first major light orchestral composition received its premiere at a 1911 Prom; or of PAT RYAN, Hallé Orchestra clarinettist around mid-century; or REGINALD DUNNING, pianist of the Torquay Municipal Orchestra, whose "historical panorama "Torre Abbey" I recall hearing premiered by the TMO in April 1949; or finally of T.H. FREWIN, a first violin in the Queen's Hall Orchestra, who produced, more or less light orchestral novelties, for each of the first four seasons of the Henry Wood Proms: The Battle of the Flowers (1895), a ballad, Mazeppa (1896), the sketches, The Seven Ages (1897) and an overture, Bellona (1898). These have not survived but perhaps we would not expect them to. Wood always encouraged his players to write music that he found to be "always entertaining and written in a practical manner".

Our ballad composer in this Garland is GODFREY NUTTING, active around the time of the Great War, whose ballads included Ennisthorne, In My Little Garden, Through the Sunrise, My Dream, You, Just You, Dear, And I, Sing!, Sing!, birds on the wing!, recently recorded, and both dated 1915 - A regret and I have your heart

JACK HELLYER was active as an arranger and composer through the 1950s and 1960s. His original compositions were for light orchestra (eg Fiesta Gondoletta and Pyrotechnics), military band Three of a Kind and Tricky Trombone) and for brass, Treble Trombones - a trio of course - and a bass solo (for either E Flat or even B Flat instrument, apparently), Down At the Deep End. From roughly the same period, 1958 in fact, I have come across mention of a piece by EILEEN KINSLEY, entitled The Musical Earwig, played by the Billy Mayerl Rhythm Ensemble, but I have still to discover whether she was a musical successor of these female Billy Mayerl equivalents Desiree Macewan, Raie da Costa and Patricia Rossborough.

© 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.

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