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- Stanford Robinson - Clarence Raybould - Julius Harrison -


   LINKS to other pages in this site and to other sites in the Travelling Days series:

Autographs Home Page:      Bedford 1939 onwards:      BBC in Bedford:
BBC Symphony Orchestra Personalities:      Bedford Miscellany:       Bedford School (1940s):
Composers:      Conductors Part 1:       David Gentleman:      Glenn Miller:       Instrumentalists:
Personalities of the 1940s:       Pianists:       The RAEC in Cornwall:
Religion and Drama:       Singers:       BBC in Cornwall 1949:      Colin Day's List-O-Links:
America West Home Page:      Guest Book:

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STANFORD ROBINSON was born in Leeds and studied at the Royal College of Music, London under Adrian Boult. He joined the BBC in 1924.  The BBC Theatre Orchestra was formed in 1931 and its first conductor was Leslie Woodgate (see here for picture and biography). He was replaced by Stanford Robinson in 1932.     By 1937 the orchestra's work in studio opera orchestra had become dominant and the band was occasionally referred to as the BBC Opera Orchestra.

    In 1941 the orchestra was based at Bedford where it gave a number of concerts in the Granada Cinema and Corn Exchange. The orchestra performed light music, operas and musical comedies, and provided incidental music for radio plays and variety shows. The number of players was increased from 31 to 57 in October 1943.

    In August 1949 the orchestra, augmented to 63 became known as the BBC Opera Orchestra. (The name was insisted upon by Stanford Robinson in order to limit the amount of light music played by the orchestra.) In January 1952 the Opera Orchestra was disbanded, and in view of the greater need for the performance of light music, a smaller BBC Concert Orchestra was formed, incorporating many of the members of its predecessor.

    The Concert Orchestra has continued under various conductors, such as Vilem Tausky, Marcus Dods and Barry Wordsworth, to this day. Since 1931 the Theatre, Opera and Concert Orchestras have been associated with some of the great composers of light music, including Eric Coates, Gordon Langford, Stanley Black, Sidney Torch, Robert Farnon, Robert Docker, and Ronald Binge many of whom wrote music especially for them.

    Stanford Robinson also wrote many arrangements of traditional and popular melodies, and of music from Gilbert and Sullivan, operas and operettas. He composed such songs as 'To You Eternally', a Rondo for two pianos and the 'Valse Serenade' for orchestra (used as signature tune for his popular radio programme, Tuesday Serenade).

    Robinson became a free-lance conductor after leaving the BBC in 1952 and travelled widely. For a time he was conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Australia. His brother was Eric Robinson, for many years the director of the BBC Television Orchestra. Stanford Robinson died in 1984


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CLARENCE RAYBOULD born in 1886 in Birmingham where he later studied music with Granville Bantock. He joined the BBC in 1936 and was Assistant Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra between 1936 and 1945. Many of his recordings with the BBC and other orchestras are still available.

    Raybould conducted works ranging from musical comedy and operetta, Gilbert and Sullivan to the standard classical repertoire. He also championed works by contemporary, particularly British, composers. He founded the National Youth Orchestra of Wales which he directed until his death in 1972. He was also an accomplished composer and pianist.

    A picture of Clarence Raybould conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Bedford School in June 1944 may be seen here


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JULIUS HARRISON was born at Stourport in Worcestershire on 26 March 1885. He studied with Granville Bantock in Birmingham. He went as assistant conductor to Nikisch and Weingartner and later became a conductor with the Beecham Opera Company and the Scottish Orchestra. Between 1930 and 1940 he was conductor of the Hastings Municipal Orchestra, one of the then popular 'resort orchestras', which he made second only to Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

    Because of increasing deafness Harrison retired from full-time conducting in 1940 and devoted most of this time to composition. Early examples of his compositions were 'Cleopatra' for soloists, chorus and orchestra (1908) and a Christmas Cantata (1911). Later additions to his numerous compositions were a setting of Psalm 100, a Mass in C and a Requiem Mass, first performed in 1957 at the Worcester Three Choirs Festival. He also wrote a number of songs such as 'I Know a Bank' and 'Philomel', from A Midsummer Night s Dream.

    Harrison lived in Malvern in Worcestershire. His music was inspired not only by his local well-loved county but by the other parts of the English countryside. Examples include The 'Severn Country', the 'Wayside Fancies' and the 'Town and Country' suites, the 'Worcestershire Suite' and the rhapsody, 'Bredon Hill'. He died in 1963.



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