Bedford's Musical Society

December 2015
16 black and white illustrations
307 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Publications Bedfordshire Hist Rec Soc
ISBN: 9780851550817
Format: Hardback
Beds Historical Record Society
BISAC MUS020000, HIS037030

Bedford's Musical Society

A History of Bedford Choral Society

Michael Benson

Introduction by Donald Burrows

A history of Bedford Choral Society including details of its work with the BBC throughout the Second World War. With an introduction by Donald Burrows.
The Bedford (Amateur) Musical Society, now Bedford Choral Society, was formed in 1867. Its beginnings were not auspicious - an article in a local newspaper reported that 'no one felt very sanguine about the success of the proposed Society ... the idea being that musical people were a quarrelsome lot and could not hold together for any length of time.' Despite this, the Society has had a long and almost continuous history and is still thriving today.
This volume records the characters who have shaped the Society through the years, the varied musical programmes and the links with well-known performers and musicians. It includes the BBC Music Department's move to Bedford early in the Second World War and its support for the Society as it re-established itself.
The volume holds an introduction by Donald Burrows, Professor of Music at the Open University and a leading scholar of the music of George Frideric Handel. Professor Burrows provides a historical setting for the development of the Society within the context of national musical developments. MICHAEL BENSON was educated at St Michael's College, Tenbury Wells and later attended Hereford Cathedral School and Theological College. Michael has been a member of Bedford Choral Society since 1977 and was General Secretary from 2002 to 2008. Now retired, he spent most of his working life at the City & Guilds of London Institute, and was involved with the administration of technical examinations. .

Table of Contents

Choral Music in Bedford, c.1800-66
In the Beginning, Formation and Founding Fathers, 1867
Eminent Victorians, 1868-1900
'Ere Armageddon came' and after, 1900-23
Decline and Fall, 1923-33
Entr'acte, 1933-41
Reformation, 1941-43
Great Expectations, 1943-47
Bach Comes to Town, 1947-59
'You've never had it so good', 1959-91
Afterword: Bedford Choral Society 1991-2015
Appendix 1: Concerts and Works Performed 1867-2010, Bedford Choral Society
Appendix 2: Choral Works Performed 1920-33, Bedford Free Church Choral Union
Appendix 3: Orchestral Works Performed 1924-29, Bedford Musical Society
Appendix 4: Orchestral Works Performed 1946-57, Bedford Musical Society

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