Book telling Horsham Music Circle’s early years

A new publication documenting the first 70 years of the Horsham Music Circle’s concert promoting activities has just been produced.

Since 1942 the Circle has arranged an annual season of solo recitals and chamber music programmes, with the occasional foray into jazz.

The long list of performers who have appeared in Horsham includes many ‘star’ names in the classical music field such as Jacqueline du Pré, Colin Davis, Evelyn Glennie, Peter Donohoe and Benjamin Grosvenor, recently winner of the Critics’ Award in the Classical Brit Awards 2012.

The book tells the Music Circle’s story from its early war time days to the present time as recollected by two of the organising secretaries.

The first section has been written by Brian Harmsworth, son of the founder Grace Humphery, and covers the years 1942 to 1981.

Jill Elsworthy, the present secretary, continues with her memories from 1981 to this year 2012 when the Circle celebrated its 70th anniversary at a concert given by Julian Lloyd Webber.

The Circle is fortunate that concert programmes and articles had been kept since 1942 and in the 1970s this was complied to give an complete archive of all the performers and works performed. It has been maintained to the present day together with press cuttings and photos.

With only four Organising Secretaries and four Treasurers over its 70 years the continuity of memories on which to draw has been invaluable.

Brian Harmsworth’s family links brings a personal touch to his reminiscences of the beginnings of the town’s music society.

The years from 1982 are described in two parts, giving a resume of the artists and programmes followed by notes from behind the scenes.

It reveals some of the problems and situations which arise dealing with the concert world, from a well known performer forgetting to pack a dress shirt to another losing his case and one arriving without an essential piece of music!

The many social events, organised outings and holidays for the members to other venues and places of musical interest are also given a mention.

Copies of the book (price £11 including postage) can be obtained by writing to the the Hon. Secretary, Brunswick House, 37, London Road, Horsham, RH12 1AN or phone 01403 252602.

Pictured here, Jill Elsworthy, hon secretary of Horsham Music Circle, with the book