Music

The newspaper accounts of concerts, pageants and Church festivals show that music featured regularly in festivals and holidays. The fact that the school had an orchestra must also have helped strengthen musical skills in the village. 

During the 1920s, the village concert party, ‘The Black and Whites’, delighted a large audience at the school with The King of Sherwood, an operetta, and along with the school children also put on Jack and the Beanstalk. They were continuing a tradition of entertainment by local people for their neighbours which was already lively in the 1880s, when Ethel and Helen Gaze, daughters of the Rector, produced ‘a capital programme’ of sketches, songs and piano and violin solos; and the school was ‘literally packed with people of all ages’.

We know, for example that the harvest festivals and Lifeboat Suppers occasioned a song or ‘turn’ from everyone present and that the road home from the Sun Inn rang with (often bawdy) songs. 

The pictures we have that show people with musical instruments (usually a violin) include the school orchestra, Albert Whitewood (Rita  Whitewood‘s grandfather) and Phil Jacobs at a Toogood family wedding. 

 Lilian D’Albiac, daughter of Sir Charles Seely (below), lived at Little Brook and taught her nieces and Erica Newbery to play the piano in the 1930s and 40s. This was not a waste of effort as Erica continues as Brook church and choir organist today. Brook also had a highly successful ladies’ choir throughout the 1950s and 60s (see Seely Hall and WI).