The Arthur Bliss Society
Events
Please let us know of any courses or events you hear about that you think would interest our members.
___________________________________________________ The 2018 Annual Lunch was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Cheltenham on Monday, February 26th, and was attended by forty one members and friends, including our President Ian Venables, the Chairman of the Bliss Trust Andrew Burn and one of our patrons, Mark Bebbington. We were delighted to welcome Arthur Bliss’s daughter Karen Sellick, who was able to come to our annual lunch for the first time.  It was, as usual, a convivial gathering and our speaker David Curtis gave us an amusing account of his experiences as a conductor and told us about his out-reach work with elderly people.  We were all mightily relieved to reach home before the snow started. ___________________________________________________ The AGM at the Sacred Hearts Church Hall, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham on 5 May 2018 marked the end of Gerald Towell’s fifteen-year tenure as Chairman of the Arthur Bliss Society.  In the early 2000s he had been invited by Lady Bliss and the Bliss Trust to set up a society to promote the knowledge and understanding of the music of Sir Arthur Bliss.  He found enthusiastic volunteers for his committee from members of Charlton Kings Choral Society, who had recently performed Morning Heroes, and three of these original committee members, Sue Crownshaw, Jill Smith and John Wright are still serving.  Later recruits from the same source were David and Helen Wilby. It was proposed that David Wilby should succeed Gerald as Chairman and that Andrew Ellis should take over from Helen Wilby after her eight-and a-half year service as Treasurer, both appointments being approved unanimously.  Fortunately, we are not losing Gerald as a member of the Committee, as he wishes to continue managing events and promoting performances of Bliss works locally.  Helen will continue as Webmaster. After the business of the AGM was finished, our President Ian Venables presented Gerald with gifts from the Society, paying tribute to Gerald’s inspirational chairmanship.  On behalf of the Committee, David thanked Christine, Gerald’s wife, for her hospitality and support, and presented her with a small token of their appreciation. The Afternoon Event began with an entertaining and informative talk on the Bliss Ballets by the Chairman of the Bliss Trust, Andrew Burn, outlining the history and scenarios of Adam Zero, Miracle in the Gorbals, The Lady of Shalott and Checkmate, with musical  illustrations.   After tea we were treated to a film show of the ballet Checkmate performed by Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet and Orchestra, music by Arthur Bliss, choreography by Ninette de Valois, conducted by Barry Wordsworth. ___________________________________________________ Events of 2017  Roger Jones’s  reviews of previous AGM recitals can be found on MusicWeb’s Seen and Heard International: June 2015July 2016  ___________________________________________________ The Society arranges occasional gatherings of members and friends for informal pub/restaurant lunches or pre-concert suppers whenever Committee members are able to attend concerts where Bliss works are being played. We have enjoyed meeting members and friends in London, Luton, Harrogate, Worcester, Hereford, Shrewsbury and elsewhere, as well as nearer to our own base in Cheltenham. If no one from the Committee can attend a concert, publicity leaflets are sent in advance to the performers or to the venue, raising awareness of the Society among the audience. In March 2015 the Society arranged to have a Bliss work included in one of the regular Lunchtime Recitals at Cheltenham Town Hall at which Rebeca Omordia played the Piano Suite. At the Three Choirs Festivals in 2006 and 2015 (both in Hereford) we arranged highly enjoyable social events, each of them taking place before a concert featuring Bliss work - a lunch out in the country setting of Wyastone in 2006 and the Tea and Talk at The Left Bank complex, beautifully situated by the river Wye, in July 2015. From time to time our Vice-President Terry Barfoot includes Bliss work in his celebrated Arts in Residence classical music breaks. Several of our members have attended these, and details of Bliss-related future programmes are always publicised here. One whose programme included Bliss works was in Oct 2016.
photo by Philip Statham photo by Philip Statham
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The 2019 AGM will be held on Saturday, May 11th at the Ivor Gurney Hall, Pitt Street, Gloucester After the AGM there will will be a recital by the Carducci Quartet, Andrew Randall (baritone) and Eric McElvoy (piano)
The 2019 Annual Lunch will be held on Thursday, February 7th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Cheltenham Our guest speaker will be Mark Bebbington