318, St. Oswald’s Village,
Gavel Way, Gloucester GL1 2UG
IAN HARROLD M.A., A.R.C.M.
I developed my interest in music while at King Edward’s School, Birmingham in the 1950s, largely through a close friendship with the late David Munrow, that great pioneer of early music. This continued through university at Merton College, Oxford where I read Physics. Several of my compositions had their first airing there, including an anthem for the College’s 700th anniversary.
During a working life in I.T. and teaching, I sang with many fine choirs, under many distinguished musicians, such as Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky. After many years, I was able to fulfil a life’s dream: to sing in a Cathedral Choir. I was a Countertenor Lay Clerk at Gloucester Cathedral from 1998 to 2003, then with the Schola Cantorum of Tewkesbury Abbey until 2010. Now I am a humble second bass with the Gloucester Choral Society!
I took up the bassoon while pursuing my teaching career, and was Principal Bassoon with the Hertford Symphony Orchestra for a while; for many years I was Associate Conductor of that orchestra. Playing the bassoon in local quintets and octets introduced me to a whole new world, a world well represented in the catalogue.
Composition has always been an important part of my musical life and I am currently working on a series of wind octets based on smaller baroque originals. My first symphony progresses slowly, still a long term project - I know how Brahms felt! Two of my orchestral works have been performed at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall respectively. Until 2010, I conducted the Tyndale Choral Society. To show the range of my work, they started my tenure with them with a performance of my Jubilate, and in 2005 they sang my symphonic-style arrangement of the glorious songs of Richard Rodgers, later a similar selection of Gershwin songs.
As the above might indicate, my musical tastes are wide, from early music to jazz and music theatre. This, I guess, is reflected in my composition, which may be called eclectic or derivative, according to taste. It is underpinned by a knowledge of, and love of, the great choral and orchestral repertory from Monteverdi, Purcell and Handel to Bernstein, Shostakovich and Britten. There is a special place in my musical heart for the great English Light Music tradition, featuring composers like Eric Coates and Robert Farnon.