Musicians on Special Duty (pictures)

July 1967

South Yorkshire Times, July 22, 1967.

Musicians on Special Duty

Mr C. W. James came four years ago as headmaster to Conisbrough Morley Place, Junior School armed with a passion for music and a determination to share his love of the art with his new pupils.

He got his reward yesterday when his young musicians gave the first of what may be a series of special concerts at the request of West Riding Senior Music Adviser, Mr J. Govall, before an audience of pupils and teachers at Myrtle part school, Bingley.

Their Own Pieces

Conisbrough Morley Place pupils, everyone of whom plays at least one musical instrument, are taught by Mr. James’s “Orffrey” method, a development of continental musician Carl Orf.

Mr James, who says he “dabbles” himself in several styles and instruments, told the “South Yorkshire times”  this week that this means the children develop their own musical pieces, using any instruments (and voices) from a theme which they choose. Instead of being taught stodgy music. They work variations on themes, using imagination to interpret its connotations in musical terms.

Talented guitarist

The school has a talented guitarist in 10 years old Linda Exton of March Vale Rise, a student of the guitar for only nine months who played three solos in the concert (a repeat of Wednesday’s School Concept), and who was described by Mr James as already “extremely good.”

Guitar and mandolin are taught by peripatetic music teacher Mr B. Baran, and Choral music by Area Music Adviser, Mr Evans. The choral the work is a relatively new departure, but Mr James says it is progressing extremely well.

A lot of emphasis is placed on recorder playing. Both four part “consort” and solo, and every child in the school plays one. Piano and percussion are played, too.

Choral speech.

Included in the programme was an example of the school’s technique with choral speech, “The Demon Lover,” in which the ballad was chosen and worked on, the pupils adding voices and music until it was a full-scale production.

James says, “Mr Govall takes a great interest in our music and decided that our ability in variety have reached a point when other schools can learn from others. I am very proud of all our children.”