Autumn 2006

NEWSLETTER Vol. 2, No. 2


First Temperley Prize Awarded
by Christina Fuhrmann

I am pleased to report that the inaugural Temperley Prize, given for the best student paper at our biennial conference, has been awarded to Amber Youell-Fingleton, for her paper “Anne Bracegirdle on Fire.” This was part of an outstanding, all-student lecture recital on mad songs. We applaud Amber for her careful research and nuanced thinking, as well as for putting her research into practice in her erformance.

The prize was decidedly successful in bringing students to our conference—we had no less than 13 student presenters, and 9 applied for the prize. It was wonderful to see so many students interested in our field!

We certainly hope that the Temperley prize will continue to attract excellent student research to our conferences. A warm thank you to our president, Nicholas Temperley, for helping to establish the prize, and to all students who attended and presented in Vermont.


New Study Center Opens in Bristol
by David Manning

 On March 20, 2006, the Centre for the History of Music in Britain, the Empire and the Commonwealth (CHOMBEC) was officially opened by the Department of Music at the University of Bristol. The Centre marked its inauguration with a lecture-recital given by its Director, Stephen Banfield, and the University Singers, directed by Glyn Jenkins. Over 100 people gathered to hear the talk, which was followed by a reception and an opportunity to view an exhibition of letters drawn from the university archives. The launch was exciting and immediately revealed the richness of Bristol’s musical history, including residents in the music publishing business linked closely to Wagner.

The success of CHOMBEC will depend partly on the active enthusiasm of its Friends, honorary associates and corresponding members. We are delighted to announce our first honorary associate, Professor Kerry Murphy of the University of Melbourne. Murphy is well known for her work on Berlioz, the French-Australian composer and pianist Henri Kowalski, and for developing and coordinating an amazing hub of research activity around the Centre for Studies in Australian Music, much of it linking Britain with Australia. We hope to announce further honorary associates in due course. In the meantime, we shall be looking for corresponding members in all parts of the Anglophone world.

CHOMBEC has already been active, even before its official launch. Between January and April, “Music research in focus” took place as a series of free lunchtime lectures on Music Department staff research; in June we co-hosted with CSCPS (Centre for the Study of Colonial and Postcolonial Societies) two interdisciplinary workshops at the university on “Shanghai’s soundscapes, 1917-1946” and “Arts and culture in the colonial city.” Among other things, we ascertained that the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra did perform Vaughan Williams’s Pastoral Symphony after the British Council had sent out some parts ambassadorially in the late 1930s! In the workshop on colonialism, the topics ranged from amateur operatics in the Empire to orientalism in metropolitan nightclub depictions to research on Anglophone music in Jamaica in the 1830s, the decade of slave emancipation. Later in the summer, John Henderson, librarian of the Royal School of Church Music, donated that school’s John Raynor archive to the Centre. We were delighted that our own university library’s Special Collections were able to accept the donation. We are developing an archival policy for CHOMBEC, but for the moment, if you know of a collection wanting a home, let us know. We may be able to help.

More events are in the works. Next year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Charles Wesley, who lived in Bristol for many years and raised his two composer sons in the city. CHOMBEC is planning to hold its second summer conference on Wesley in July 2007. Provisional details will be circulated on the NABMSA email list in due course. In the meantime, do visit our website, , which offers much more information and our plans for the future.