Alan Bateman's Musical Notes

Submitted by huw on Thu, 09/28/2023 - 16:50
Alan Bateman
  1. What is your earliest memory of music in your life? I was a 7 year old pianist playing my first solo in public. It was a little piece called ‘Tom Thumb’ and I remember being scared to death! It was in a competition in the Ealing Music Festival, for the appropriate age group. I survived but it was a step along the way to my graduation in Music at Trinity College, London in 1961.
  2. What was your first 'public performance'? My first singing role was as a 14 year old in a school production of ‘Let’s Make an Opera’ by Benjamin Britten. I was Sam, the chimney sweep boy! In later years I was privileged to have Charles Kennedy Scott as my vocal tutor. He was the founder of the Orianna Madrigal Society with Sir Thomas Beecham. In 1960 I went to Bayreuth and played with the European Youth Orchestra on Double Bass (Contrabass) in the Wagner Festival Hause. That was a simply amazing experience (We were all invited to all the performances of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ operas. Wow! That was a fantastic education in itself).
  3. Who is your favourite composer/ songwriter? My favourite composer is Brahms – and especially his German Requiem.  My favourite songwriter is Franz Schubert – and especially his song cycle Winterreise.
  4. How did you find your way to the Royston Choral Society (RCS)? When I retired to Royston I needed to join a choir and imagined that the Cambridge Choral Society (CCS) would be superior to Royston so, from 2005 -2018, I sung with them. Then they closed down. That’s when I proved the old adage ‘how wrong can you be’; RCS is as big as, and actually better than, CCS! Andrew O’Brien’s training and conducing is top class by anyone’s standards and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.
  5. Would you like to tell us a musical joke? An orchestra was hit by lightning. Only the conductor died.