Concerts for Dr Watson's Retirement 1975


RECITAL - 9th July 1975

By Mr David Dixon

Over the twenty years of the school's existence there has been a succession of musically gifted pupils who owe much to Dr. Watson's encouragement and example. A number of them accepted Mr. Smith's invitation to contribute an item to a concert given in Dr. Watson's honour in the school hall on Wednesday, 9th July, and provided an enthusiastic audience with an excellent evening's entertainment. For those with long associations with the school, it was a great pleasure to meet again young men who in their tender years had brought especial delight to us in the school concerts of earlier days and to experience the unexpected thrill of hearing their more developed talents in the setting of their earlier triumphs.

Some performers, Pierre Meulien, David Mercer, Melvyn Evans and Simon Poulton left but yesterday, it seemed, and were looking in to reassure us that a year's absence from school had not diminished their Muse's art. Others would not be known to a large number of the present teaching staff, even though they ended their school careers in the early seventies: Nigel Osborne, Nigel Few, Keith Allnatt, Robert Pool and Andrew Jolliffe. Yet another group ended their careers at St. Nicholas in the late sixties: Jonathan Salzedo, John New, lan Hooker and Richard Bolley. The last group, consisting of the grand old men of St. Nicholas music – Anthony Hymas and Christopher Van Kampen - spent the major part of their school career in the fifties.

The greater part of the performers are true amateurs, in love with the music they perform, ever seeking to attain yet higher standards. Some however are professionals. Their love has led to a life-long commitment. Jonathan Salzedo builds his own harpsichords and plays them beautifully, Robert Pool is a talented young violinist still studying at the Royal College of Music, John New teaches and sings for his living, lan Hooker teaches full time, Anthony Hymas arranges music and plays the piano – for some time he worked with Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Lane - and it is always a thrill to hear Christopher Van Kampen playing his cello on the radio. Tony and Chris also feature on a number of gramophone records.

Those who were privileged to be in the audience for this concert will treasure the experience. Dr. Watson, who will have his own personal memories of each of the performers at different stages of their life at the school, and beyond it, must have felt a great sense of pride and satisfaction as first one former pupil then another displayed his musical wares. He will also have been aware of the abiding respect and gratitude these young musicians felt for him. As Mr. Smith wrote in the programme note "former and present pupils of the school wish Dr. Watson a long and happy retirement - con brio e molto energico."


1975 School Magazine

Participation letter from Tony Smith and recital programme (recital reviewed above), to mark Dr Watson's retirement held on 9th July 1975. Signed by the contributors. Navigate using arrows on either side.

Programme for the second musical event to mark Dr Watson's retirement. Summer Concert held a week later on 16th July 1975.


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