Notes from the Back Row

In 2020 during the first Covid lockdown, I started a project to tell the story of my life through my musical experiences, in particular the different choirs I have sung in.

I made good progress to start with, and got pretty well as far as the early 90s. But things rather ground to a halt, partly because with the easing of lockdowns I got involved in other things; but also because I found it difficult to write about relatively recent times. I wanted to tell things as they were, but not to make any enemies.

I also realised that while one of the themes of my writing is the friendships I have made through my singing, there are plenty of people who have meant a great deal to me during my lifetime who would not get a mention; they were not involved in music making with me, but I don't want to ignore them. This was particularly true of my university friends. Though it is now 60 years since I started at Nottingham University, there are still about 15 people from that time who I am in touch with, and none of them would get a mention if I stuck to my original plan. One of them, Dave Read, has just published the story of his own early years, up to the time when he got married, and he has given me a lot of ideas.

The problem is I am not sure who I am writing this for, and I have no idea who is interested, if anyone. So I am writing what comes into my head, and if you enjoy reading any of it, that is a bonus.

The index below lists all the sections I intend to write. If there is no link it means it is not ready for publication (I might not even have started it yet). The date after the link is the publication date. If there is a significant change I will put a new date. If there is a "+" after the date it means I have made a small change but the main body remains the same.

There is a chapter on each of the choirs I have sung in; after that there are a few chapters on my musical tastes, and general observations on my choral experiences; then a few articles about particular pieces of music that I like, that I hope says something interesting about them; and finally a change of subject.

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