It’s 60 years since my father was appointed as Senior Tutor (later Principal) at Mansfield College (autumn 1959), so it’s fair to say that I have had a lifelong connection with the College. Music has been important there over the years: Eric Routley (hymnolgist and amazing musician) was a Fellow; David Goodall (father of horn player Jonathan Goodall) was organist in the sixties; distinguished pianist Paul Crossley was a student, as was Bryce Morrison; Carolyn Brock was the inspirational organist and Director of Music for many years and now John Oxlade has continued this role.

Under Helena Kennedy’s Principalship, music was further encouraged and it was Helena who appointed Errollyn Wallen as Honorary Fellow. On 6 December and on Principal Helen Mountfield’s instigation, Errollyn presented a delightful evening of words and music in the Chapel where I used to perform with Carolyn Brock. Errollyn involved Mansfield Fellows and Students in playing (Paul Lodge’s Zarathustra’s Roundelay, Sam Spencer with Grieg’s Nocturne Op 54 No 4, Aondoyima Ioratim-Uba playing his piano solo, Nathan Bentley playing Stephen Blundell’s Three Short Pieces for saxophone and piano with the composer), and in reading (Jenny Scoones reading Elizabeth Jennings’ Winter Love, Jamie Albrecht reading poems by Jack Spencer and Ted Berrigan). And Helen Mountfield read Sometimes by Sheenagh Pugh.

It was , therefore , a privilege to be asked to join in this concert, so Jane and I played with Errolyn, Marie Grandval’s Romance and Jane and I, the beautiful Dolce from Telemann’s D major Sonata. This paved the way for Errolyn, who had so finely introduced the evening, to sing songs from the Errollyn Wallen Songbook. What a talent!  Thank you Errollyn.

Errollyn Wallen, CBE

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