Leeds Music Club
A brief History of Leeds Music Club
The Leeds Music Club, thought to be a somewhat unusual organisation, was established in the city in 1932 by a group of amateur and professional musicians with the aim of promoting the performance of music by and amongst its members. A further aim of the Club has always been to offer students and young musicians an opportunity to gain invaluable platform experience in front of a sympathetic and knowledgeable audience.
As a result, the Club has a history of presenting programmes covering a wide variety of periods, styles and forms for solo performers and ensembles of every type.
Among founder members of the Club were Edward Maude, a one-time leader of the Northern Philharmonic Orchestra and director of a String Orchestra in the North of England which took his name, Herbert Bardgett, well-known Chorus Master of Leeds Philharmonic Society, Leeds Festival Chorus and Huddersfield Choral Society among many other appointments, and Douglas Robinson, for many years Chorus Pianist and Deputy Conductor to Leeds Philharmonic Society and later to become Chorus Master at Covent Garden.
Many former Club members have gone on to achieve distinction in the musical world. These include Sidney Errington, lead viola of the Halle Orchestra, Arthur Percival, also of the Halle, Melville Cooke, formerly Organist and Choirmaster of Leeds Parish Church later of Toronto Cathedral, singers Frederick Westcott, Stephen Manton and Honor Sheppard, and Fanny Waterman, renowned piano teacher and founder of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.
In the early days of the Club, all members were performers, but in more recent years this rule has been relaxed and non-performing members are warmly welcomed. The uniqueness of the Club lies in the fact that all the programmes, whether they be made up of vocal or instrumental solo items, chamber ensembles, choral or orchestral works, are contributed by members who in turn provide the audience for each other.
During its history meetings have been held in a variety of venues, including music shops, civic buildings and churches, but since 1985 the Club, with its most valued possession, a Steinway grand piano, has found an ideal home in Adel Methodist Church Hall where it meets twice monthly from September to the end of April.