On Friday 29th January 1886 the ‘Herts and Cambs Reporter’ reports on a most enjoyable concert evening held in the old school.
CONCERT. – On Friday, 15th inst., a concert was given in the Schoolroom. The programme was as follows: – Part I, duet, pianoforte, “War March,” Miss M. Leachman and Mr W. Beavan (Saffron Walden); song, “The Little Hero,” Mr. G.H.W. Leachman; sonata, violin, “Schubert,” Mr. W. Beavan; duet, “O, wert thou in the cold blast.” members of the choir; recitation, “Mrs. Caudle,” Master E.C. Leachman; Chinese song, Mr. W.Beavan; glee, “The Bells of St. Michael’s tower.” members of the choir; reading, “Nainby Painby,” Rev. E. Leachman. Part II: duet, pianoforte, “Sleigh Bells,” Misses L. and J.M. Leachman; song, “Cork leg,” Mr.E. H.W. Leachman; glee, “The gipsy’s life is a joyous life,” members of the choir; solo, violin, “Berecuese,” Mr W. Beavan; glee, “Good night,” members of the choir; solo pianoforte, “Les Zephyrs,” Mr. W. Beavan; God save the Queen.” The unpropitious weather interfered with the attendance, but those who had ventured forth were well repaid for their pains, and showed their delight with the fare provided for them. Mr. Leachman was encored in his song; the members of the choir receiving a similar compliment. Master Leachman’s recitation was loudly applauded, as also was the Rev. E. Leachman’s reading. His rendering of “Nainby Painby” convulsed all present with laughter. Mr. W. Beavan’s “Chinese song” fairly “Brought down the house,” he being compelled to appear again. The Misses Leachman were obliged to repeat their duet, “Sleigh Bells.” Mr. W. Beavan received an ovation for his violin playing. He was deservedly encored in each of his solos and was well accompanied by Miss M. Leachman. His pianoforte playing was also very much admired. The National Anthem brought a most enjoyable evening to a close.
The Library of Birmingham has a wonderful range of old music titles similar to the items heard at the concert above on their website. The image above comes from the cover for the music of ‘The gipsy’s life is a joyous life’.
According to Mr Google the word Glee is as follows: one definition of glee is “open delight or pleasure.” The word is also used to refer to an unaccompanied part song for three or more voices, which are usually male and include a countertenor. This kind of song was popular in the 18th century. And you can hear an early recording (although not as early as the 1880s!) of The Bells of St Michael’s Tower here:
Rev. Leachman was the vicar at Chrishall from 1881 to 1887.
Article Credit: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk