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The Churchill Society

Beauty is to Art as Honesty is to Honour.

Winston Churchill


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Bulletin January 2005

Winston Churchill was not a war monger despite the way some detractors like to besmirch his personailty. He happened to be the right man in the right place at the right time for which all nations, including our war time enimies, should be thankful. Let us never forget his axiom 'jaw jaw - not - war, war". Admittedly his bent was to the visual arts rather than music but that in no way detracts from his commitment to the constructive aspect of the arts in general.

The arts in this country have been grossly downgraded in recent years. In no area does this apply more than music, mainly because of the prejudice and attitudes at the BBC. Is this the reason that Rutherlyn's magnum opus THE CHURCHILL MUSIC has been so churlishly rejected by them? Even the director of our Music Department , James Stevens despite his record of awards and recognition abroad , has this problem to face. So we encourage all composers in a similar situation, to come and join us. Let us fight for recognition by talent, rather than touting.

At the moment the acceptance of a composer by the estabishment, - in effect the BBC - depends entirely upon promotion. Does he say the right thing? use the right tone of voice, does he employ the right trendy gimmicks in his work? This applies especially to 'she's'. All of this has nothing to do with the quality of their music. One has only to listen to Radio 3 to appreciate the travesties foisted upon an equally conditioned public, in the name of music.

It does not have to be like this. consider Bernstein, Previn, Bolcon, or to take English composers, Malcolm Arnold, James Macmillan, Richard Rodney-Bennett, who, himself, had to emigrate to the States before he found true recognition. These are composers who write REAL music. But for each one of these there are dozens who are totally ostracised by the BBC. What is this doing to our musical heritage - a heritage of which we can be so proud, the heritage of Purcell and onwards, briefly resuscitated by people like Walton, Britten, V.W., etc.

Music is a unique art form having no reference to external criteria. It is totally non-symbolic despite what some commentators like to ascribe to it. Music is music is music, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein. Apart from onomatopoeia or some aural reference such as a march, any extra-musical content ascribed to it is purely subjective.

There are many composers in this country whose work is incomparable but who are turned down by the BBC simply out of unqualified musical prejudice. Like so much of our society today, tastes and hence markets, are dictated by promoters and vested interests. Churchill would have had none of this, and hence we aspire to venerate his memory in this department of the Society. We are hoping to give their just recognition to these neglected composers. We hope to have our own facilities, studio, publishing house, etc. We hope to promote the talent that at present is obscured by prejudice. So all composers who feel undervalued, please join us.

Churchill House, our ultimate aim, is a part of this aspect of our Society because we will be giving a platform to all those artists at present ostracised by the establishment. So, once again, come and join us.






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