23 Nov 2019 Jubilee Concert
9th (including AGM)
30th No rehearsal - half term
23rd (Saturday) Rehearsal 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm and Concert 7.30 pm - St Mary’s Church, Hitchin
Paul Adrian Rooke was born in Peterborough and educated at Bishop’s Stortford College and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. After graduating with a Music (Honours) degree he spent 36 years teaching music in secondary schools, before retiring in 2002. He has now established himself as a freelance musical originator and editor; transcribing and editing music by Elgar in particular. Paul is Chief Originator (musical typesetter) for The Elgar Complete Edition.
Paul has conducted and composed since his student days. The list of his compositions includes various carols and solo songs, song-cycles, a String Trio, a Flute Concerto, a Saxophone Concerto and an opera. His two symphonies were given their premières by Hitchin Symphony Orchestra in November 2001 and 2006 – both of which were very favourably received. Panegyric, written in memory of John McCabe, was given its first performance in July 2016 and Sixty Years of Harmony, a song written for the diamond jubilee celebrations of Stevenage Male Voice Choir, was given its first and several successive performances in 2018. Paul is currently working on his third symphony.
In April 1984 Paul conducted a most successful production of the children’s opera The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by John McCabe. This was performed in the presence of the composer. The following September Paul became conductor of Hitchin Concert Orchestra. He has now performed a wide repertoire of music by 20th century English composers, plus adventurous modern works by Jeremy Aknai, Malcolm Arnold, Douglas Coombes, Gordon Crosse, Peter Maxwell Davies, George Lloyd, John McCabe, Edmund Rubbra, Robert Simpson, Martin Vishnik – and himself. Paul’s preference, while acknowledging readily the supreme masterpieces composed by the great Classical and Romantic composers, has always been for British music of the nineteenth century and onward. This has formed a large part of the orchestra’s repertoire under his direction.