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I remember this first time around

British ‘von Trapps’ release album as 15-cousin group
Bevan Family Consort are releasing ‘old family favourites’, half a century after their parents did the same thing

That original was actually a couple of years before I turned up in the area. But one of the lads was in our year (with Peter Briffa, if he’s reading, also Peter Morgan, who I know isn’t).

The original choir was formed around 50 years ago by Roger Bevan – grandfather of the current group – who lived with his family in a 15th century farmhouse near Wells in Somerset.

Well, yeeeees. He was head of music at Downside. So, for his sins, he had to try to teach me Music O Level. Which didn’t work out well. I can still remember him playing a third then a fifth for me on a piano. Then being horrified when I couldn’t immediately grasp the difference. “But, but, it’s obvious!”

Francis Bevan, one of the members, writes in the foreword to the album: “Music was so pivotal to the older generation’s lives that none of us cousins needed to be pushed to pursue it.

“Some have taken it more seriously and turned professional, but all of us share an innate ability and a love of making music together.”

Innate ability, that’s the thing. I was a techncailly proficient trumpet player. Got through Grade VI no problem, had a good timbre, could make it swing. But I never did grasp the basics of music. Couldn’t actually hear it, wasn’t, in fact, a musician. Possibly a technician who knew how to make a noise, but not a musician.

And that’s the thing about those with innate ability. They find it very difficult to understand those without it. But, but, it’s obvious.

Lovely man but teaching the theory of music to me wasn’t going to be his forte.

BTW, anyone else feel that cold breath on the back of the neck? Events of childhood now being half a century ago, things to be jubileed?

7 thoughts on “I remember this first time around”

  1. “And that’s the thing about those with innate ability. They find it very difficult to understand those without it. But, but, it’s obvious.”

    A similar thing happened in a College I worked in. The sports studies teacher brought along a top American basketball player to coach the team. The man was a marvel, unbeatable on the court and capable of superb demonstrations. But it seemed he never thought about it; it just flowed for him, and he couldn’t break down the moves or explain what he was doing. Big failure.

    Sometimes, though, you do get geniuses who can also teach.

  2. “Events of childhood now being half a century ago”: you callow youth, you.

    I do reflect on my childhood much more than I used to. I conclude ‘you lucky bastard’.

  3. Sam – yeah. You can see it in some football managers, of the successful ex-player variety. Lampard is most likely going to turn out to be one of those, Hoddle probably was. By coincidence, I read an interview given by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode around 1990 or so. Talking about Andy Fletcher (RIP), he said that Fletcher was a perfectly competent player, but not a musician.

    You could probably look at a fair few bands, and find that member.

  4. “And that’s the thing about those with innate ability. They find it very difficult to understand those without it. But, but, it’s obvious.”

    Very true. It can also lead you to undervalue your own talents. “This is obvious and easy. Where’s the value in it?”

  5. Re -innate ability – yep me and my daughter can communicate about maths leaving my wife befuddled and she’s a teaching assistant. Re cold breath on the back of your neck – went round a toy museum , a computer museum and the science museum – more than half my sodding life is already museum pieces (aging nerd ..)

  6. Hi Tim, yes still here. And I remember the Bevans. Never taught me. I lasted half a term of clarinet.

  7. @ dearieme
    Yeah: I too was working more than half-a-century ago. My wife has got to asking me for my “bucket list” when planning holidays so this weve been to Stornoway which I missed going to in 1952

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