Tag Archives: Turner Sims Concert Hall

Highfield Campus 100: 1970s

“The University has been a happy place, despite the dashing of our hopes for improved financial support, and I am confident that it will remain so.” [Professor L.C.B. Gower, Vice-Chancellor, University of Southampton Annual Report 1972-3, pp.12-13.]

Professor Lawrence Cecil Bartlett (Jim) Gower replaced Professor Kenneth Mather as Vice-Chancellor of the University at a time when the country was suffering financial plight, in particular with the 1973 oil crisis, high inflation, high interest rates, and a steady slump in government funding of higher education.

Professor Lawrence Cecil Bartlett (Jim) Gower [University of Southampton Annual Report 1972-3, p.7]

Professor Lawrence Cecil Bartlett (Jim) Gower [University of Southampton Annual Report 1972-3, p.7]

4,534 full-time students registered at the University in October 1971, of whom 903 were postgraduates, distributed over the Faculties. While Southampton was expected to increase its student body by a further 2000 by 1980, there was a restriction on government money for new buildings. Student accommodation was affected by this the most. For most students a place in a hall of residence or some university property was their first choice, but the steady rise in student numbers meant that there was not enough of this accommodation for everybody.

MS1_Phot_22_7_4_30_SouthStonehamHouse_1970

South Stoneham House Halls of Residence, 1970 [MS1/Phot/22/7/4/30]

In 1971, the financing of new student accommodation was helped by a gift of £136,000 from the Brunei Government, to commemorate the first royal visit to Brunei, but also because the first Brunei Government Scholar and graduate, Pehin Isa Bin Ibrahim, had been a student in Southampton’s Faculty of Law. Other funding for accommodation had to be borrowed, of which Gower proved a talented negotiator.

Brunei House Halls of Residence, 1974 [MS1/Phot/11/23]

Brunei House Halls of Residence, 1974 [MS1/Phot/11/23]

During Gower’s time as Vice-Chancellor, the University managed to increase student accommodation by the same amount that student numbers rose through their large expansion of Montefiore House, where 420 rooms were added. Over half its students were first years and so the House was given some features of the older halls, such as a common room, bar, games room, and television room. Though it remained a self-catering hall, instead of 20 students sharing a kitchen as in the earlier blocks, the new block consisted of so-called flats shared by seven.

Montefiore House Halls of Residence under construction, 1977 [MS1/Phot/22/4/1/2]

Montefiore House Halls of Residence under construction, 1977 [MS1/Phot/22/4/1/2]

All of the halls of residences also became unisex, and in 1975 all freshers were provided the opportunity to spend their first year in a hall. This allowed them to become familiar with Southampton and become more successful when they needed to find their own accommodation. This led to 1976-1977 becoming the first session to start with no homeless students. A Hall newspaper was also developed called “Hot Eyre” which appeared every fortnight. This was established as a valuable aid of news, argument and internal advertising.

Hot Eyre Magazine, February 1986 No.1 [LF789.6G5 Univ.Coll]

Hot Eyre Magazine, February 1986 No.1

In January 1979, another accommodation block named Clarkson House opened. The small two-storey building sited just south of the Administration Building was designed to take 25 students, including some with disabilities. It had been funded jointly by the British Council for the Disabled and the Clarkson Foundation with the Department of Health and Social Security. Two years later the University received a Commendation under the Building for Disabled 1981 Scheme.

Clarkson House under construction, 1978 [MS1/Phot/22/4/2/26]

Clarkson House under construction, 1978 [MS1/Phot/22/4/2/26]

Even when appeals had successfully changed the cuts proposed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for 1973, the University calculated that in 1974 the Medical Faculty would be in deficit by £400,000 and the rest of the University by £500,000. The Government suggested that it could solve this financial issue by increasing the proportion of Arts to Science students, by decreasing its postgraduates and by economies resulting from expanding certain activities.

The responses by the University included transferring responsibility for spending to faculties, with the aim of producing flexibility if not economies. The University also turned increasingly to research, which would bring direct grants from research councils, foundations and government departments.

Gower had been warned before he came to Southampton that he would be faced with disruption. This was evidenced by students occupying the Administration Building for 48 hours on 14-15 November 1973 in support of the National Union Students’ campaign for grants, which kept pace with inflation, a cause which the University sympathised with but was in no power of changing.

Wessex News, November 1973 [LF789.9 Univ Coll]

Wessex News, November 1973

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Student Union supported national, and international causes with increasing strength, with direct action such as sit-ins and boycotts.

In 1971, the Student Union, in protest against the shortage of University accommodation, voted for the organisation of three indefinite squats in derelict or vacant houses in the centre of Southampton. Other sit-ins included one from 1-11 March 1970 at the Nuffield Theatre, which related to the controversy around the appointment of Dr W.A. Coupe as Professor of German. The Senate ratified Coupe’s appointment. In response on 15 February 1971 students of the German Department occupied building Arts 1 for 24 hours. Subsequently, students occupied the Nuffield Theatre for 10 days, after failing to enter the locked Administration Building.

With Dr Coupe’s appointment confirmed by Council and the University authorities were able to claim that they had successfully defended the procedures which governed (and should govern) the making of appointments. In 1972 the Senate and Council ruled that students would not serve on appointment committees, that the University was responsible for changes in the direction of a Department’s activities rather than the Department, and that appointment committees should not be made up of a majority of departmental representatives.

Sit-in at Southampton: The Fact-Finding Committee report, Feb 1970 [MS 224/7]

Sit-in at Southampton: The Fact-Finding Committee report, Feb 1970 [MS 224/7]

In 1971 the University established a Staff Consultative Group and its periodical, Viewpoint not long after the ten-day Nuffield sit-in, as part of its forward-looking and self-examining culture. Viewpoint provided the opportunity for staff to voice their opinions on university matters before decisions were made by Senate or Council, making staff feel more informed and closer to the decision-making of the University. The newssheet was issued five times during the Summer Term and was made available to staff and others in the University. The editorial board consisted of members of staff from the various parts in the University and the publication was printed by the Central Printing Unit.

Viewpoint, April 1971, No.1 [LF789.9 Univ. Coll]

Viewpoint, April 1971, No.1

To solve the University’s financial problems, and to enable the University to help students who suffered hardship following the Government’s plan to increase tuition fees, the Union devised a way to make political donations, which it was forbidden to make as an educational charity. In 1979, it formed a Union Club, to which it let a room in the Union Building for £1 a year. Here the Club installed pinball tables, football machines and a jukebox, which raised large sums of money. Since it was an independent body, the club was entitled to spend these as it chose. In November 1979, it invited members to propose to a club meeting how it should spend £900, a decent amount of money at the time. The club survives, but now uses it funds mainly for loans to needy students.

Other successes of the Student Union involved the field of community services and entertainments in 1970-71. Community Service was involving more students than ever before and was tackling more ambitious projects. The Union staged a free concert in the Summer, which was a great success. As students showed a deeper interest in the conditions of their university it became clear that the role of the Student Union was no longer just an organising body for sports and social facilities.

Student Union, 1975 [MS1/Phot/22/3/2]

Student Union, 1975 [MS1/Phot/22/3/2]

As always, sports and athletics preoccupied some students. In 1970-71 key sports achievements included the retention of the UAU table tennis cup, and the individual achievements of Jack Lane coming 10th in the European Games 10,000 metres and achieving a silver medal at the World Student Games 5,000 metres. In 1974, Mike Beresford (Commonwealth gold medallist) began to coach at the University boat club and continued to do so for the rest of the century. While 1976-7 was a notable year for the archery, badminton, swimming, water-polo, netball, and women’s hockey clubs, women’s lacrosse and men’s squash were the outstanding clubs of 1979-80. New clubs were also established, such as the canoeing club and sub-aqua club.

University Boat Club 2nd VIII, 1971 [MS310/46 A2075/3]

University Boat Club 2nd VIII, 1971 [MS310/46 A2075/3]

Following the Royal Commission on Medical Education’s advice to the Government in 1967 that there should be a new medical school established in Southampton, the Board of the Faculty of Medicine came into being in 1970, and met regularly during the session. The Medical School’s first students arrived in October 1971. Due to accommodation problems arising from the delay in completion of the relevant buildings, the intake was 40 instead of 65 as originally envisaged.

July 1976 graduation ceremonies involved the University’s first medical students. To mark the occasion, honorary medical degrees were conferred on two distinguished practitioners who had played a prominent role in the establishment of the Medical School: Mr John Barron, Director of Plastic Surgery at Odstock Hospital (Master of Surgery) and Dr William Macleod, Senior Consultant Physician and Physician to the Thoracic Unit Southampton (Doctor of Medicine).

Aerial view of the Medical and Biological Sciences Building under construction, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/11/24/1]

Aerial view of the Medical and Biological Sciences Building under construction, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/11/24/1]

Although the Nuffield Theatre catered well for drama, it did not serve so well for music, particularly with its acoustics. Fortunately in 1967, Miss Margaret Grassam Sims left the University a bequest of about £30,000, to be used specifically for a hall, theatre, or building of like purpose. After much discussion it was agreed that a small hall should be built to be named the Turner Sims Concert Hall, with the one condition that it have a flat floor to house University examinations. This condition was later refused by the advisory committee. Additional monies were still required to fund the construction of the hall, to which Gower solved by negotiating a loan from the City Council. Some argue that for this reason, the Turner Sims Hall is also a memorial to Jim Gower, and also to Peter Evans, the University’s first Professor of Music, for it was the Music Department that encouraged Gower to attempt to get the loan.

The acoustics for the new hall, much valued by the BBC for recording, were designed by staff from the Institution of Sound and Vibration Research. The Turner Sims Concert Hall was completed in the 1973-4 session and the opening concert took place on 19 November 1974. The Hall hosted 77 events during the 1974-5 session, of which 50 were lunchtime recitals.

Construction of Turner Sims Concert Hall, 1970s [MS373 A3048/4/1]

Construction of Turner Sims Concert Hall, 1970s [MS373 A3048/4/1]

Other arts facilities that were built included the Fine Art Gallery, which opened at Boldrewood in 1972, and a Photographic Gallery that opened in 1973. In its first year the Photographic Gallery held 11 exhibitions, covering a wide range of subjects, including “Stravinsky’s last rehearsal”, Salisbury Playhouse”, “Lewis Carroll at Southampton”, and “Old Southampton”.

University Photographic Gallery, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/37/22]

University Photographic Gallery, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/37/22]

In 1978, the University decided to demolish the Civil Engineering departments ‘tidal model of Southampton Water and the Solent’, and transform the building into the John Hansard Gallery.

Booklet ‘John Hansard Gallery Appeal – A New Centre for the Visual Arts in the South’ [MS1/Phot/22/1/19]

Booklet ‘John Hansard Gallery Appeal – A New Centre for the Visual Arts in the South’ [MS1/Phot/22/1/19]

In terms of library developments, the Parliamentary Papers Library opened on 7 July 1971, originally brought to the University by Professor Percy Ford and his wife Dr Grace Ford. During the 1972-3 session, Special Collections received the Southampton and District Gardeners’ Society library of horticultural books and periodicals. Another notable accession, and of the greatest importance to the Department of Music, was the gift by Anna Mahler of music scores by her father Gustav Mahler and other eminent composers.

Donald Mitchell, Anna Mahler, Laurence Cecil Bartlett Gower (Vioce-Chancellor), Peter Evans (Professor of Music), looking at a volume from the Mahler Papers, 1973 [MS1/Phot/17/1]

Donald Mitchell, Anna Mahler, Laurence Cecil Bartlett Gower (Vice-Chancellor), Peter Evans (Professor of Music), looking at a volume from the Mahler Papers, 1973 [MS1/Phot/17/1]

Gower retired at the end of the 1979 summer term. He was considered by many to have been ‘the first democratic Vice-Chancellor’.

John Roberts was Gower’s successor, who was Vice-Chancellor for the University of Southampton from 1979 to 1985. He came from Merton College, Oxford, and was a historian.

Find out what Roberts did for the University as Vice-Chancellor in our next Highfield Campus 100 blog post, which will focus on the 1980s.

University press release regarding the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, 1979 [MS1 A4092/4]

University press release regarding the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, 1979 [MS1 A4092/4]

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Letting the violin sing: the acoustics of auditoriums

Possibly one of the best known and most widely distributed musical instruments, the violin is honoured on National Violin Day held on 13 December each year. Recognised early for its singing tone, it developed in the Renaissance from earlier bowed instruments, including the medieval fiddle, the lira da braccio and the rebec.

Students at a study day at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, 1994

Students at a study day at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, 1994 [MS1/Phot/19/299]

Creating the perfect acoustics for concert halls or auditoriums, that allow the violin to sing, depends on factors such as reverberation or the avoidance of echo. The stimulus of reverberation had been recognised as far back as ancient Rome, with Horace writing of poets who recited their poems at the Roman baths: “How sweetly the enclosed space responds to the voice”. It was the American physicist Wallace Clement Sabine (1868-1919) who developed Sabine’s law, which stated that the product of the reverberation time multiplied by the total absorptivity of the room is proportional to the volume of the room. He thus created a formula that architects and engineers could use when designing a concert hall to achieve the best reverberation time for their particular venue.

Construction of Turner Sims Concert Hall [MS373 A3048/3[

Construction of Turner Sims Concert Hall [MS373 A3048/4/1]

The Turner Sims Concert Hall at the University is much valued for recording due to its fine acoustics. In 1967, Miss Margaret Grassam Sims had left the University a bequest which enabled the building of a concert hall to be named Turner Sims in honour of her father. The Concert Hall that opened in 1974, after many revisions to the project, was, according to Professor Peter Evans of Music, “a most effective and attractive auditorium for music”. The acoustics of this hall were the work of the Institute of Sound and Vibration at the University with Professor Philip Ellis Doak acting as a consultant.

The Special Collections holds a small collection of material for Professor Doak (MS373) that relates to his work as consultant on the Turner Sims Concert Hall, including questionnaires relating to tests for the reverberation times of the hall.

Questionnaire from reverberation test on Turner Sims Concert Hall [MS373 A3048/3]

Questionnaire from reverberation test at Turner Sims Concert Hall, c.1974 [MS373 A3048/3]

The Special Collections holds further archive collections relating to acoustics: (MS337) Dr Raymond Stephens and British Acoustical Society; (MS339) Peter Parkin who had a long career in an advisory role at the British Research Establishment; (MS340) the architectural theorist and acoustician (Philip) Hope Edward Bagenal (1888–1979), amongst whose important acoustic projects was the Royal Festival Hall, London; (MS341) Hugh Creighton, who acted as consultant on a range of acoustic projects in the UK, including for the Barbican Centre, London; and (MS342) Keith Rose, who was a consultant for the BBC.

So the next time that you attend a concert or a lecture in an auditorium, spare a thought to those hardworking individuals who have contributed to the perfection of the acoustics.

Jazz Club at the University of Southampton

To mark International Jazz Day which takes place on Sunday, 30th April we have decided to take a brief look at the early days of the Southampton University Jazz Club.

Image from a photo feature on ‘Jazz Club’ written by Jerry Palmer with photographs by Bernard Bailey from Wessex News, 10 October 1961

Image from a photo feature on ‘Jazz Club’ written by Jerry Palmer with photographs by Bernard Bailey from Wessex News, 10 October 1961 [Univ. Coll. per LF 789.9]

Live music has formed a part of the University’s life since the early decades of the 20th century. This initially consisted of concerts and performances by musical societies such as the Choral and Orchestral Society. By the 1950s Southampton had become a fully-fledged university – receiving its royal charter on 29 April 1952 – marking the beginning of a golden era of live music, particularly in the form of jazz and rock.

A short history of British Jazz
Jazz as a genre of music began life among African-American communities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Amalgamating African and European music sensibilities, early jazz drew on a range of influences. Throughout its history it has continually evolved, giving rise to many distinctive styles. A difficult genre to define, it is most broadly recognised for its use of musical improvisation, contrasting rhythms, and syncopated notes.

‘Music hath Charms, A Survey of a jazz club with comments from poets’, Goblio, 1955 [Univ. Coll. per LF 789.9]

‘Music hath Charms, A Survey of a jazz club with comments from poets’, Goblio, 1955 [Univ. Coll. per LF 789.9]

Prior to the 1930s, the influence of jazz in Britain remained limited. However, the arrival of American jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington meant that British musicians, as well as the British public, were becoming increasingly jazz-aware. By the 1940s all kinds of jazz and jazz-flavoured dance music flourished in London nightclub while the latter part of the decade saw the jazz scene divide into two distinct movements: modern and traditional. Modern jazz in Britain was influenced by American bebop, a new style characterised by a fast tempo together with complex harmony and rhythms. A movement in the opposite direction was revivalism, which sought to re-engage with traditional Dixieland and Ragtime styles. Both styles remained popular throughout the 1950s, a decade which saw the popularity of British jazz continue to flourish, particularly across university campuses.

Southampton University Jazz Club
Formed in 1955, the Southampton University Jazz Club (S.U.J.C.) quickly established itself as the University’s biggest student society. This was largely thanks to weekly live sessions with local and visiting bands. Performances were affordable and provided different styles for different tastes, with traditional New Orleans Jazz performed in the Refectory and Modern Jazz in the Terrace Room.

Entry for the Jazz Club from the Students’ Union Handbook, 1958-59 [Univ. Coll. per LF 789.8U6]

Entry for the Jazz Club from the Students’ Union Handbook, 1958-59 [Univ. Coll. per LF 789.8U6]

At the same time, the University was producing a number of its own jazz bands, including Group One, an eight piece band who won the Southern Semi-Finals of the International University Jazz Festival competition in 1960, and the Dudley Hyams Quintet and Apex Jazzmen, who took first and second place in the Regional Semi-Finals at Bristol in 1962.

‘SUJC plays Home and Away’, recordings of the Southampton University

‘SUJC plays Home and Away’, recordings of the Southampton University
Jazz Club, 1960 [MS 224/25 A870]. The record contains performances
by the University jazz bands Group One and Apex Jazzmen.

Concerning the impact of the Jazz Club, a report by the President of the Students’ Union from 1960-1 reads:

“Many societies suffered undeservedly from bad attendance. No one knows the reason for this, but one explanation might be the extraordinary success of the Friday night Jazz Club. Easily the most popular activity with an average of five hundred a week ‘dancing’ around the Refectory and adjoining rooms. Nearly eight hundred sat down in the Refectory for the semi-finals of the Inter-University Jazz Competition in February. The three Southampton bands – Group One, Epic and Apex – competed against bands from Imperial College, Queen Mary, Reading and Oxford. Taking last turn, Group One played themselves brilliantly into first place.” [Report of the Proceedings of the University, 1960-61 Univ. Coll. LF 786.4]

By the early 1960s, jazz had established itself as an integral part of the student social scene with nearly all dances and socials featuring jazz groups, either as support or as the main attraction. The programme for the first University of Southampton Arts Festival in 1961 lists a series of jazz performances alongside a lecture on the place of jazz among the arts.

Today’s University Jazz scene
While the British jazz scene continued to develop and innovate throughout the 1960s, and beyond, there was a significant decline in the popularity of jazz at the University by the middle part of the decade. However, this did not mark the end of the vibrant music scene which continued into the 1960s and 1970s with a range of big names in rock performing at Southampton.

The 1970s also saw a major development in live music at the University with the construction of the Turner Sims Concert Hall. Since opening it has acted as a venue for concerts by an array of professional musicians as well as for masterclasses and teaching activities. Performances cover a range of musical genres, including classical, folk and jazz. Upcoming jazz performances include Courtney Pine and Omar. In the 80’s Pine was one of the first black British jazz artists to make a serious mark on the jazz scene. For further details and to find out about other upcoming performances, visit the Turner Sims website.

There are now a wide range of jazz and other music orientated groups and events at the University. Learn more about these on the Arts at University of Southampton website.

For more information on the history of music and the arts at the University be sure to check out our online exhibition.

Exploring Arts in the Archive

A reminder that next week, on Wednesday, 14 December, Special Collections will be hosting an open afternoon focusing on music, theatre and the visual arts, allowing visitors the opportunity to view material from the collections and meet the curators.

The afternoon will conclude with a talk by Eloise Rose from the John Hansard Gallery.

John Hansard Gallery

John Hansard Gallery

This event will mark the exciting range of arts related activities taking place at the University and across the city, including: the launch of the new Arts at University of Southampton website; the coming of British Art Show 8 to the John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery; and the opening of Studio 144, Southampton’s new arts complex in Guildhall Square.

Space is limited. To reserve a place, please go to:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exploring-arts-in-the-archives-tickets-29214641780

Programme:

1615-1715: Opportunity to view resources from the Special Collections: Archives and Manuscripts reading room, Level 4, Hartley Library

1730-1800: Talk by Eloise Rose: Library Conference Room, Level 4, Hartley Library

Turner Sims Concert Hall

Turner Sims Concert Hall

We will also be launching our ‘Arts in the Archives’ online exhibition which will draw on material from the archives to look at some of the key developments in the history the arts at the University.

Programme for the Nuffield Theatre

Programme for the Nuffield Theatre

To view further samples of images from the exhibition, visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/hartleyspecialcolls/

Waterloo 200: bicentenary events

The Sixth Wellington Congress takes place this week and is part of a number of activities and events organised by the University of Southampton to mark the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo, including:

wellandwaterloo

Wellington and Waterloo: “the tale is every Englishman’s mouth”
13 April – 19 June, 13-24 July 2015

The Battle of Waterloo, fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, between allied forces and the French forces commanded by Napoleon, brought to a close more than two decades of conflict. Drawing heavily on the Wellington Archive at the University, this exhibition captures the final act of these wars from the perspective of the Duke of Wellington. It considers the diplomatic background to the military campaign of 1815, the battle itself, its aftermath and the occupation of France and the commemoration of both Wellington and Waterloo. It includes descriptions of the battle in the official reports of Wellington’s commanders, and a poignant letter from Wellington to Lord Aberdeen informing him of the death of his brother Sir Alexander Gordon, one of Wellington’s aides-de-camp. Amongst the items relating to the commemoration of Waterloo and Wellington are the catalogue of the Waterloo Museum, an establishment opened in the immediate aftermath of the battle, exhibiting memorabilia, and a nautilus shell, engraved by C.H.Wood, dating from the 1850s, which contains an image of Wellington on one side and St George on the other.

The Special Collections Gallery is situated on Level 4 of the Hartley Library, University of Southampton. The Library is on the east side of the University Road, on the University’s Highfield campus.

During exhibitions the Special Collections Gallery is open to the public Monday to Friday 1000 to 1600. Admission is free. Visitors may be asked for proof of identity by Library Reception staff.


MOOC: Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo
8 June 2015 (for three weeks)

Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo MOOC

Led by Chris Woolgar, Professor of History and Archival Studies, and Karen Robson, Head of Archives, at the University of Southampton, this free online course will use the Wellington Archive as its basis to discover more about one of the great events of the nineteenth century from the perspective of the Duke of Wellington.

For more information and to register go to:
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/wellington-and-waterloo


Special Collections blog: the road to Waterloo

Road to Waterloo

Regular readers of the blog will be familiar with our recent posts focusing on some of the key dates on the road to the battle of Waterloo. Using material from the Special Collections, including the Wellington Archive, future posts will also focus on the aftermath of the battle leading to the restoration of Louis XVIII.

To follow Wellington go to:
https://specialcollectionsuniversityofsouthampton.wordpress.com/category/road-to-waterloo/


Sixth Wellington Congress
10-12 April 2015

exb_well2015

Although registration has now closed for the Congress, it is still possible to purchase tickets for “With Wellington we’ll go” a concert of music from the period by the Madding Crowd at the Turner Sims Concert Hall.

For information and to book go to:
https://www.turnersims.co.uk/events/with-wellington-well-go/

Tour of the exhibition ‘Music hath Charms’: the musical life of the University

To mark the final week of the current exhibition in the Special Collections Gallery, we take a brief tour of the gallery and explore the musical life of the University!

On entering the gallery, the first case introduces us to music as an academic discipline, and includes a score for “Sleep, my little one!” by George Leake, who became the first Professor of Music in 1920 and saw the department given faculty status in 1924. Across from this we find a score commemorating the battle of Waterloo, which not only represents the select range of special collections relating to music held by the University, but also ties in with one of the University’s most prominent manuscript collections, the Wellington Papers! A selection of other material in the case reflects student engagement with music, including photographs of master classes for music students using the Turner Sims Concert Hall.

Score for Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 with annotations by Mahler - MS 22 (M 302.B4): 73-032425

Score for Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 with annotations by Mahler – MS 22 (M 302.B4): 73-032425

Moving on to the second case we are introduced to what is probably the most significant of the music manuscript collections held by the University, the conducting scores of Gustav Mahler. As is noted in the exhibition catalogue, like many conductors of his era, Mahler made alterations to scores in his repertoire, with the scores on display bearing his annotations made in the process of conducting, as with the Beethoven scores, or whilst reworking his own compositions.

Next we move on to one of the real standout features of the exhibition in the form of a series of beautifully shot black and white photographs by John Garfield on display in case three. The case extends along the back wall of the gallery with the photographs showcasing a range of performances at the Turner Sims Concert Hall from the past two decades.

Photograph of the Southampton University Operatic Society’s production of The Mikado, 3-6 February 1960 - MS 1 UNI/7/198/1

Photograph of the Southampton University Operatic Society’s production of The Mikado, 3-6 February 1960 – MS 1 UNI/7/198/1

Case four then draws us into the world of light opera and, in particular, the world of Gilbert and Sullivan! The photographs and pamphlets on display are drawn from performances by three operatic societies, the Choral and Orchestral Society (from the 1930s); the Southampton University Operatic Society (from the 1960s); and the Southampton Operatic Society (from the 1970s and 1980s). Moving around to the opposite side of the case, we find a range of college songs and student song books associated with the University during its previous incarnations as Hartley University College (1902-14) and University College Southampton (1914-52). The songs are primarily light heart compositions reflecting aspects of student life at the University, with a number of transcriptions available in the exhibition catalogue.

The final part of the exhibition focuses on the vibrant music scene at the University from the 1950s to the 1970s, specifically in the form of jazz and rock. Case five, together with an accompanying screen display, provides a series of articles and reviews from a range of student publications covering this golden era of live music.  While the early 1960s saw the Southampton University Jazz Club emerge as the University’s biggest student society, largely thanks to weekly live sessions, both the 1960s and 1970s brought a range of performances by the likes of Manfred Mann, T-Rex, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and Led Zepplin. A particularly fun feature of this part of the exhibition is the audio recording accompanying the screen display, which provides the opportunity to listen to recordings by the University’s own jazz bands, Group One and Apex Jazzmen, originally recorded in 1960.

The areas covered in the exhibition only provide snapshots of the dynamic musical life of the University. Equally, the exhibition only provides a glimpse of the range of music related resources held by the Special Collections Division which consist not only of music sheets and scores, but also material relating to the history of music, the University’s music societies, acoustics and architecture, and cantorial music.

The exhibition runs until Friday 20 March, with a special opening on Saturday 21 March 12pm-4pm, in conjunction with Beethovathon at the Turner Sims Concert Hall.

Exhibition: ‘Music hath Charms’: the musical life of the University

musichathcharms
Music as an academic subject has formed a part of university life since the early days of the Institution, growing from a small department in the early part of the twentieth century to the international faculty of today. Since the inception of the Hartley Institution in 1862, the University Library Special Collections has acquired a select range of collections relating to music that support research activities: the most significant manuscript collection probably being that of the conducting scores of Gustav Mahler.

Musical activities, particularly in terms of social events and performances, also have been a regular fixture of University life. Groups such as the Southampton Operatic Society and the Choral and Orchestral Society have performed shows at the University for decades, while the Student Union has been the hub of musical entertainment and social events, with many major bands and performers appearing. The construction of the Turner Sims Concert Hall on campus in the 1970s added a further dimension to the musical life of the University, providing a purpose built performance space for professional concerts as well as for teaching.

Drawing on the Special Collections, this exhibition reflects academic study and the social scene, from rock and jazz to classical, from amateur to professional.

The exhibition runs from 16 February to 20 March 2015. There will be a special opening on Saturday 21 March 12pm-4pm, in conjunction with Beethovathon at the Turner Sims Concert Hall.

A private view and drinks reception will take place on Thursday 26 February 5pm-7pm.  All are welcome.

Where to find the Gallery:
The Special Collections Gallery is situated on Level 4 of the Hartley Library, University of Southampton. The Library is on the east side of the University Road, on the University’s Highfield campus.

Opening hours:
During exhibitions the Special Collections Gallery is open to the public Monday to Friday 1000 to 1600. Admission is free. Visitors may be asked for proof of identity by Library Reception staff.