Programme Note

Fairground Songs were commissioned by the Croydon Schools Music Association and were first performed by their Junior Festival Chorus, conducted by Roy Terry, at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, in March, 1982.

These songs came about as a result of an earlier collaboration with the Croydon Schools Music Association. In 1980 I wrote a children’s cantata, The Salamander and the Moonraker, with a text by my wife Susan Gregson; it was performed that year with great success. The sense of excitement and commitment during rehearsals and performances of this work made us enthusiastic about writing something else for children’s voices.

Fairground Songs are intended to be evocative rather than purely descriptive. They are meant to capture the mood, excitement and anticipation of going to a travelling fair. They are therefore not only intended for a special occasion (ie school music festivals or even the Assembly Hall), but also for the classroom, where they might be the starting point for, or an addition to, a more general practical project on Fairs and Fairgrounds, including creative writing, painting and drama.

There are five separate songs, flanked by a prelude and postlude:

Merry-go-round, Ghost Train, Hoop-la, Madam Clare, and Dodgem Cars.

Written: 1982

Children’s voices, recorders and piano

Genre: Vocal & Choral

Publisher: Novello

Duration: 15'

First Performance: 1982
Fairfield Halls, Croydon, UK
Croydon Schools Junior Festival Chorus, Roy Terry (conductor)