Page 10, 4th November 1938

4th November 1938
Page 10
Page 10, 4th November 1938 — John at a Prom
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John at a Prom

1110tE,FORE I used to listen on the wireless " to the Prom concerts at Queen's Hall, but this year I was taken in hand and. lead like the ass 1 was to the slaughter.

The little crowd I was in told me all the ropes, what to do, don't clap at the end of a movement of a symphony or concerto, don't smoke, only keep quiet. They did look after me that I wondered I must have a very nice disposition (I never thought I had one before), but one evening 1 was handed half-a-dozen stools with the warning: " Put these in the queue tomorrow morning not later than 7.30!" Apparently they took it in turns to do this devil's

work and now it was my turn Now I understand why they looked after me so well.

Fortunately I woke up in time the next morning It was a glorious morning, and made me sing paeans of joy. It also helped me to go to Mass somewhere in the West End, and then I went to the office mightily pleased with life.

As a " L'er " I started off at a HaydnMozart evening, the best composers, 1 sup pose, to begin one's As a " Learner " Promenade life on,

but then through various stages I enjoyed Beethoven, Brahms, Tschaikovski, Strauss, Schubert, Elgar, What evenings they were!

July into August, August into September, some talk of trouble in a part of Europe called Sudetenland. Nobody cared, it would blow over. Still the violins played, the trumpets blared, the brass clanged, ultimatums flew to and fro, and the world grew fearful. The crowd at the Queen's Hall never wavered, they were not to be deprived of their possibly last days of peace and enjoyment. One would never have thought war was in the air as they encored and encored Sir Henry Wood at the end of every performance.

The Prime Minister's speech relayed to the Prom crowd in the Hall; that was a tense moment, his voice fraught with

Year anxiety as to what might happen during the next few hours. . Then the Munich Conference and the Proms were saved. The last night everybody just went mad. The orchestra was cheered, Sir Henry was cheered and cheered, Paul Beard was smiling all over his face, a special cheer for the man on the drums, finally everybody evaporated, all saying " See you here next year." See You Next JOHN O'HARA.




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