The life and times of Walter Morrison
Ben Harris

We recently celebrated the life and times of Walter Morrison with a concert in our beautiful school Chapel, a domed building that, in Morrison's own words, was an 'architectural experiment' and his gift to the school to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

The concert afforded the audience with the opportunity to learn a little more about the life of this remarkable man and the times in which he lived.

Born in the same year as W S Gilbert (Gilbert and Sullivan) and Isabella Mayson (Mrs Beeton), we heard readings and musical contributions from both pupils and staff under the direction of Barbara Cilgram and Darren Everhart.

Works by Charlotte Bronte, Edward Elgar and Christina Rossetti also featured as well as Bruckner's beautiful 'Locus iste' sung by the Chapel Choir and the hymn 'O God Our Help in Ages Past' which had been sung at Morrison's funeral in December 1921.

James Giles, Housemaster of Morrison House, read a tribute which spoke of Morrison, not only as a man of business, finance, and a generous benefactor to many, but a man who loved the countryside around his home in Malham where he had received visitors such as Charles Kingsley and John Ruskin. The evening concluded with C H H Parry's 'Elegy' played by Phillip Broadhouse on the organ.

Inspired by Morrison, proceeds from the concert will support bursaries for local children to the school and SELFA Children's Charity whose works allows local young vulnerable people to thrive.

Director of Performing Arts, Gareth Warburton, commented: “This well-balanced programme of music and spoken word was a wonderful tribute to an extraordinary man. Congratulations to Barbara, who researched the spoken items and prepared the pupils, who spoke with elegance and clarity, brilliantly, and to Darren who selected a wide selection of music from different genres which were performed beautifully.”