What Goes Around, Comes Around – Twin Clarinets from Bradford

We would like to share with you all a heartwarming  story about how, what we do and who we are, can impact future generations far off into the future, in ways that we could never  imagine, it also highlights how unseen links through the years and through family and friends can keep cropping up, in the most unexpected ways.

Last week an email landed in my inbox, asking if we – Bradford Music Hub – would be interested in being the recipient of two clarinets in a double case.

The author of the email, Liz, said that the clarinets had belonged to her mother who grew up in Ilkley but was taught to play by a musician in Bradford.

Liz is now a resident of Oxford and she wrote that she felt it was appropriate for the clarinets to be returned to Yorkshire.

Liz has also given us permission to share the story.

Bradford Music Hub thanked her for the kind offer and a few days later a parcel arrived containing two clarinets and an opened letter, written over 30 years ago in Oxford dated 1988 and addressed to “Isabella” from “Granny”.

Granny explains within the letter that the clarinets were bought for her when she was a child, by her father who had also arranged lessons for her …

“With a very nice Yorkshire man from Bradford, who was the leading /first clarinettist with the Carl Rosa Opera Company”

Granny explains the need for two clarinets and that is how Bradford Music Hub took receipt of

a  Bb & an A clarinet.

As one would expect, both clarinets do require some degree of refurbishment, which will be undertaken by our partner Windstruments.

It has transpired that Tom from Windstruments was also taught by a member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company.

The coincidences continue… Although Carl Rosa, the founded the Carl Rosa Opera Company in 1873, died in 1889. His opera company continued until 1960, and in 1953 they formed The Carl Rosa Trust Ltd through an agreement between the Director of The Carl Rosa Company and The Arts Council of Great Britain– which became The Arts Council – England and is now Bradford Music Hub’s funding provider.

Isabella never took to the clarinet, so they were duly returned to Granny, as she had requested in the letter; Granny then  passed both clarinets onto her daughter Liz, who has now returned them,  full circle, to Bradford, in the spirit of the Carl Rosa Trust Ltd,

“to continue to … enable the support, study and education of notable young singers and instrumentalists and maintain his historic music library and costume collection dating back to 1873 “

Hopefully the young people who will ultimately get to play these clarinets will benefit from professional tuition and not follow in Liz’s grandfathers footsteps, as she explains

My mother’s father played the piccolo in the Ilkley Town Band except he didn’t – he simply whistled the tunes… perhaps not something to encourage among young musicians…