Mr Charles Sellars was our music teacher. For some reason he didn’t like me. This sometimes happens and I don’t remember the phenomenon mentioned in any of my further education teaching manuals when I eventually became one myself. I really tried to get myself liked but it was no use and I dropped music as soon as was possible. A shame really because I desperately wanted to be able to play bassoon like one of my friends Mike Smith – it would never have been practical as I lived too far away from Xavs anyway.
He raised his voice a lot I seem to remember but his love of music can’t be denied. Once he played ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ for us on the music room gramophone. He introduced it by saying that this piece tended to ‘send’ people. I am not quite sure what he meant but I did love it. Once he appeared with his family at a garden party and we were amazed at how many children were in tow, each one smaller than the other. They looked for all the world like the intervals in a scale.
Mr Sellars used to organise the school concerts which became more and more grandiose. Gilbert and Sullivan (Iolanthe) gave way to Mozart and The Magic Flute was enacted on our somewhat cramped gym stage. The school orchestra manfully struggled through the score and it was judged to be a masterpiece. I have a vision of a diminutive boy with soprano voice (I think his surname was Thornley) dressed in a feathered costume and the whispered comments among the boys when he had to kiss the male lead. The rumours abounded. I can also remember a rather large class mate, John Doyle, banging his heart out on the kettle drums, totally caught up in the excitement. Heady stuff.