Hats in 1901

Clara Butt
Clara Butt

In 1910 the Festival Chorus was drawn mainly from Leeds choirs, with many others from choirs in, for example, Dewsbury and Huddersfield. In the programme, a suitable level of decorum was maintained both in the list of singers and in the photographs, where massive hats were a necessity for the ladies, though soloists like Madame Clara Butt felt able to leave them off.

The programme contained the following summary:

Three new works are included in this year’s Festival: A Sea Symphony, for Soli, Orchestra, and Chorus, by Dr. Vaughan Williams; a Symphony by M. Rachmaninoff; and Songs of the Fleet, by Sir C. V. Stanford. The musical public will welcome the special visit of M. Rachmaninoff who will play one of his Concertos, and also conduct his Symphony.

(The Rachmaninov symphony referred to is his second; the composer destroyed the score of his first symphony after its disasterous première in 1897, though it has since been reconstructed from a set of orchestral parts for that performance.)