Newsletter No 2

Betty Roe Society

Newsletter No 2 - February 2011

May I first congratulate Betty Roe on her MBE for services to Classical Music and to Composition, awarded in the New Year’s honours list.  For those of you who know the breadth of her compositions and her dedication to promoting English music will appreciate this honour is extremely well deserved.


CDs on eBay


For those of you who do not yet own copies of the four CDs of Betty Roe’s works, they are currently available to purchase via eBay.  Click on the titles below to enter the eBay web site and the song titles to hear a short extract;


The Music Tree - Recorded in 1996 this CD features the best of Betty Roe’s output of more than 200 published songs performed by Sarah Leonard, James Bowman, Martin Hill and Andrew Ball.


·         Two Gardens


·         Legend of Rosemary.


 Music’s Empire contains recordings of some of the best of Betty Roe’s choral compositions performed by Trinity College Choir, The Allegri Singers and the chamber group Three’s Company Plus.


·         Music’s Empire


·         The Holly and the Ivy


·         Goe and catche a falling starre.


 The Family Tree is a collection of Betty Roe’s music for Children performed by the New London Children’s Choir conducted by Ronald Corp. 


·         A Cycle of Elements


·         I know a bank.


 Life is full of other people… contains performances by Betty Roe with John Bishop at the piano and contains many of her best loved comic and “lighter side” songs.


Subjects include a typical Christmas Day in the 1950’s, Gardening, a pub landlady and her customers and her comic versions of the Twelfth day of Christmas and Early one Evening.


These songs are essential material for people wishing to add comic or lighter items to a cabaret or recital.  All of the songs are available as sheet music with full piano parts from


10 Songs on the Lighter Side has been reprinted by Novello and will be available shortly.




Listeners to Radio 3 Requests on 23 January will have heard Betty Roe’s poignant setting of Rudyard Kipling’s “My Boy Jack” performed by Elizabeth Atherton and Iain Burnside.  The track was requested as a (slightly late) 80th birthday celebration.




Rising star countertenor, Iestyn Davies, will be performing “To God” from Betty Roe’s Noble Numbers as part of his BBC Lunchtime Concert at the Wigmore Hall on Monday 11 July 2011.  Tickets are on sale form the Wigmore Hall box office.  We expect that the concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 the following Saturday (16 July).



A new production of Betty Roe and Marian Lines’ first musical, Barnstormers, will be performed by the Janice Thompson Performance Trust in Swindon and London in July.




The articles about Betty Roe’s life and work published in the June 2010 British Music Society Newsletter and the November/December issue of Musical Opinion are now available online;


Betty Roe: The first 80 years


Let me introduce Betty Roe




Work is progressing on typesetting two large scale works, the Herrick Songs for Soprano and Wind Quintet and the Divertimento for Trumpet and Strings.  It is also planned to make some Robish works available via the online printing service,  We hope to have more news of these in the next Newsletter.