18 September 2015

Aston Fields teacher handed late mother’s music score

A RETIRED Aston Fields music teacher had a pleasant surprise when he was handed his mother’s music score – 25 years after she died.

Steve Cowperthwaite lost his mum when she passed away in Hexham, Northumberland, some 250 miles from Bromsgrove.

The 59-year-old, who is the Barnt Green Choral Society’s managing director, said he proposed their March 2016 concert should have a Baroque theme – with music by Bach, Pergolesi and Vivaldi.

He added after their first rehearsal of the season, last week, he turned up ready to conduct and was given copies of the music by their librarian, who had obtained them from Birmingham Music Library.

“When I opened my vocal score of the Pergolesi, I saw on the inside cover the signature ‘J Cowperthwaite 22/3/78’ – in my mother’s unmistakable writing, her name was June.”

Steve said he was left feeling moved by the extraordinary coincidence especially since next spring would mark the 25th anniversary of her death, in 1991.

He added he knew she took up singing and joined a choir in Hexham during the 1970s, but he had no idea about what pieces she performed.

“The date coincides with my final year at university,” Steve said.

“Somehow the copy she used must have found its way to Birmingham Library and then to me.

“The score is like a ‘postcard from the past’ and I shall not be able to resist thinking of her singing along when it gets to the concert.”

Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard