Common Time 2019


Bust on ledge
CD Rack

GramSoc has been back in action since September 2002 and borrowing figures clearly show that it's more popular than ever. Now that almost all Wykehamists have computers, they also have the facility to play CDs and this provides the perfect opportunity for a very wide range of listening. Having closed its doors for some years at the start of the CD era, GramSoc is up and running again thanks largely to recent gifts from the Friends of Winchester College and several individual Old Wykehamists.

The collection has more than quadrupled in size and now numbers some 2700 CDs. These are housed in Dr Salwey's room in Music School. Most are classical, but the collection also includes jazz, rock and musicals. Demand (approximately 4000 loans/year by 200 boys) means that discs are required to be returned after three weeks. The collection has been comprehensively catalogued and it is administered by two Wykehamists for their Community Service. There is no fee or subscription for borrowing.  

Any recollections of GramSoc in former days would be most welcome. It is unclear when or how it started, but its origins may lie back in the days of the late Humphrey Searle (Coll, 1928-33), composer, who writes of his time in College in his autobiography:  

Though I continued my classical studies, it was here that I really began to get interested in music. We were allowed to have a gramophone in our room, and we each contributed records to the general stock and played them in our spare time. Apart from the standard classical and romantic works we had records of some music which was fairly modern at the time, such as Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" and Honegger's "Pacific 231" and "Rugby". In fact I enjoyed the more violent music better than the classics; I loved Richard Strauss and even Wagner at that time, and it took me a long time to appreciate Haydn and Mozart properly.  

To judge by present Wykehamists' listening habits, little has changed!    

If any Old Wykehamists have any CDs that they would be happy to part with, please contact Dr Nicholas Salwey, Winchester College Music School, Culver Road, Winchester SO23 9JF. Whether mainstream (having several copies of popular repertoire is invaluable) or obscure and esoteric, all gifts are hugely appreciated. There are many gaps in the collection and we are a very long way from rivalling the old and extensive collection of LPs (which number somewhere around 3000) that provided so much enrichment to previous generations of Wykehamists.