December 1914: Glasgow Musicians and Belgian Relief

An article on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 21st of December, 1914, reads:




The Glasgow Branch of the Amalgamated Musicians’ Union gave their services last night at an

orchestral concert held in St Andrew’s Hall in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund. The concert was

organised as a compliment to Mr Henri Verbrugghen, who for many years has shown himself

ready at all times to assist the benevolent funds in connection with his profession and who has

lately been an eloquent pleader of the claims of his fellow-countrymen upon the practical

sympathy of the British people. A large audience attended the concert, which was under the

patronage of the Belgian Consul and the Belgian Relief Committee. About 200 performers took

part in the programme, Mr Verbrugghen having under his direction a military band in addition

to a large orchestra. The combined forces were heard in an impressive rendering of Tschaikowsky’s

[sic] ‘1812’ Overture, and in the national anthems of Britain and Belgium. Excellent performances

were given also of Beethoven’s ‘Egmont’ Overture, Litoff’s [sic] ‘Maximilien Robespierre,’ and

MacCunn’s tone-poem ‘Land of the Mountain and the Flood.’ In place of Mr Philip Halstead, who

was unable to appear owing to illness, Mr Wilfred Senior was associated with the orchestra in

Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major. Vocal pieces were given by Mr Robert Burnett, and Mr John

Linden played the solo part in Boellmann’s Symphonic Variations for Cello and Orchestra. The

concert opened with a recital of organ music by Mr W. Wyllie Turnbull. During an interval Mr

Verbrugghen acknowledged his indebtedness to the musicians for having given their serivces on

behalf of the Belgian Fund. Speaking of present conditions in Belgium, he said that the people

who remained in that country were faced with the problem of immediate starvation. It would take

no less than £1,000 000 [sic] a month to solve the problem, and that required a great deal of

doing. Britain had always been a generous country, and in the present crisis the British people had

already surpassed all their previous records. What they had accomplished was nothing short of

marvellous. He appealed to Glasgow to continue their support to the Belgian cause.”



George Fairfull-Smith, May 2022.