Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Herbert Howells

Letter No.: 
[?10, July 1936]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,


Dear Herbert

I had a talk with Miss Strudwick & Mrs O’Neill yesterday & also with Vally Lasker.  I do hope you will see your way to taking over SPGS.1  We all feel that some new blood is wanted & that there is a danger of the Gustav tradition becoming Dry bones & also that Vally & Nora have no outside standard by which to judge their work.2
- I insisted that you shd be given a free hand & not expected to carry on exactly in the old way if you did not wish to - on the other hand you are the only person who because of your knowledge of the school & your love of Gustav who could at the same time work in well with those who have been so nobly carrying on the great work of Gustav during the last two years. Do go soon to Miss Strudwick & talk it over - because she would like so much to be able to announce it on speech day - July 21


1.  St Paul's Girls' School, London
2.  Howells was being invited to become Director of Music at St Paul’s Girls School in succession to Gustav Holst, a post which he retained until 1962.  Miss Strudwick was the High Mistress; Adine O’Neill was the head music mistress, assisted by Vally Lasker and Nora Day.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS 7832/376 g
General notes: 

Year and month from postmark.

Cobbe 271
Original database number: