*NURSERY RHYME OVERTURE op.335 (September 1984)

A children's concert work for orchestra (and guessing game)
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Commissioned by: Raymond Gubbay

2 flutes-both doubling piccs, 1 oboe, 2 clarinets-2nd doubling bass clarinet, 1 bassoon. 

(Alternative woodwind scoring:  2 flutes-both doubling piccs, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet in B flat, 2 bassoons)

- 2 horns in F, 1 trumpet in B flat, 1 trombone - 2 percussion players playing: timps/tgl/tamb/SD/BD/glsp/bird warbler/susp.cym/song bells/sleigh bells/tpl.bl/guiro/chimes/cyms - harp - strings

[Key to Abbreviations]
Duration: 8 mins
First Performance: Howard Blake, City Hall, St.Albans, Sinfonia of London, 26 October 1984.
Sheet Music Available
Full score for sale
Study score for sale
Orchestral parts for sale
Full score for hire
Study score for hire
Orchestral parts for hire
Recordings Available

GRANPA CD first released on CBS/SONY HB1 1988 (deleted 1993)

To be re-released April 2006. Highbridge Music CD 6002 (under license from SME Subsidiary BV) as item on CD titled 'Granpa'


The 'Nursery Rhyme Overture' contains 18 well-known tunes;one appears in 2 different places and 2 others are played simultaneously.

A jumbled list is given to the audience and a prize awarded to the first person to place them in the correct order. It is 'a childrens' guessing game for orchestra' and was suggested by Raymond Gubbay and originally created to be performed in his concerts.


13th September 2013
- 15th September 2013
Hong-Kong Sinfonietta, Hong-Kong City Hall (5 performances)
12th July 2009 Northern Sinfonia, cond: Tim Redmond, Sands Centre Carlisle
7th January 2007 CPO conducted by the composer, Corn Exchange Cambridge
11th November 2006 Peoria Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Commonday, Peoria, Illinois, USA
6th September 2006 The Prairie Ensemble, cond. Kevin Kelly, Faith United Methodist Church,Champaign, Illinois, USA. 2 performances
2nd January 2006 Northern Sinfonia, The Sage Gateshead
20th December 2005 Norwich Philharmonic Society, St Andrew's Hall Norwich
26th October 1984 Sinfonia of London / Howard Blake, City Hall, St Albans (first performance)


'This overture cleverly tests children's skill in identifying all the rhymes used whilst demanding of them the utmost concentration to accomplish this.'

Which Compact Disc?, 1/3/1989

Related Autobiography Chapters


[Back to top]