(Miss Parkinson was Music Mistress at Wirral Grammar School for Girls for thirty years, until 1972. During her career, her Choir won the Llangollen International Eisteddfod no less than six times in the Ladies’ Choral Section, three times in the international radio feature ‘Let the People Sing’ and twice represented Gt. Britain in the ‘International Choral Competition’. After her retirement, Miss Parkinson continued with her interest in choral conducting, moving on to mixed-voice choirs and has continued to do so even into her 90s.)
The name of Charles Scarratt is a legend in the history of choral singing in Birkenhead and Wirral. With his great enthusiasm for, and his special ability in the training of choirs, he joins the ranks of other famous Merseyside musicians of his time, such as Caleb Jarvis, Tom Lloyd, Stainton Taylor, Dr. J. E. Wallace, all notables of the highest calibre.
Although our paths rarely crossed, I still remember him as a man of great talent and musical integrity, passing on his zest and love of choral singing to what could be hundreds of choristeCharles autographrs over the years
What then was the secret of his success? Certainly, great musicianship and the ability to pass on his knowledge and the benefit of his experience to others. An infectious enthusiasm and a broad-minded approach to, and appreciation of, the various styles of music with which he dealt – all these were factors in his success.
His high standard of attainment enabled him to share his experiences with a wider audience than that of Merseyside: both the Cammell Laird Male Voice Choir and the Birkenhead Male Voice choir had a number of broadcasts with BBC Radio [or ‘wireless’ as it was then called].
Certainly Charles Scarratt was a great man, a splendid trainer of choirs and a brilliant and much-loved musician.
Doris Parkinson, 2007
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