There was already a Song Book before 1969 but Rod Harries and I decided it needed to be updated:
Soon after we created the Physics Dept Choir and introduced a more ambitious style of music to the school assemblies it became apparent that we really needed a more ambitious version of the Linwood High School Song Book, too. I cannot recall exactly how it came about, but I can recall sitting at the table in Kit’s dining/music room with copies of the LHS Song Book, and my full music version hymnal. We proceeded to disembowel the hymnal, reassembling selected parts of it into what was to become the Linwood High School Choir Book. To this Kit added in autograph a number of rounds and other songs, as well as descants to many of the hymns.
He got the assembled results printed as an A5 booklet. It was clear that his booklet would not last very long without a cover. I knew that the school had large numbers of a General Science textbook which was not only going out of use, but also had good stout covers somewhat larger then the Choir Book. Lester Davison, who, as always, had the required practical skills, offered to conduct a mass bookbinding class. So we assembled the necessary equipment and a team of choir members and set about removing covers from the General Science texts, cutting them down to size, and fitting them to the Choir Books. It was quite amusing to see the choir singing from these books which still carried the title “General Science”.
Later Kit organised a second edition of the Choir Book with card covers.
The main purpose of this choir book was to involve choir orchestra and band in the morning assemblies. While the choir led the singing for the rest of the school, the orchestra and band took it in turns to accompany them. The band was in the happy situation of having most of the hymns already arranged for it.
One of the biggest jobs for me after the completion of the Choir Book was to arrange as many of the hymns as possible for the orchestra. This was before the time of copying machines and so I had to write all parts by a hand and often several examples of the same part. It was also important to have one instrument able to play the descant, which was often sung in the last verse, not because it needed doubling, but so as to teach it to the sopranos in the short practice before the assembly. The sopranos knew most of the melodies of the hymns by heart and so used only the "old" song book, a pocket sized collection of texts. For this reason I wrote a special tiny booklet for the sopranos which would fit in their pockets alongside the song book:
While making the Choir book, we filled in all "empty" places with rounds (R) and as maths teachers we were not averse to singing them when we needed a break from difficult calculations. One favourite in this context was: