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Quotes and anecdotes

Trouser Catastrophe

Maurice Jacobson’s lack of personal pomposity was abundantly evident in an incident in March 1963 when, conducting a choir of 400 children at Lincoln festival, his trousers sank to his knees and, while clutching desperately with one hand, he carried on conducting with the other but then had to struggle to the rostrum rail and sit on it, albeit still conducting the now near-hysterical children. The cause was not all that funny, in fact. On the way to King’s Cross station for his train to Lincoln, a car cut across the front of his taxi, forcing the driver to brake sharply; MJ banged his nose, and the blood flowed on to his suit and best shirt. Hence the trouble with the temporary replacements

MJ not only took it in very good part - "I’m in good company, it once happened to Sir Thomas Beecham" - but was also exasperatedly amused to show a sheaf of press cuttings about the incident from all over the world, even in Japanese. In addition, ever afterwards, his study displayed the original of a Daily Mail cartoon referring to it, by Emmwood.

Tributes on the Occasion of the Festival’s 70th Anniversary from:

Past Performers 

Sir Neville Mariner


"The Lincoln Festival of 1936 was virtually the beginning of my serious career in music. Through the goodwill of adjudicator Armstrong Gibbs, I was invited to the Royal College – and the rest is history. I would be grateful to be kept in touch with the festival in future."

"With gratitude for what it did for me!"

Sir Neville Marriner Violinist and Founder Conductor, Academy of St Martin in the Fields


Robert Sharpe


"The Festival retains a special place in my affections having been the first opportunity for me to perform in front of others.  I well remember taking part in the Piano Bach competition, and the organ competition as well as hearing many others play.  It is fair to say that the Festival certainly helped me considerably at the start of my career, with eloquent adjudicators sharpening up my self-critical faculties and supportive audiences helping me learn how to perform under pressure.  I am immensely grateful that the Festival is still thriving and that I had the opportunity to take part in it in the 1980s."

"Congratulations to all, and with every best wish."

Robert Sharpe Director of Music, York Minster

Alexander Anderson-Hall   

"I have very fond memories of the festival which for me opened up new opportunities and contacts leading to studying at the Royal College of Music and my continuing career as a professional Opera singer - that was more than 20 years ago."

"I wish you all the best for your festival."

Alexander Anderson-Hall Operatic Tenor

Other past performers who have gone on to make a career in the arts include:

  • Jane Eaglen Operatic Soprano 
  • David Greed Leader, Orchestra of Opera North 
  • Amanda Morrison Soprano and Accompanist 
  • Ruth Morley Flautist 
  • Christopher Newport Horn Player, London Mozart Players 
  • Mark Newport Pianist, Musical Director “Les Miserables” 
  • Ashley Wass Artistic Director, Lincoln & Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival
And not forgetting a young lady who performed in piano classes as Margaret Roberts. The experience must have stood her in good stead as she went on to become Britain’s first woman Prime Minister as Margaret Thatcher.

Local Celebrities

Colin McFarlane


"When I was told that the Lincoln Music and Drama Festival was celebrating its 70th year, I was both surprised and impressed by the length of its history! It restores your faith to know events like this have played and continue to play an important role in your local area. As well as uncovering and nurturing talent, it’s also a wonderful way of bringing people together both young and old to share their love of the arts and have fun! Inspiring and entertaining in equal measure, I wish the Festival even more success in its celebration year; long may both it and its benefits continue to flourish! "

Colin McFarlane Commissioner Loeb in “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” 

Kelly Adams


"People don't realise when they turn on the telly or listen to the radio how much they are touched and affected by the arts on a daily basis. I am forever in awe of the people who strive to perfect that grade eight piece, who can make an Ee feel as good as an Ah and who can entrance an audience with the most simple narrative tone. Perfect your passion and your craft for yourself, then share it."

"Best wishes and good luck."

Kelly Adams - Emma Kennedy in “Hustle” on BBC1. Previously in “Holby City” and “Doctors”. Former pupil of North Kesteven School