Bill Worland

Bill Worland


Bill Worland (1921-2011) was born in London and was trained as a classical musician, but soon after leaving school started playing with light orchestras such as Cecil Barker’s band, a regular feature of the Summer Season at the Broadstairs Pavilion throughout the 1950s and 60s, and the East Kent Light Orchestra (of which we know nothing – any information would be gratefully received!).

He moved to Kent in the 1960s, and composed many works for the BBC, but was aghast when in 1967 they cut the whole Light Programme (the forerunner of Radio 2) and several individual programmes focusing on light music. He continued campaigning, together with the Light Music Society, on behalf of this genre’s many fans, and now at last it seems to be back in favour.


Although they are occasionally hard to find, several CDs of Bill’s music are available, including one featuring the Broadstairs Suite performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic under LMS director Gavin Sutherland, and Tres Señoritas, which is in the Naxos library, meaning that anyone with a Kent Libraries Card (possibly other areas too) can listen to the whole CD free online. The CDs contain very interesting and informative booklets. The Broadstairs Suite was only given its UK première in 2014, in Broadstairs with Thanet Light Orchestra. It was a couple of years after Bill's death, but two of his children were able to attend - see videos below.

A further assessment of his work can be found on the British Classical Music site.

Bill also published a somewhat 'controversial' memoir, “Fumble Four Bars In”, in 1997, but it is not generally available as it was produced by vanity publishers Minerva Press (who apparently went bust, becoming Upfront Publishing, then Fast Print/Athena, then Print on Demand Worldwide).

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