In 1947 while the German city of Bonn was still in ruins, its British military administrators sought a partnership with a British city which would support its reconstruction and promote peace and understanding with its citizens. Oxford was enthusiastic and a link with Bonn began which continues to this day. Initially visits between the cities were largely limited to civic delegations but at the end of the 1960s Bonn, by then capital of West Germany, started to expand this exchange to include other organisations and in 1971 held its first ‘Oxford week in Bonn’. Oxford reciprocated with ‘Bonn week’ which alternated every two years with the ‘Oxfordwoche’ in Bonn.Continue Reading
After the unexpected and overwhelming success of the Harmonic’s first performance of Messiah in 1943 it soon became an annual event for the choir and ‘an Oxford “occasion” for which the Society was best known’. The 1943 performances were in Lent but thereafter it was usually performed in the run-up to Christmas in the Town Hall on Sunday afternoons with ‘Tea and Refreshments obtainable in the long interval’.
In the space of two years all the glee went out of the Iffley Glee Club. It was formed in 1921, changed its name to Iffley Choral Society in 1923 and, after another rethink, became the Oxford Harmonic Society in 1924. (Oxford Mail, 1986)
The name change from Glee Club to Choral Society reflected its rapidly growing size and the appointment of its first regular conductor, Reginald Jacques. The subsequent change from Iffley to Oxford is explained in a review of June 1924:
The Oxford Harmonic Society is an old friend under a new name – the married name so to speak, of the Iffley Choral Society, for having taken into partnership a considerable body of singers from the city, and found a local habitation also within the boundaries of Oxford, it was felt that the latter name would be a truer expression of the main geographical source of membership.Continue Reading