In the summer of 1949 a festival of British music took place in Cheltenham. It was an imaginative event, featuring music by many of Britain’s established and younger composers, setting Vaughan Williams and Bax alongside Rubbra, Rawsthorne and Rowley. One of the highlight events was an appearance by the Hallé with Barbirolli. To open their programme they chose Ireland’s tone poem Mai-Dun. In the same concert listeners heard the Folk-Song Fantasy for String Orchestra by Richard Hall and the first performance of Gordon Jacob’s Symphonic Suite, with Elgar’s Symphony No.1 the final work.