Joseph Herbert Hopson (continued)

Date published: 06/10/2013
© Newbury Weekly News









The news of Joseph Hopson's death will come as a grievous blow, not only to his particular friends and associates, but to the whole widespread circle of music-lovers in the district, of which he was so long and firmly at the core. It is difficult to realise that less than two short months ago he was standing before a large audience at the Corn Exchange, the central figure at the Jubilee of the orchestra which had been his chief interest for fifty years. There was little on that occasion to indicate that he was in failing health. He was in his accustomed place, and endured not only the physical strain of two long concerts, but the even greater mental one of conquering his natural diffidence and returning thanks for his presentation in an inspiring and well-chosen speech. Only those who stood in nearest relationship to him felt any anxiety, and though they breathed a sigh of relief when the proceedings were over, the greatest impression was that of a hero of the occasion, fully enjoying a well-merited success.



Could one wish it otherwise? Joseph Hopson's greatest enthusiasm was music, and he had worked at it for fifty years. He nurtured it in this town with the same care that he bestowed on his favourite plants, and saw it grow from a little thing into a strong shoot, and finally blossom into a full and brilliant flower. And so, in his bloom, he left it.



It is easy to say and write sad things; but it is not in the spirit of Joseph Hopson. There was in his character a certain indomitable quality that left him ever to look forward rather than back. Among the many musical societies in the district, there is not one but feels both deeply and personally his loss, that misses his talent, his presence, and his sage and kindly advice. Shocked as all will be at the swiftness of his passing, there will be added to the expressions of sympathy for his relatives that flow in from all sides, a note of admiration for his courage- for at the Jubilee festival he was a very sick man- and of relief that both he and they were spared the distress of a long illness. Nor need the sadness of his going obscure the clear purport of the message that he left us – to carry on. At the eve of what was one of his favourite activities, the Operatic Week, the sense of loss will be brought home to many with double force, but so also, as a tribute to his memory, will be the stimulus to carry through the enterprise in a manner worthy of former years.


Between those that love it, music exerts an extraordinary tie, and through its language is created a sympathy that can be reached by no other means. The present writer is indebted to Joseph Hopson for an interest that seems likely to outlast all others. It is with feeling that what is written here will be in the minds of the many members of that Society which for so long was his especial care, that it is penned over the customary signature.




Newbury Weekly News 23 January 1930

Sources:Newbury Weekly News23 January 1930

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