History

THE BIRTH OF THE BFS

Trevor WyeFrom the Founder of the BFS, Trevor Wye:

The idea of a BFS was born in June 1969 but took longer to start due largely to a lack of interest among many of my orchestral colleagues. During the 1970's, the idea was tossed around from time to time but on meeting Don Close, one of the managers of Boosey and Hawkes, he encouraged me to arrange a meeting at the B&H factory hall in Edgware.

I wrote to about 150 players, teachers and enthusiasts around the UK, inviting them to the first meeting on 22nd May, 1982 to discuss the formation of a society. As a result of that meeting, a Steering Committee was formed and a first Committee meeting was held on June 5th, 1982. It was agreed that the society would officially begin on the 1st January, 1983.

Christopher Hyde-Smith was voted our first Chairman, who encouraged a spirit of openness and friendliness amongst a Committee with widely differing views, a remarkable achievement. John Francis, at whose house the meetings were held, was the Secretary and he later married the first Editor of Pan, Lorna Lewis. James Galway accepted the Committee's invitation to become our first President and both he and a number of famous soloists generously gave their services at a series of London Flute days held at the Guildhall School of Music and at the Royal College of Music. A number of contributions were also received by British publishers and instrument companies, which soon put us in a healthy financial position. Christopher was succeeded by Edward Blakeman, who carried on the good work, as have Susan Milan and Douglas Townsend, Kenneth Bell, Atarah Ben-Tovim and Wissam Boustany.

The first meeting at B&H was chaired by me, until a Steering Committee was voted for. Nominations and volunteers were asked for at that meeting and voted in. As Founder, I preferred to step aside at this point, but agreed to be on the steering committee.

A Chairman was nominated and the committee met and selected a Council:

Christopher Hyde-Smith: Chair
John Francis: Secretary
Tony Bingham: Treasurer
Margaret Pether: Membership Secretary
Lorna Lewis: Editor Pan
Trevor Wye: Assistant Editor
Ian Christie: Publicity Officer
Malcolm Pollock: Education Representative
Russel Parry: Flute Clubs Representative
Albert Cooper: Flute Industry Representative
William Bennett: Flute Concerts Representative
Simon Hunt: Librarian
Susan Bruce: Honorary Legal Advisor and Solicitor

The BFS was the first post war European flute society and has resulted in similar societies being formed in Germany, France, Italy, Finland, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland and Hungary. Our first offshoot was born on January 1st 1989, Flutewise, which was originally the junior section of the BFS, but now a flourishing and independently run organization.

Trevor Wye