The story of the WMA
It began life in 1936 when five London Labour Choirs met to perform together at a time when the world was hurtling towards a struggle to contain the menace of fascism; embodied in the conflict of the Spanish Civil War; the development of the holocaust; wholesale genocide, and the suppression of human spirit.
Alan Bush, (whose photo you see at the top of the first page,) with the support of many like-minded people founded the WMA as a response to those conditions and seeing the need for a body to be the spiritual home of Workers who could express their hopes and wishes through music, about the way the world should be. Alan’s life story can be read elsewhere, but given what has been written here so far it ought not to be a surprise that the Objects of the WMA are as set out below.
The WMA is dedicated to encourage the composition and performance of music with special regard to:-
Music which expresses the ideals and aims of mankind towards the improved organisation of society.
Any individual or group who supports these objectives is eligible for WMA membership.
The WMA Summer School Of Music
Several Trade Unions have funded Scholarships for their members to attend this school and we have been pleased by this association with the Trade Union movement.
Songs of Peace and Freedom.
Production of music
Currently we are looking at the song books for which the WMA has copyright, as well as sheet music which might be of interest to members for which copyright has expired and formerly held by non-WMA organisations. The 'Shuttle and Cage' (Ewan McColl) songbook of industrial Ballads will be published in a reprint shortly.
This policy would help to make available a wealth of music echoing the traditions of the Labour Movement through history and advancing those ideas into the present day This will take a little time to organise, but it is something we intend to pursue. We need to work out cost implications both in the production costs and also the value of the copyright we hold. We would have to print a catalogue giving the contents where we decide on publishing CD's too, so that people will know what is there. This an example of ideas we are exploring to seek to enhance opportunities for our members to improve access to music and to enjoy making it.
But not only music from the past is available. Current members write songs and compose music of all kinds. Some of these deal with issues of today. One platform for these compositions is an annual ‘Composers’ Concert’.
The Annual ‘Composers’ Concert’
In some towns and cities there are choirs affiliated to the WMA and who share the values and beliefs embodied in our ‘aims and objects’. A reference to these choirs is on the page headed "Radical Choirs" click here now if you wish to see the list..
Out current vice-presidents are
Past Vice-Presidents have included.
Other figures have contributes to the past work of the WMA.
For example:- John Hasted, Eric Winter, (others from the list above will be added) and this site will be developing moments in history describing all these and other activities involving the WMA.
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