Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    Garry Laycock papers and music manuscripts, ca.1960-1988, with additional related papers, 1988-1989
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 8053
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    0.32 metres of textual material (2 boxes)

    Garry Laycock, who performed and wrote original compositions and arrangements under the name Leon Gibbons, was born in Bingara, NSW, on 22 June 1944. After an education at Newcastle Boys' High School and Newcastle University, he spent his early working life teaching music and languages in the Newcastle district and at South Sydney Boys’ High School, where he was Languages Master.

    The development of his musical talent began with the piano accordion at the age of seven. Three years later, his parents enrolled him at the Newcastle Conservatorium to begin piano studies under the tutelage of Joyce Blewitt.

    In 1959, at the age of 15, he was invited with four other Newcastle Conservatorium students, to compose a piece of music to be arranged by John Antill and performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra during a concert for schools. He continued his musical studies towards a performers diploma at the Sydney Conservatorium under Frank Hutchens, Alexander Sverjensky and Gordon Watson.

    In 1977, he joined the Australian Ballet as resident pianist and was concerto soloist for numerous ballet productions, notably Ballanchine’s 'Ballet Imperial' and Grahame Murphy’s 'Beyond Twelve', for which he played the G major concertos of Tchaikovsky and Ravel each evening for a total of 42 performances in 21 days at the Sydney Opera House.

    In 1981, he joined the Australian Opera as repetiteur, performing the daily routine of coaching, rehearsals and pit duties. The Australian Opera gave him the opportunity to do what he liked most of all: accompanying singers. Nothing gave him as much pleasure as the annual Australian Opera benevolent concerts, which allowed him to give expression to his sense of fun and affection for the songs of bygone days.

    During his time with the Australian Opera, he gave numerous concerts and broadcasts, as accompanist and soloist, for other organisations, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Sydney Opera House Trust. His broadcasts included performances at the Sydney Opera House of Herzogenberg’s 'Trio for Piano, Oboe and Horn' Op 62 and his own arrangements of Mendelssohn’s 'Songs without Words'. His arrangements of 'Tiptoe through the Tulips' and 'Lily of Laguna' were broadcast by the Sydney Clarinet Quartet. With conductor Bill Reid and the Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra in 1986, he performed Mozart’s Piano Concert no. 21 in C major K467 in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival. In 1987, he performed with Anthony Warlow in Theatre South’s production of Melvin Morrow’s 'A Song to Sing O'. He also appeared as a pianist in the film 'Burke and Wills'.

    Garry died, after a protracted illness, in Sydney on 15 December 1988.

    Supplied by Paul Bentley, donor of collection
  • Scope and Content
    BOX 1
    1. Programs and reviews featuring Garry Laycock/Leon Gibbons (photocopies), 1973-1988, together with list compiled by Paul Bentley

    2. Original compositions by Garry Laycock/Leon Gibbons, 1960s-1987, arranged in chronological order:

    [1960s]. Macbeth. For Ed Temby. Strange tidings – The theme from Macbeth – Witches music – Sound an alarum – [Title forgotten?] – With evil intent. String quartet; 2 clarinets and viola; 3 trumpets and horn; 3 trumpets and 2 horns; 2 clarinets; 3 trumpets and horn.

    [1960s]. Ronny’s songs / words by Ron Hunter; music by Leon Gibbons. Contents: To be sung at tea – Boys who part – Der Arme Ronny – The old refrain – Demande et response – Pause.

    1968 Aug. Intermezzo. For Margot [Kelly] Bentley. Clarinet and piano.

    1968 Oct. Processional. Dedicated to Mary Feneley and Manuel Lopez. Flute, 2 clarinets and bassoon. Photocopy.

    1971 Nov. The Burbank-Tilssen fanfare/ For Marie Callan and Hans Tiller. Organ.

    1972 Jul. Fanfare on a French folk song. For Max Coombs. 3 trumpets and piano. Photocopy.

    1972 Aug. The House of Mars: fanfare. For Paul Bentley. 3 trumpets.

    1972 Sept. Circular Quay and Dog turds on the footpath: two songs / words by Don Laycock; music by Leon Gibbons. Baritone and piano.

    1978 May. Cancion. Piano

    1978 May. Cubana. For Gordon Watson. Piano. 2 photocopies.

    1978 Jun. Brasileira. Clarinet, violin, viola, cello

    1978 Nov. Noel / words by Hilaire Belloc; music by Leon Gibbons. For Robert Rosen. 2 sopranos and piano. Original ms. and photocopy.

    1978 Nov. The birds / words by Hilaire Belloc; music by Leon Gibbons. For Mary Lithgow. Voices and piano. Original ms. and photocopy.

    1978 Nov. Courtesy / words from a poem by Hilaire Belloc; music by Leon Gibbons. For Margaret Lloyd. Voices and piano.

    1987 Jul. A fairly grand tarantella from a night or two at the opera / by Giacomo Giuseppe Gaetana Gibbon [aka Leon Gibbons]. Piano duet. [Bound with 'My song goes round the world' by Hans May, arranged by Leon Gibbons, Sept. 1987]

    3. Arrangements by Garry Laycock/Leon Gibbons, mostly completed for the Australian Opera annual benefit concerts.

    [Undated]. Advance Australia Fair. String Quartet.

    [Undated]. My hat’s on the side of my head. 3 flutes, alto flute. Original ms. and photocopy.

    1973 Apr. Where have all the flowers gone? For Petersham Girls’ High School choir. Female voices. Photocopy.

    1979 Oct. I must have that man. Oboe, cor anglais, viola, cello. Original ms. and photocopy.

    1979 Oct. You’re getting to be a habit with me / by Harry Warren. For Wendy Jonas. Piano duet. 2 photocopies.

    1979 Nov. She moved through the fair: Irish traditional. Flute and harp.

    1979 Dec. Mean to me / by Turk and Ahlert. Oboe, cor anglais, viola and cello.

    1979 Dec. Santa has an accident: a symphonic poem by Peter Ilyitch Woolfenden; arranged by Leon Gibbons. 2 violins, 2 violas, horn.

    [1980?]. National anthem of the Kingdom of Tonga. Orchestral score.

    1980 May. Two foxtrots / by Irving Berlin. Viola and double bass.

    1980 Jun. Lazybones / by Hoagy Carmichael. 2 oboes and cor anglais.

    1980 Jul. The eyes of the world are on you. Piano duet. Incomplete original ms. and complete photocopy.

    1982 Feb. The Lily of Laguna. For the Sydney Clarinet Quartet. 2 photocopies.

    1983 Aug. Duet of the black Wedgwood teapot and the china teacup / by Maurice Ravel. Arranged for piano, four hands from Ravel’s opera 'L'enfant et les sortileges'

    1983 Sept. Tiptoe through the tulips / by Joe Burke. For the Sydney Clarinet Quartet. Photocopy.

    1984 Dec. Auld lang syne. Small orchestra.

    1985 Jun. Song without words, no. 28 / by Felix Mendelssohn. Oboe, horn and piano. Piano part missing.

    1985 Jun. Song without words, no. 42 / by Felix Mendelssohn. Oboe, horn and piano. Piano part missing.

    1985 Jul. The procession of the nobles from the opera 'Mlada'. By N. Rimsky-Korsakov. Piano, 4 hands. Original ms. and photocopy.

    1986 Aug. Triumphal procession from 'The golden cockerel' by N. Rimsky-Korsakov. Piano, 4 hands.

    1986 Dec. Whispering. Unaccompanied voices [TTB]

    1987 Feb. Deep purple / by Peter de Rose; arr. by Leon Gibbons. Voices [TTBB]. Original ms. and photocopy.

    1987 Feb. You will remember Vienna / by Schoenberger. Piano and voices [TTB]. Bound with the Theme for the NSW Department of Housing [commissioned for television commercial].

    1987 Mar. Body and soul. Voices [TTBB] and optional piano accompaniment.

    1987 Aug. Beyond the blue horizon. For World Discovery Show, act 2. Australian Opera. Vocal score [TTB] and flute part. Bound with Broadway Melody, 1987 Aug. Score for 6 voices.

    1988 Sept. Day and night / Eleni Eifterias. Arrangement for voice and piano. [Commissioned]. Photocopy. Arrangement for chamber orchestra. Photocopy.

    BOX 2
    1. Miscellaneous, incomplete and additional arrangements by Garry Laycock/Leon Gibbons mainly for Australian Opera benefit concerts, including:
    Broadway Melody, By a Sleepy Lagoon, Crying for the Carolines, The Dicky Bird Hop, The Flies Crawled Up the Window, German rounds, Gounod Faust Ballet music, Home Sweet Home, It’s a Song From a Show, Is He an Aussie Is he Lizzie, Me and My Shadow, Mi-a-ou, The Music Goes Round and Round, Oh Sydney I Love You, Piccolo Pete, Portsmouth, Robinson Crusoe, Sam the Old Accordeon Man, San Francisco, Shuffle off to Buffalo, There Ought to Be a Moonlight Saving Time (8 Aug 1986), Ukelele Lady, You Will Remember Vienna, Cole Porter Medley (photocopy), and K-K-K-Katy (3 Jan 1988, photocopy).

    2. Ballet class books. 13 volumes compiled by Garry Laycock when employed as rehearsal pianist with the Australian Ballet.

    3. Folder containing 2 black and white photographs of Garry Laycock (performing with 'A Song to Sing O': Theatre South, and at a rehearsal with the Australian Ballet); typed eulogy given by Paul Bentley at Northern Suburbs Crematorium, 20 Dec 1988; typed address given by Geoff Laycock (father) at Garry Laycock's memorial service, 5 Jan. 1989; newscuttings (photocopied) concerning Laycock's death, 1989.
  • Source
    Presented by Paul Bentley, 2007
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve.
  • Copying Conditions
    Copyright status:: In copyright
    Approval for reproduction required: from copyright owner
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