What do the Reid Concert programmes look like?

  The Reid Concert programmes were printed in a variety of formats from single pages printed on one or two sides; a single sheet folded to give four sides of print space up to 24- and even 56-page booklets with full analytical programme notes.  The programmes occasionally included brief information about the composers within the programme note but the emphasis was always on the work itself.  Simple programmes were produced for the Historical concerts between 1894 and 1915, many with just a list of works and some with a short introductory essay on the topic of the programme. They very rarely gave any information about the performers other than their names.  Sometimes there was a list of orchestra members and sometimes chorus members.  From 1841 to 1845 (with the exception of 1844 when there was no concert) and from 1866 to1891 there was at least one annual concert and one or two additional 'Reid Festival Concerts' organised by Professor Oakeley.   The Halle orchestra travelled from Manchester to give the annual Reid Concert each year from 1869 to 1891 and programme books were printed with notes by Professor Oakeley and George Grove.  For the first few years they were small in size as we see in the picture at the front in green, blue, beige and lilac and then they were printed in a larger format as seen here in grey green and red (at the front - 1884)     There were six Historical concerts in the season 1894-95, falling to five and by 1900-01 season, only four, and these programmes from 1894 onwards usually included a list of the other concerts being presented in the University during the academic year.  With the establishment of the Reid Orchestra in 1916-17 the number of programmes gradually rose to eight symphony concerts each season under the direction of Reid Professor, Donald Francis Tovey.  The programme books for his concert were extensive and can be seen in the picture below as the large grey items with the University crest or an image of General Reid. During the war due to the shortage of paper the programmes were printed on a single sheet and from the 1950s to the 1970s the programmes were usually printed on a single sheet in booklet format.  This format of one or two sheets of folded A4 printed programmes continued until the printing costs became prohibitive in the 1980s and the format reverted to one or two single sheets, printed as required on one or two sides, prepared on a stencil and run off by hand before the advent of photocopiers.  Examples (of photocopied programmes) are shown in the middle of the picture, one A4 turquoise and one A4 white.   The programmes today in 2014 are beautifully printed using modern technologies in an illustrated A5 size.

This is a selection of surplus programmes and brochures that give a picture of the different styles and sizes of Reid Concert programmes from the 1860s to 2012.  The Centre for Research Collections in the University of Edinburgh houses an archive set and a consultation set of Reid concert programmes with some gaps during the 1850s and 1860s.