Shena Fraser

Composer, Pianist and Violinist

  • BORN 26th May 1910, Stirling, Scotland
  • DIED 1993
  • WORKED London, and UK

MUSIC

SOUND FILES COMING SOON!

Title:  Sea Lullaby
Scientist: NORA MILLER
Words by: Eugene Field
Written in: c. 1973
For: Piano and Unison or Solo Soprano Voice
Performed by: Margaret Cameron (mezzo) and Frances M Lynch (piano)
Published by: Thames Publishing, 1973

The words of this gorgeous lullaby have been slightly adapted to illustrate the story of Marine Biologist Nora Miller whose mother was a really wonderful singer – she studied with Hubert Parry. I imagine her singing to the young Nora about her future at sea. The first performance in this version took place at The Engine Shed, Stirling, on September 18th 2018.

Title:  Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Astronomers 3)
Scientist: MARY SOMERVILLE, CAROLINE HERSCHEL, WILLIAMINA FLEMING 
Words by: Eugene Field
Written in: c. 1954
For: Piano and Two Part Choir or soprano and alto duet
Performed by: Margaret Cameron (mezzo) and Frances M Lynch (soprano and piano)
Premiered by: This version was premiered by Frances M Lynch, but we don’t know about the original
Published by: Oxford University Press, 1954

The words have been adapted very slightly to fit our project! So the 3 fishermen named in the title become Somerville, Herschel and Fleming, 3 Astronomers. The voices of the moon and stars are given special electronic treatment to add to the dreamlike quality of this charming song, and an extra part created for the 3rd astronomer to speak. It was first performed in this version for the Herschel Museum in Bath on August 1st 2018.

Education

She went away to Queen Margaret’s School in Scarborough and then studied at the Royal College of Music in London – Herbert Howells was her composition teacher.

Occupations

Fraser worked freelance it seems all her life as:
Composer
Lecturer
Adjudicator
Accompanist
Publisher
Music Theory writer

She also wrote 3 books of aural training which are still published, and very useful!

MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS

Her final piano recital from RCM at Grotrian Hall, London in 1934 would have been a highlight for her.

In 1982 she formed a music publishing partnership with Yvonne Enoch known as Fraser-Enoch Publications specialising in piano and choral music.

Her music was performed widely and broadcast on National Television and at venues like the Royal Festival Hall in London – all of which would have been thrilling.

DID YOU KNOW?

She often composed under the pseudonym Sebastian Scott. She was married to a brewery director – Laurence Neame – and had three sons, one daughter and four grandchildren.

AN INSPIRING WOMAN

She wrote a great deal for children and choirs, especially women’s voices, and worked hard to introduce new music in the repertoire. She was involved in the Women’s Institute and started a choir for them, which won festivals!

Links

  

Links to some of Shena Fraser’s published works: