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Half and Half, the Memoirs of a Charity Brat, 1908-1989
Charles Nalden

Tauranga: Moana Press, 1989 softcover, 146mm x 210mm, 450pp. B/w photos.

"Half and Half" relates of a lifetime that is foreign to most people. Dr Charles Nalden, who retired as Professor of Music at Auckland University, was one of thousands of English children raised at London's Foundling Hospital. It is published on the 250th anniversary of the hospital's founding (1739).

It is a fascinating story that has Dickensian overtones. Nalden was born in 1902 and abandoned by his mother at three weeks old to be raised in the sequestered and monastic lifestyle of the Foundling Hospital. In his early teens, like many other foundling boys, he was 'offered' a position in one of Britain's army bands. From there he rose to be bandmaster, and it was during this period of his life that he grained successive academic qualifications, culminating in the conferment of a Doctorate in Music by the University of London. He then took the plunge to emigrate in order to take up a lectureship at Auckland University in New Zealand.

His work in New Zealand has been innovative (such as the leading role he played in the establishment of that country's first conservatorium of music), and influential to a marked degree. He is thus able to count many colleagues and past students among his close friends.

To mark his retirement he was elected Professor Emeritus by his University, and awarded the CBE, 'for services to music' - a long way from the small boy who seldom saw the outside world beyond the walls of the institution for illegitimate children in London's Brunswick Square.

Light creases at spine and minimum age discolouration, overall in very good condition.
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  • Seller location: Waitakere City, Auckland, NZ

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