Obituary: Norwich music critic and army musician
PUBLISHED: 16:11 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:41 08 April 2020
Gifted writer and musician Joseph Seely, who performed across the country in his regiment’s band before becoming a classical music reviewer, has died aged 89.
Mr Seely was born in Norwich in 1930 and studied at the City of Norwich School before working in a number of jobs in the city centre.
Later he signed up for national service and chose the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) regiment where he completed basic medical training before studying intensively as a musician.
During his five years national service, Mr Seely, who played the flute and piccolo, was not called up for service and performed with the RAMC band throughout England.
The band could be heard from time to time on the BBC Home Service and Mr Seely was credited once as a soloist in the Radio Times, but under a misspelt name.
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After returning to Norwich in the 50s, Mr Seely became a commercial estate agent for Percy Howes in the Cathedral Close, who encouraged him to finish his education, and moved through a number of other agencies, finishing with Temples in London Street.
In the 70s, Mr Seely approached the EDP and secured a slot as a classical music reviewer, attending concerts in venues such as the Theatre Royal across the city centre.
His writing charted the progression of technology as, at the start of Mr Seely’s reviewing career, he would typewrite the critiques and send it in an envelope, while later on, he would write reviews direct into computers at the EDP office on Rouen Road on the same night as the concert.
Mr Seely also wrote a weekly column for the East Anglian Daily Times where he would preview the following week’s output from BBC Radio 3 and recommend certain composers and, as an editor of Norwich’s Chamber of Commerce magazine, interviewed John Major and predicted he would become the next prime minister.
He also ran a course at Wensum Lodge teaching people how to write for profit and pleasure
Mr Seely died aged 89 at the James Paget Hospital on April 4 following a long illness.
He is survived by three sons, four grand-children and his second wife, Susan.
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