Sandrey Date obituary

Other Lives: Librarian who was a pillar of Bournemouth’s classical music scene

My friend Sandrey Date, who has died aged 76, spent his entire working life as a music librarian in Bournemouth, from which base he was a bedrock of the musical life of the local community.

For many years he served on the board that managed the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and he was also a longstanding member of the committee of the Bournemouth Chamber Music Society, for which he was concerts secretary and musical adviser.

Sandrey was born in Bournemouth, to Nora (nee Poole) and William Date, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy. He went on a musical exhibition to Winchester college, where he demonstrated his talent on the cello and piano and joined the chapel choir, before a choral scholarship took him to Exeter College, Oxford.

After university he took up a job as the first professional librarian at the Camm music library in Bournemouth, one of the country’s oldest public music libraries.

It was the perfect job for him, and he loved it. His sterling work further enhanced the library’s reputation, and under his stewardship it became one of the first public libraries to receive an excellence award from the International Association of Music Libraries. From a personal point of view his position also allowed him to develop a high profile in the musical life of the local area, to which he willingly gave his services and encyclopedic knowledge over five decades.

After retirement from the Camm library in 2009 he was invited to join the Wessex Young Musicians Trust, supporting the musical development of young people in the west of England, and became its chair in 2012. He also joined the Sir George Dyson Trust, which provides grants for musical projects, and took on the role of national treasurer in 2017. Additionally he was a member and trustee of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, to which he was music adviser, from 1966 until his death.

A quiet, kindly, remarkable man, he was always generous with his time and prodigious expertise. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn (nee Monks), whom he married in 1975.

Richard Blackford

The GuardianTramp

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