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Charles Ancliffe

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Charles Ancliffe (1880–1952) was an Irish born composer of light music, chiefly remembered for his marches and waltzes.
Charles Ancliffe was born in Kildare, Ireland, the son of an army bandmaster. After studying at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, he followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a bandmaster himself. From 1900 to 1918 he was Bandmaster of the First Battalion, South Wales Borderers, seeing much service in India. During this period he wrote many popular pieces of music including marches such as The Liberators, and Castles in Spain. He also composed dozens of short genre pieces, often styled 'intermezzo' or 'entr'acte', several songs and ingeniously titled suites such as Below Bridges. which had the titles Wapping Old Stairs, Poplar and Stepney Church, — all London bridges.
Around the time of the First World War Ancliffe composed many waltzes, and it is mainly for these that he is remembered. These included Hesitation, Alpine Echoes, and Smiles Then Kisses, the titles reflecting the age in which they were written. Several of these enjoyed renewed popularity with the fashion for ‘olde-tyme dancing’ after World War II.
It was for Nights of Gladness, written in 1912, that Ancliffe became most famous. The waltz became so popular all over the world that in later years the BBC named a long-running series of light music programmes after it, using it as the signature tune
More than a hundred years after it was written it is still to be found included on many CD compilations of light music, played by notable orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
After leaving the services Charles Ancliffe was a regular conductor of the Scarborough Military Band, and was also a frequent guest conductor of his own works on BBC Radio.