chapter
William Walton
Pages 19

Both of Walton’s parents were singers, and at an early age he exhibited a strong sense of melody and pitch. These talents enabled him to win a scholarship as chorister in the Christ Church Cathedral Choir at Oxford, where he remained from 1912 to 1918. When his family’s income declined during World War I, Dr. Thomas Strong, dean of Christ Church and the first of William’s many benefactors, paid the fees not covered by the scholarship. Here Walton began to compose a miscellany of vocal works, without instruction, but did not receive a degree because of repeated deficiencies in academic studies.