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English composer Ernest Tomlinson was born in Rawtenstall on 19 September 1924. He sang as a chorister at Manchester Cathedral, and studied at Manchester University and the Royal Manchester College of Music (interrupted by serving in the Royal Air Force at the end of World War II). Moving to London, he worked as a staff arranger for Arcadia and Mills Music Publishers, writing music for radio, TV, recording studios and the stage. He was also organist at a church in Mayfair.
His work was first broadcast by the BBC in 1949, and he later formed his own orchestra, the Ernest Tomlinson Light Orchestra. He also founded the Northern Concert Orchestra, with which he performed and broadcast, and was musical director of the Chingford Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society and the Rossendale Male Voice Choir.
Tomlinson was known mostly for his light orchestral music - overtures, suites, rhapsodies, miniatures and English folkdance arrangements. He also wrote in the symphonic jazz idiom, and produced concertos, an opera, a ballet and works for choirs, brass bands and wind bands.
He died on 12 June 2015, aged ninety.