Unique, extraordinary, joyful and sad, this remarkable musical and personal tribute by literally hundreds of the singers and instrumentalists whose lives had been touched and transformed by Jeffrey Vaughan Martin’s musical inspiration, provided an unforgettable experience for a large audience at Maidstone’s Mote Hall on Sunday 19th March 2017. Congratulations to all those who conceived, organised and performed in ‘Celebrating Jeffrey’.
Here are some memories of the day (courtesy of Helen Cooper):
Jeffrey Vaughan Martin was one of the best-known and most influential musicians/educators in Kent: founder of the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra, Maidstone Youth, Music Society (MYMS), The Maidstone Singers and Jupiter Workshop Projects; Music Director of Maidstone Choral Union and West Malling Community Choir; Specialist Music Inspector in Kent; and many other groups and responsibilities for over 45 years. Jeffrey’s influence on the musical lives of thousands of people, young and old, is incalculable; through innovation, ideas and sheer energy, Jeffrey made a difference, creating extraordinary opportunities for generations of musicians. Jeffrey’s sudden death in April shocked everyone who knew him and a few weeks later hundreds of former pupils, colleagues and friends paid tribute at a memorial service in All Saints Church, Maidstone. This was a chance to remember Jeffrey through the music that he loved.
The music included great JVM favourites such as: Gallimaufrey – Woolfenden, Dambusters’ March – Coates, Finlandia – Sibelius, Movements from ‘The Armed Man’ – Jenkins
There were performances by MYMS, KYWO, Maidstone Choral Union, The Maidstone Singers, West Malling Community Choir and special guest soloists including former Kent students Paul Beniston (Principal trumpet, LPO) and Fraser Bowles (‘cello). Percussion legend Evelyn Glennie, who performed her first professional engagement with KYWO conducted by JVM back in 1985, had filmed a performance of her marimba piece ‘A Little Prayer’ especially for the concert. The ‘JVM All Stars Orchestra and Band’ also played.
The proceeds from the concert will be used to establish The Jeffrey Vaughan Martin bursary which will be used to support young instrumental musicians.