MYMS is closed TODAY [Friday 21 October] AND NEXT WEEK [Friday 28 October].

We re-open on Friday 4 November.

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MYMS – 1. Half Term Arrangements 2. Subscriptions

Our rehearsals on Friday 14 October 2016 will be our last until Friday 4 November.  As Invicta GS has a two-week half-term break, MYMS will be closed on Fridays 21 and 28 October 2016.

Rehearsals for the Alpha Band will be returning with immediate effect to the ground floor classroom in the Orchard Block, rather than the Sixth Form Common Room.

MYMS Subscriptions for the 2016-17 academic year are due by 31 October 2016.  Thank you to all those of you who have already paid.

PLEASE NOTE: Individual membership is £140 if paid before the end of October, when it will rise to £160.

Family membership [for two or more family members ] is £240 if paid before the end of October, when it rises to £270.

Subscriptions and completed membership forms myms-membership-forms-september-2016 can be posted to:

Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager, 16 Sycamore Crescent, Allington, MAIDSTONE, ME16  0AG.


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MYMS New Year Under Way

The new academic year at MYMS is now under way and a very warm welcome to all players and parents, both our established members and our new ones.

Attached here are:

Please download them.

If you have any questions, please contact Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager, either by email on  or by mobile on 07802-425022.

We are recruiting new players to all our ensembles.  We would be delighted to welcome you to MYMS, held at Invicta GS on Fridays after school.  Come for a FREE taster session or two – you’ll have great fun.

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MYMS Summer Concerts – Bandstand and Invicta

ENORMOUS CONGRATULATIONS to all the players and staff who took part in our two end-of-summer term concerts at the Brenchley Gardens Bandstand and at Invicta GS.

Two very successful concerts, both extremely well attended and including tributes to our founder Jeffrey Vaughan Martin.

On this occasion, I can best sum up the reaction of the audience by quoting an email I received on Friday from Mrs Julie Derrick, Headteacher of Invicta GS:

“Congratulations on a wonderful concert. I thoroughly enjoyed every piece. You have done a superb job this year in developing such a talented group of students. They were all an absolute credit to you – not only in their musical ability, but their conduct and professionalism. You should be rightfully very proud. Please do pass on my thanks to your students and staff.”

Well done everyone.

Remember that we restart after the summer break on Friday 9 September 2016 at 4:15.  Do encourage your musical friends to join MYMS and bring them along with you next term.

Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager


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MYMS – Rehearsal, Bandstand Concert, Summer Concert, 2nd General Meeting, Future Dates

We have a couple of complicated weeks coming up during which I will need your help and understanding.

Rehearsals on Friday [17 June]

On Friday 17 June, Invicta GS are holding their Alumni Event throughout the afternoon and early evening, which is celebrating their 75th Anniversary as a school and 50th anniversary on this site.

As a consequence, MYMS cannot use the main Hall, the Canteen, the Drama Studio and the main school entrance.

We will use the Orchard Block as our main base and everyone will have to enter the school using the underpass under the main block from the bottom car park.

PLEASE DO NOT USE THE SCHOOL’S MAIN ENTRANCE TO GET TO MYMS – we are hoping to have signposts to help you use the alternative route to the Orchard Block

The good news - MYMS Voices [massed choir AND core choir], the Concert Band, the Alpha Band and the Double Bass Project all stay put in their usual locations.

The changes for the 17th

  • Beta will have to be in the music classroom [H7];
  • Orchestra for All will be in the Auditorium;
  • MYWO, the Youth Strings and our ‘green room’ [including tuck shop] will be on the ground floor of the Orchard Block;
  • the Youth Orchestra will be in the Auditorium.

I’m sorry – I know this is not ideal.  The sound-proofing between the rooms in the Orchard Block will be a problem and percussion, music boxes and music stands will have to be collected from the MYMS trailer in the Albion car park, next to the astroturf playing area.

We will use one of the ground floor double classrooms in the Orchard Block as our tuck shop, office, waiting room, place to store your coats, bags and instrument cases and eating space.

Please note that, with so many guests attending the school’s Alumni Event, parking on the 17th is also likely to be difficult.

Bandstand Concert on Sunday [19 June]

On Sunday 19 June 2016, we are holding our Bandstand Concert at Brenchley Gardens.

The concert will start at 3:00 p.m.students to arrive between 2:30-2:45.

This concert is for all players in Alpha, Concert, Beta and MYWO [NOT MYMS Voices, Youth Strings, Orchestra for All or Youth Orchestra], although of course all parents and players are welcome to support the bands and enjoy the sunshine in Brenchley Gardens;  more details below.

There are more sections to this email below with more details about:

  • Summer Concert – Friday 24 June – 7:30 p.m. – Invicta GS – for MYMS Voices, Youth Strings, Orchestra for All, Youth Orchestra and MYWO – NOT Alpha Band, Concert Band or Beta Percussion Ensemble.
  • Second General Meeting – Friday 24 June - this will take place BEFORE the Concert at 7:10 p.m.

Bandstand Concert – Sunday 21 June – Brenchley Gardens Bandstand [next to Maidstone East station]

  • Students to arrive in MYMS concert dress between 2:30-2:45 pm;
  • Concert will start at 3:00; it is likely to be about an hour in length;
  • There is NO PUBLIC PARKING within Brenchley Gardens but there are public car parks nearby;
  • We will keep an eye on the weather but we have held previous ones in the rain by turning the bands round and having the audience sheltering under the trees and umbrellas…..;
  • Please bring folding chairs or blankets to sit on and water for your son or daughter to drink;
  • This is a public concert and we have been granted a public collection licence for donations;
  • There will be no dress rehearsals on the Sunday so attendance at the final full rehearsals on Friday 17 June is really important.

Summer Concert – Friday 24 June – Dress Rehearsals from 4:30; Concert at 7:30 p.m. – Invicta GS

  • Dress rehearsal details are below;
  • After your dress rehearsal(s), students are to arrive in MYMS concert dress in the evening no later than 7:15 pm;
  • All students are to be in the Hall during the concert when not playing;
  • We know that some of you are on school trips on the day of the concert but the coaches are expected to return in time for you to take part in the concert and we therefore look forward to seeing you there.

Schedule for Dress Rehearsals in the Hall on Summer Concert Day [26 June]

3:30 – 4:30  Preparation of Hall. Percussion and Audience Chairs

* MYMS Voices – Can you ALL come as early as possible to help set up the Hall so that we can start your rehearsal promptly at 4:30, please?

4:30        MYMS Voices

5:00        MYWO

5:30        MYO – Youth Orchestra

6:00        Youth Strings

6:35        Orchestra for All

7:05        End of dress rehearsals

7:10        MYMS Second General Meeting

7:30        Concert starts

Concert Dress

MYWO, MYO and Youth Strings

Men: black long-sleeved shirts – sleeves rolled down please, black trousers, socks and shoes, MYMS tie (£12 each – from Richard, MYMS Manager)

Ladies: black sleeved top and trousers, or skirt (knee-length or longer), or similar black dress with plain black tights and black shoes    [MYMS Voices – core choir singers can choose either type of concert dress]


Concert, Alpha and Omega Bands and Orchestra for All

Men: white long-sleeved shirts – sleeves rolled down please, black trousers, socks and shoes, MYMS tie

Ladies: white sleeved top, black trousers or skirt (knee-length or longer), black tights and black shoes

Additional Notes:  I have been asked by staff and the Committee that you make sure that all shoes are BLACK, that tights are plain and that blouses for senior players are black & not see-through.


Second General Meeting – Friday 24 June – 7:10 pm – Invicta GS

Formal notice is given below of the Agenda for this meeting, which will take place before the Summer Concert starts at 7:30 pm.






  1. Welcome from Karen Vincent [MYMS Chair] and Apologies for Absence
  2. To determine the MYMS Membership Subscriptions for 2016-2017 both for individual and family members.

MYMS Website – Please remember to check regularly on for updated news or for other information about future dates or developments.


Recruitment – MYMS now pays £10 to any current member who brings a new member along.  This is paid once the new member pays their own subs for a full year.  Please ask for a form.  Encourage your friends to join MYMS…. New publicity flyers are currently being printed.  Please distribute these on our behalf in the future.


Future dates

MYMS restarts after the summer break on Friday 9 September.  MYMS Voices will start at 4:15 and other rehearsals at 4:45.

Dates are currently being confirmed with Invicta GS but the PROVISIONAL dates for your diaries are:

  • Friday 9 September 2016 – 4:15 – MYMS re-opens
  • Fridays 21 and 28 October 2016 – closed for half term
  • Friday 2 December 2016 – 7:30 – Christmas Concert and MYMS AGM at IGS
  • Friday 24 March 2017 – 7:30 – Spring Concert at IGS
  • Sunday 18 June 2017 – 3:00 – Bandstand Concert in Brenchley Gardens
  • Friday 23 June 2017 – 7:30 – Summer Concert and Second General Meeting at IGS

If you want to discuss any aspect of MYMS’ activities or you wish to get more actively involved yourself, please feel free to contact me – or any of the staff or committee members – on or on 07802-425022.


Yours faithfully

Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager


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1. Rehearsal Dates 2. Concert Dates 3. KM Singing Courses

1.  Rehearsal Dates
Please remember the following rehearsal dates at MYMS and that we are closed for two weeks over half term:
  • Friday 20 May - OPEN
  • Friday 27 May - CLOSED
  • Friday 3 June - CLOSED
  • Friday 10 June - OPEN
  • Friday 17 June - OPEN
  • Concert dates are detailed below.
2.  Concert Dates
Again this year, we have TWO concerts at the end of the summer term:
  • Sunday 19 June – 3:00 pm to c. 4:30 pm – Bandstand Concert at Brenchley Gardens
    • this is for all members of Alpha Band, Concert Band, MYWO and Beta Percussion Ensemble
    • detailed arrangements for the concert will be circulated after half term;
  • Friday 24 June – 7:30 pm – Summer Concert at Invicta GS
    • the ensembles performing will be Orchestra for All, Youth Strings, MYMS Voices, the Youth Orchestra and MYWO again;
    • the 2nd General Meeting will be held shortly before the concert starting at approximately 7:10 pm.
3.  Kent Music Summer School – especially Youth Choirs
I have received an email from Liz Samson, Manager of the Kent Youth Choirs, about the Kent Music Summer School courses at Benenden School this summer.  If you’re at all interested, please read the information below.
She would welcome applications from members of MYMS Voices – and especially from some of our junior choir members – for the choral courses listed on the links below or the pdf that is attached to this email.
Our conductor of MYMS Voices – Ciara Considine – is heavily involved in county singing groups and would be happy to talk to parents and students if you have any questions – or please contact Liz Samson directly on
Kent Music Summer School is a series of residential courses that are run at Benenden School during the summer holidays. Many of the courses still have spaces available. These courses provide an excellent opportunity for students to come together to enjoy music in a friendly, relaxed and safe environment. 
More information about all the courses can be found on this link, including two ‘taster’ videos for you to look at:
More specific information about Junior Singing can be found on this link:
If you would like to know more, do feel free to contact the Summer Schools administrator, Valerie Cordina, on     or the Manager of the Kent Youth Choirs, Liz Samson,  who can advise you about the singing courses at the summer school, and future singing opportunities -

All best wishes

MYMS Manager
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1. Royal Albert Hall Visit 2. Half Term Dates

1.  MYMS Visit to the Royal Albert Hall TOMORROW [Saturday 14 May]

102 students and adults from MYMS will be visiting the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow for a matinee concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of a selection of wonderful film music.  The concert will be compered by Tommy Pearson, who is a former MYMS student – and he has promised us a mention during one of his introductions…

2.  MYMS is open today and on Friday 20 May

This is a reminder that MYMS will then be closed for two Fridays – 27 May [at the beginning of half term] and on 3 June [during half term].

3.  Concert Dates

  • Sunday 19 June 2016 – 3:00 start - bandstand concert in Brenchley Gardens
  • Friday 24 June 2016 – 7:30 - summer concert at Invicta GS [preceded by 2nd General Meeting]
  • full details will be circulated after half term.

Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager,    07802-425022

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Vinters Road Closed until Saturday

Dear All

I have just been alerted by Invicta GS that Vinters Road [the one that goes from the top car park by the canteen to the Sittingbourne Road] is going to be CLOSED until Saturday.  It apparently has a major hole in it that needs repairing by Kent Highways.
This will effectively turn Huntsman Lane into a cul-de-sac and potential bottleneck.
Just wanted to alert you to that when you plan your journey to MYMS this afternoon or evening.
All best wishes
MYMS Manager
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Service to Celebrate the Life of Jeffrey Vaughan Martin – Tuesday 3 May

It has just been confirmed that a Service to Celebrate the Life of Jeffrey Vaughan Martin will be held on Tuesday 3 May 2016 at All Saints Church Maidstone at 4:30pm.

Richard Gretton  07802-425022 Continue reading

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Sad news about Jeffrey

It is with enormous sadness that we have learned that Jeffrey Vaughan Martin passed away on Friday afternoon.

As you will all know, Jeffrey was the founder of MYMS and its Musical Director for over 34 years.  We all owe a great debt of gratitude to him.

Tributes to Jeffrey have been pouring in through social media and via Kent Online. See the story here. These include:

Evelyn Glennie

This is very sad news. Jeffrey, his vision and belief, was paramount to my vision and belief as a a solo percussionist. I am so very grateful to Jeffrey’s actions and ability to make a difference to so many. I shall be eternally grateful.

 Graham Mann

When young people get the chance to learn and play music together, I think it’s no exaggeration to say their lives from that moment onwards are enriched beyond measure.  Jeffrey Vaughan Martin enabled this to happen for many, many young people from Kent.  He will be sadly missed.

Tommy Pearson

Jeffrey was one of the most important influences on my life as a musician, as he was to thousands over the course of 40 years. He gave me opportunities as a player, a composer (commissioning pieces from me when I was a teenager and getting them professionally copied) and was constantly introducing us to new music. We had our run-ins over the years (everyone did!) but, taking a moment today to think about what he did for us, he was a great innovator and constantly energetic force in Kent music that will never be forgotten. He formed both Maidstone Youth Music Society and the KSSWB – key groups that gave us so many opportunities to enjoy and excel in music – and when he left KMS his ambition never stopped, staging one of the best Noye’s Fluddes I’ve ever been a part of, and always bringing new and recent works to the Maidstone Choral Union and beyond.

His conducting was…well, let’s say ‘individual’. He would work us hard. He did deals that enabled us to travel the world for an astonishingly small amount of money and secured instruments that could be used by all. He could be infuriating, testy, impatient. But without him, I’m not sure many of us would have gone on to pursue music. Almost everything Jeffrey did, he did for the benefit of young musicians. He could be maddening. But his heart was in the right place and we have all benefitted, way beyond our musical lives.

We shall all miss him.

In sadness

Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager

Karen Vincent, Chair of MYMS

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