Welcome to the new term and new MYMS year

Welcome back to everyone and a particularly warm welcome to all our new players and their parents.

As usual, there is a great deal of information here – please persevere to the end….

MYMS Voices – Please remember that EVERYONE – literally EVERY player at MYMS – is invited to join the massed MYMS Voices when they rehearse in the Auditorium at 4:15. If you are already an instrumentalist at MYMS, it doesn’t cost any more to join the choir for that initial half-hour. This is great fun with Ciara….
We particularly would like more young men to join MYMS Voices.

Weekly Arrangements – Students should be in their seats ready to play at the above times, and are expected to help set up beforehand and to help clear away stands, music and instruments as appropriate at the end of rehearsals and put the rooms back to how they looked beforehand. It is expected that players will attend all rehearsals and concerts and any planned absence should be notified to the conductor and/or the MYMS Manager well in advance so that rehearsal time can be planned effectively. In case of illness, messages or texts may be left on the MYMS Manager’s mobile (07802-425022) and students may be contacted via Richard, the MYMS Manager, on this number during Friday rehearsals. Students are NOT permitted to use mobile phones during rehearsals.

Rehearsals are held each Friday during the school term, but there will be no rehearsals on the following Fridays in the Autumn Term 2017:

20 October, 27 October, 8 December, 15 December, 22 December, 29 December 2017 and 5 January 2018. We restart after Christmas on Friday 12 January 2018.

Concert dates for this year are as follows. PLEASE update your diaries with these dates.

Winter Concert Friday 1 December 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Hall at IGS [plus MYMS AGM beforehand]

Spring Concert Friday 23 March 2018 at 7:30 pm in the Hall at IGS

Summer Concert Friday 22 June 2018 – at 7:30 pm at IGS, including 2nd General Meeting.

I am also attaching a copy of the latest version of the MYMS Calendar for 2017-2018. MYMS Calendar for 2017-2018 [Version 3]- 180717

MYMS Website – Please remember to check regularly on www.myms.org.uk for updated news.

The Tuck Shop will be open each week from 4:00 pm to 4:40 pm and from 5:45 pm to 6:30 pm. We already have one or two very helpful volunteers but, if any other parents were willing to help supervise this activity, especially between 5:45 and 6:30 pm, we could share out the responsibilities. Please contact Richard, the MYMS Manager, if you are able to help.

MYMS Committee – The Committee does an enormous amount of work behind the scenes. We are always looking for new members. Anyone interested is invited to speak to me or to Elizabeth Rees [Chair].

MYMS Subscriptions – Parents agreed at the Second General Meeting in June that Membership Fees should be raised as follows: they are now £145 for individual membership if paid by 30 November 2017 – £165 if paid after that date and £245 for family membership [two or more children from the same family] – this will rise to £275 after 30.11.17.

If you are likely to have any difficulty paying the membership fee by the appropriate date, please contact me in confidence [on 07802-425022] and we can discuss alternative arrangements, which could include termly payments. You may not be aware that MYMS has its own bursary scheme, which could provide financial assistance with subs. If this would help, just ask…. Our priority is to have as many young people as possible making music each week and we don’t want finance to be a barrier when there are ways to help.

Payment of Subs – Electronically – Again, this year, we are able to offer parents the facility of paying the MYMS subscriptions by electronic bank transfer. If you wish to pay this way, the details you need are:
Sort Code: 08-92-99 Account Number: 65370937 Reference: Please remember to add your child’s name in the reference box, especially if the child’s surname differs from yours.

By cheque – Alternatively, fees may be paid by cheque [payable to MYMS] and handed in – in an envelope addressed to Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager – on Friday evenings or by post to the above address. Please write the student’s name and MYMS ensemble on the back of the cheque and send it in with the reply slip attached to this letter. An updated Gift Aid form is attached: if you are willing to complete this [and you are a current taxpayer], please print it off and return it with the subs and application/membership forms, as this benefits MYMS substantially.

Membership Information – Each year, we need up-to-date contact information and permission slips. This is because there may be changes in students’ health and medication, address, contact telephone numbers, school, instrumental teacher(s) or grades. Please print off and complete the attached application forms to ensure that we have all the current details. MYMS Membership Forms – September 2017 – (1)

Please return them ASAP [please note – these are individual forms so I need one for each child in a family], together with your subs and Gift Aid form.

Recruitment – MYMS will again be paying £10 to any current member who brings a new member along. This is paid once the new member pays their own subs. Again, the relevant form is attached with two spaces to fill in. Please encourage your friends to join MYMS….

IMPORTANT – Child Protection – Being collected from MYMS – please impress on your child, especially the younger ones, that – if the person who normally picks them up from MYMS doesn’t come at the usual time – they should come back into the canteen area and inform me. I have all the necessary contact numbers with me each week and can sort out any problems.

IMPORTANT – Fire Evacuation Procedure
The details for students and visitors are included in this briefing email. Their conductors will go through the procedure with them but can you please ensure that your son or daughter knows what they need to do and sign the appropriate part of the attached paperwork?

· The normal fire alarm signal is a high-pitched ‘whoop’ [although the instruction for a fire drill may be given verbally over the tannoy].

· Take personal bags that are with you [DO NOT go back to the canteen to collect anything]

o Do not wait to pack your bag; take it as it is

o If you have a mobile, take it with you

o Do not take your instrument or your instrument case

· Do not visit any other parts of the building

· Students should leave the school building by the nearest fire exit and go IN SILENCE to the school’s all-weather pitch near the bottom car park – no running please

· Ensembles should line up on the all-weather pitch and stand there in silence apart from answering their name on the register

· Please do this in the following order:

o [Nearest to school]

o Beta Percussion

o Orchestra for All

o Alpha Band

o Youth Strings

o MYMS Voices


o [Nearer to Valley Park School]

· If only the Maidstone Youth Orchestra is on-site, they will be the only ones lining up.

· If a music tutor is absent, the first student on the register should report this fact to the MYMS Manager.


· In the event of a bomb scare, further evacuation will be necessary to a minimum distance of 200 metres from the building; i.e. to Valley Park School, East Borough School or to Vinters Park.

· Any parents or adult visitors on-site should also leave the school building by the nearest fire exit and go to the school’s all-weather pitch near the bottom car park – take your mobile with you, if it is near at hand.

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

Please remember to print off all the attached forms and return them when completed, together with your membership subscription.

Yours faithfully
Richard Gretton,
MYMS Manager