Concert Band – Room Change

With immediate effect, the Concert Band will be moving from the gym to the Sixth Form Common Room [on the first floor of the Orchard Block] on a regular basis for their weekly rehearsal.

Concert Band members are asked to be helpful in moving over the box of music, music stands and percussion both before the rehearsal and afterwards.

Many thanks

Richard [MYMS Manager] and Graham [Director, Concert Band]

Fire Drill at MYMS

Dear All

The weather looks set fair for Friday 20th September and we shall therefore be holding a fire drill towards the end of the rehearsals.  The detailed instructions for the staff and students are contained in MYMS Fire Drill @ IGS – Tutors and Students Version – Updated September 2013  These will be read out at the beginning of tomorrow’s rehearsal by each conductor but your son or daughter can check the information on this link.

Whilst it is a planned drill, please treat it sensibly – it may save your life if there were a real fire.

Richard, MYMS Manager



MYMS Newsletter and Forms

Copies of the latest MYMS Newsletter were distributed at our first Friday back last week. An electronic copy of the letter is attached here – MYMS Newsletter to Parents and Players September 2013.  Attached to the letter are the MYMS forms for this academic year.  We would ask parents to complete these for ALL students and to return them to Richard at MYMS as soon as possible, together with subscription cheques [all details can be found in the Newsletter].

Friday 13th September – NO Beta percussion session this week at 3:55; all other ensembles as usual – Senior Strings conducted by Chris Ridgeway and the Concert Band by Mike Judson.

MYMS restarts on Friday 6th September 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

Welcome back, everybody.

MYMS re-opens on Friday 6th September 2013 at 4:30 p.m. after the summer break.

A warm welcome to any new players joining us for the first time and a special welcome to Kay Gretton, who will be the new conductor of Strictly Strings.

There will be a few changes to the membership of each of the ensembles.  Please check the noticeboard when you arrive on Friday.

Dates for your diary for this term:

  • Friday 6th September 2013 – MYMS reopens for Autumn Term – Week 1
  • Friday 25th October 2013 – MYMS will be open  – Week 8
  • Thursday 31st October 2013 – Deadline for payment of MYMS subscriptions at discounted rate
  • Friday 1st November 2013—MYMS CLOSED
  • Friday 8th November 2013—MYMS CLOSED
  • Friday 15th November 2013 – MYMS will be open — Week 9
  • Friday 6th December 2013 – 7:30 p.m.—MYMS Christmas Concert – Week 12
    • the MYMS Annual General Meeting will be held just before the concert starts;
    • the accurate start time will be notified nearer to the date.
  • Other dates will be distributed by letter, email and elsewhere on the MYMS website.

Richard Gretton, MYMS Manager

MYMS Summer Concert

A letter to parents and players was distributed at MYMS on 14th June.  Copy attached here.

The MYMS Summer Concert [for Strictly Strings, Youth Strings, Maidstone Youth Orchestra and MYWO] will be held at Invicta GS on Friday 28th June 2013, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

We shall also be holding our [brief] Second General Meeting shortly before the interval, at which we shall be discussing and agreeing the MYMS membership fees for the 2013/2014 academic year.

Please note that the new MYMS year starts on Friday 6th September 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

Congratulations to the MYMS String Trio

Many congratulations to Molly Richetta [violin], Lara Bowles [viola] and Emily Ferguson [‘cello] who played as the MYMS String Trio at the Voluntary Action Maidstone lunch reception for all their volunteers at the Town Hall on Saturday 1st June 2013.

They played a wide repertoire of music, which even prompted some of the volunteers to get up and dance.

Liz Tredget of VAM was most appreciative of the girls’ music-making and added her own congratulations on the day.

Staffing News – MYO & Strictly Strings

Maidstone Youth Orchestra [MYO] 

I am delighted to announce that John Marks, the MYMS Chair, and I have appointed Chris Ridgeway to conduct MYO for the Summer Term 2013.  Chris is an accomplished musician [the viola is his main instrument] and has had long-established links with MYMS. He has already chosen an exciting programme for the orchestra for this term.

Strictly Strings

Angela Migden has tendered her resignation as the conductor of Strictly Strings and will leave us at the end of the Summer Term.  We are enormously appreciative of her hard work in establishing the ensemble so successfully at MYMS and of her triumphant début with the MYMS String Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in the Spring Term.  We will wish her farewell at the summer concert on 28th June 2013.

John and I are also delighted to announce that we have appointed Kay Gretton as the new conductor of Strictly Strings and she will take over the baton in September 2013.  Kay has a long pedigree of conducting string groups and primary school orchestras, as well as establishing the very successful ‘Orchestra for All’ at the former Maidstone Music Centre.

Richard, MYMS Manager

MYMS Committee

We are always looking for more volunteers to join the MYMS Committee, especially parents of children in the junior ensembles.  One of our longest-serving members, Caroline Flasse, will be stepping down at the end of the summer term and we are very grateful for all her hard work over the years.

As with the student ensembles themselves, there is always a turnover of committee members when young people leave MYMS.  We need new faces with fresh ideas and a different perspective.  We have recently been revising our finance policy – if there is anyone with an accountancy background who might be willing to help, we would be especially pleased.

The current committee are a friendly bunch and would welcome your interest.  Please contact Richard [MYMS Manager] on 07802-425022 if you are interested or would like to know more.

MYMS Plays at the Royal Festival Hall

Thirty-five young musicians, aged 9 -18, from the MYMS String Orchestra played to an audience of more than 300 children, parents and professional musicians at the Royal Festival Hall yesterday, Sunday 10 February 2013.  The performance, in the Clore Ballroom, was part of a FUNharmonics experience organized by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) to introduce young children to classical music and rhythm.  The MYMS String Orchestra’s performance followed a ‘Roaring 20’s’ themed family concert given by the LPO.

Directed by Angela Migden and led by Lara Bowles (aged 13),  MYMS String Orchestra continued the dance theme with a programme of popular music such as Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson, Gypsy Dance, by Christopher Brown, Funiculi, Funicula by Luigi Denza and The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini.

Among the players were 24 violinists, seven cellists, three violists and one double bass player, all from in and around Maidstone.

“To follow a concert given by the LPO, one of the world’s finest orchestras, at such a prestigious venue is an experience our young musicians will remember forever,” said MYMS’ Music Director, Steve Migden.  “We combined our two string orchestras – Strictly Strings and Maidstone Youth String Orchestra – for this special occasion.  Having first been inspired by the LPOs outstanding musicians, our young players felt extremely privileged to be given the opportunity to play and were warmly received by a large, youthful audience.”

Jackie Marks, MYMS Secretary


MYMS Constitution

A parent recently asked about MYMS’ formal constitution.  This provides details of a number of clauses which include what we do at MYMS, how we are organised and how we protect the assets of the charity.  If you wish to access the MYMS Constitution, please click here.  It was last updated at the MYMS AGM in November 2011.  It can only be amended by a quorate General Meeting.