Summer Newsletter 2016

Sittingbourne Music Society
Affiliated to Making Music

Summer 2016

Welcome to the Sittingbourne Music Society’s annual newsletter.

We thank all our members for their support of the society and hope you enjoyed the last season and will continue to do so in the coming one. We also hope you will be able to attend the AGM, details below, which is your opportunity to contribute your views on the society.

Annual General Meeting – Friday 9th September 2016 at 8 o’clock
The Midwinter Room Tunstall Church

1.    Chairman’s Welcome
2.    Apologies for Absence
3.    Minutes of AGM 2015
4.    Reports: Chairman – Secretary – Treasurer – Adoption of Accounts
5.    Retirement and Adoption of Directors
6.    Election of Officers: Chairman – Company Secretary – Treasurer
7.    Any other Business

The meeting will be followed by light refreshments and a short musical interlude.


We are very grateful to Marilyn Austen for being our acting Chairman this year; she has done a good job even if it was undertaken rather reluctantly!
As well as a new Chairman, we would very much like to see more members on the committee, so if you or anyone you know, would be willing to join us as Chairman or committee member, please let a member of the committee know.

OUR 2015/16 SEASON

This was another year of high quality and varied music enjoyed by all who attended. We had a variety of instruments – The Thomas Shelbourn Baroque Ensemble with recorder, flute and harpsichord, Prince Bishop’s Brass, The Thorne wind Trio and Manus Noble and his guitar. We also heard music from all ages from Renaissance to the present day and from various parts of the western world.
Some people were able to attend our joint concert with Faversham Music Society where we enjoyed music by the young piano and viola duo, Omri Epstein and Daniel Palmizio.


One of the aims of the society is bring music to a wider audience of all ages. We were able to provide outreach work to local schools again, this time thanks to Manus Noble, an outstanding international guitarist.
He gave a day’s workshop to young guitar students of all abilities from St Peter’s and Highsted schools. It was good to hear the fruits of their labours in an item at the evening’s concert. We thank Highsted School for hosting the event.

Next season another outreach session is being organised for local students when the Charlotte Ashton  Flute Trio will provide a school workshop.



Four more concerts have again been organised which we hope you will enjoy. The season starts with the Charlotte Ashton Flute Trio (flute, harp and viola) In November Apollo 5, an a-cappella group will give a concert which should prove to be a good introduction to the festive season. February will see the Le Page Jenkinson Duo with a variety of genres for violin and cello. Our season will finish with the Muzika Lyra Ensemble with music for violin, piano, voice and guitar.


We would like to thank all our members who kindly add a donation when paying their subscription.

We also want to thank all the organisations who have supported the Society financially. The outreach work with Manus Noble would not have been possible without help from Kent County Council’s Combined Member Grant Scheme and the Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Performers through Making Music.

Without support the Society would be unable to provide such a wide variety of high standard professional concerts – so a big thank you to all our concert goers.


It’s that time of year again for members’ subscriptions to be paid; we have maintained the subscription again this year at £42 for four concerts and, hopefully, you will agree that it is excellent value for money. We are very aware of the need to balance the cost of professional artists against keeping the price of the concerts at a level which is accessible to a wide variety of people; we would, therefore, like to thank all those who add a donation, large or small, to the cost of their season ticket. Any donations received are increased in value as gift aid can be claimed on them helping to keep SMS financially viable.

Internet users – If searching for information, try using  – and if shopping register with and nominate Sittingbourne Music Society. Each purchase will generate a small donation at no extra cost to you and we can claim gift aid as well.

Thank you once again and we look forward to seeing you at the coming season’s concerts.

Summer 2015


We were all very sad to hear the news of John’s death in February, the very day of our third concert of the season. The concert was given by pianist Malcolm Binns who is a loyal supporter of SMS and a friend of John. The programme included a piece composed by John and also a piece he especially asked Malcolm to play; it was a fitting local tribute to an internationally renowned composer. John was the founder of our society and we will always be grateful for his work as Musical Director; it was his wide musical experience and knowledge of professional musicians that enabled us to provide Sittingbourne with such a high standard of concerts.



Peter Morgan has had to resign from the Chairmanship of the SMS; after a spell in hospital he felt he could no longer carry on. He helped to start the society when he was approached by John and Monica McCabe with the idea of a music society for Sittingbourne. He became Chairman and has worked tirelessly and with great commitment to promote the society. We wish him well.

Marilyn Austen has agreed to be acting Chairman until the AGM when the annual election of officers takes place. At the same time we would very much like to see more members on the committee – if you have any nominations, for a Chairman or committee member, please let a member of the committee know.


OUR 2014/15 SEASON

From comments received everyone seems pleased with our new concert venue and we will certainly be continuing there next season.

All four concerts were well received. The first two concerts featured “Concert Royal”, who gave us an evening with Jane Austen, and the talented young “Aureus String Quartet”. In February Malcolm Binns treated us to a wonderful evening of piano compositions and the season ended with Travelling by Tuba – a very lively and fascinating way to end our tenth season.



We were very pleased to be able to provide outreach work again this year. Travelling by Tuba agreed to spend time at two local primary schools, The Oaks Infant School and Minterne Juniors. At both schools the children thoroughly enjoyed the experience of a performance by the duo. The children were totally captured by the presentation, which was amusing and informative, interspersed by an extraordinary range of sounds and sights. It was totally geared to the audience, and used repertoire and instruments quite different from those used at the evening performance. Two young lads were so inspired that they came to the evening concert as well!

It is hoped that next season more work with local schools will be possible.



Our thanks go to Malcolm Binns for his generous support in giving us a wonderful concert free of charge and to John Penry for the loan of his piano.

We are also very grateful for £500 from Sittingbourne Borough Council Members’ Localism Grants, towards outreach work and £1000 from Kent County Council Combined Member Grant Scheme.



We will again have four concerts in Sittingbourne to look forward to next season. With a variety of artists, it should be very enjoyable. There will be the Thomas Shelbourn Baroque Ensemble – recorder, flute and harpsichord, Prince Bishops Brass Quintet and The Thorne Wind Trio. The season will conclude with Manus Noble guitarist, kindly supported by Making Music’s Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Artists scheme.

As a new venture, in April SMS is combining with Faversham Music Society for a joint concert. It will be held in Queen Elizabeth School Faversham (where we will benefit from a decent piano without hire costs!) and will be a piano and viola recital.



It’s that time of year again for members’ subscriptions to be paid; we have maintained the subscription again this year at £42 for four concerts and, hopefully, you will agree that it is excellent value for money. We are very aware of the need to balance the cost of professional artists against keeping the price of the concerts at a level which is accessible to a wide variety of people; we would, therefore, like to thank all those who add a donation, large or small, to the cost of their season ticket. Any donations received are increased in value as gift aid can be claimed on them helping to keep SMS financially viable.

Internet users – If searching for information, try using  – and if shopping register with and nominate Sittingbourne Music Society. Each purchase will generate a small donation at no extra cost to you and we can claim gift aid as well.

Thank you once again and we look forward to seeing you at the coming season’s concerts.

Summer 2013

Summer 2013

Annual General Meeting – Friday 13th September 2013 at 7.30
The Midwinter Room Tunstall Church

1. Chairman’s Welcome
2. Apologies for Absence
3. Minutes of AGM 2012
4. Reports: Chairman – Secretary – Treasurer – Adoption of Accounts
5. Retirement and Adoption of Directors
6. Election of Officers: Chairman – Company Secretary – Treasurer
7. Any other Business

Please join us if you can; we appreciate your interest in and support of the Society and its progress. The meeting will be followed by light refreshments.


Mairi Moulton
My qualifications for joining the committee of Sittingbourne Music Society are modest, but my support for the society is based on a great love of chamber music.  I am an enthusiastic supporter of local live music of many kinds and a long-standing audience member and friend of Oare String Orchestra and Maidstone Symphony Orchestra.  My performing skills are limited to choral singing.  I am a member of East Malling Singers and, since 1978, of Rochester Choral Society, of which I am vice-chairman and orchestra secretary.  I hope to be able to bring something useful from this experience to SMS.
Marilyn Austin
I work in the Science department at Fulston Manor school and live in Sittingbourne. I am married to Keith who also enjoys music and supports SMS. Unfortunately, having little musical ability, I do not actually participate in music making, I simply enjoy listening to a fairly wide range of music, especially piano works, string quartets and church choral pieces. I appreciate the opportunity to listen to the diverse programmes provided by the Music Society.



You are no doubt aware that John has been battling with illness which has involved frequent hospital visits for consultations and treatment. It has been a difficult time for him but he still managed to continue with his composing, fulfilling his commitments, including a piece for this year’s Proms. He has, however, had to cut back on his involvement with SMS; he is now Artistic Adviser rather than Artistic Director. We appreciate all he is doing and the enormous input he has put into the Society since its formation.


Sittingbourne Music Society’s 10th Season promises to be as interesting and varied as the previous nine. All 4 concerts will be held in The Bourne Hall, Sittingbourne Community College starting at 7.45 pm.
On Friday 11th October 2013 the international prize winning Carducci String Quartet will start our season with a programme that includes our own John McCabe’s new Quartet as well as works by Haydn and Beethoven.
On Friday 22nd November 2013 the Eblana String Trio, who are rapidly establishing themselves as an ensemble of immense versatility and talent, will be performing a varied programme with works by Schubert, Finzi, Beethoven and Mozart.
On Friday 7th February 2014 the young Chinese- American pianist Jessica Wei Zhu, who is a post-graduate
student of Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music, will be playing pieces by Brahms, Haydn, Schubert and Listz.
Our final concert, on Friday 21st March 2014, features the entertaining Early Music Group “Galliard”. Their programme is called “A Tale of Two Cities” with music from the courts of Louis XIV and the Kings in London, and will include witty readings and demonstrations of some of their instruments.



We were deeply saddened over Christmas to hear of the death of one of our Patrons, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, in a New York hospital. Born in 1936, he had a truly remarkable career, from opera, symphony, instrumental and vocal music of all kinds to film music and jazz – an ex-pupil of Boulez for composition he was also a star of night-club cabaret in New York and London! He sprang to prominence in the late 1950s at a very young age with already supremely accomplished chamber music for the concert-hall and film scores – the ability to be a brilliant all-rounder was already there. It led to performances by all the major symphony orchestras, La Scala, Milan, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and success with the Oscars.

His output was enormous in all forms. In recent years he softened from the more hard-edged “modernism” of the 1960s to a more “accessible” approach – though this “modernism” has always been tempered by his elegant lyricism and a natural rhythmic flow derived from jazz influences. Many of his works have become available on CD, including his fine first full-length opera The Mines of Sulphur, which has also been successfully revived. We in the SMS are glad we were able to programme his lovely Missa Brevis last season.

On a personal note, I might add that he was a deeply valued friend for 60 years, as well as admired colleague whose music formed an important part of my repertoire. It was always fun for his “Chums”, as he called us, to spend time with RRB – he will be truly missed.

John McCabe

Spring 2013

As many of you will be aware, with great regret we have had to change the programme for the concert on February 8th, John asked that we include this explanation of the reasons for that decision.

It was with much sadness that I made the decision to cancel my recital for the SMS in February – it was done on health grounds and proved to be a wise decision, but I did it reluctantly. My health problems bring into train one or two other career decisions which will affect my work for the SMS – I really do have a lot of musical work to do and ought perhaps to concentrate more fully on that.

Apart from anything else, I desperately wanted you to hear the programme I had chosen. However, we have been able to secure the services of a brilliant young pianist I’ve been fortunate enough to hear courtesy of the Park Lane Group. James Kreiling, naturally, cannot be expected to take over the same programme, but has chosen instead a magnificent array of some of the greatest piano classics: virtuoso masterpieces (Ravel’s formidable Gaspard de la nuit, and Beethoven’s majestic final C minor Sonata, Opus 111), some of Debussy’s glittering Images, and Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, so familiar to many pianists (and so much more difficult to play than we all think!).  It makes a feast for any piano-fancier, and will I’m sure be a memorable and exciting evening.
As far as I am concerned, we will all have to work out how to tackle the future, but it does seem to me at this time that it would be better for me to act as an advisor on artistic matters rather than a formal Artistic Director. Our Committee has energetically taken up the reins in various ways already, and as the New Year starts we can make our plans. We will need all your support, though – we have come so far, and done so much good, that we must continue!
John McCabe 14 December 2012

This leads us into a timely message from our Chairman,  Peter Morgan:

Chairman’s Message

As Members may know, I am deeply concerned about the level of our Membership. One thing I have learned about voluntary organisations is that one must persist in recruiting new members or the organisation dies. We must not let that happen to our present Music Society. There are three things which I would encourage you to do to help in this matter.
Please would you go out of your way to invite friends, relatives and acquaintances to attend our concerts.
I am continuing to look for more distributors to deliver Letters of Invitation to their neighbours. I have composed such a letter, printed several hundreds of them, enveloped them and put them into bundles of 100 letters ready for delivery. If anyone is willing to help me with this would you either contact me by phone (01795 423215) or a note through my door at 65 Park Road.
We have a local population of about 60,000 people and many do not even know that we exist.
We are looking for more poster sites to advertise our concerts. If you have a poster site or know of one, please email  HYPERLINK “” or speak to a Committee Member at the concert.
Peter J. Morgan.

It was with deep regret that we heard of the death of one of our patrons Sir Richard Rodney Bennett on 24 December 2012, we hope to include an appreciation in a later newsletter.

We welcome comments and suggestions from members of the Society and from the audience, each of the last two concerts has been reviewed by a member of the audience and we thank them for the time spent.
Review of Cameo Opera’s Concert on 19th October 2012
The Music Society’s 2012/13 season began with an enthusiastic and energetic evening given by the ever-popular Cameo Opera.
“A Night At The Opera” gave us staged and costumed scenes from three operas- “The Magic Flute”, “Cosi Fan Tutte” and “The Barber of Seville”.
All three were well sung and acted, and the costumes were very good. However, at times the voices were a bit unbalanced, I felt, particularly in “Cosi Fan Tutte”.
The singers, furthermore, are to be congratulated for managing to keep going without batting an eye-lid through leaking ceiling and collapsing scenery!
With this in mind, a special mention must be made of Monica, who nobly spent the second half of the concert holding up the collapsing scenery!
As we have come to expect from Music Society concerts, this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Dot Mill

Review of The Korros Ensemble’s Concert on16th November 2012
The Society’s November concert provided an enthusiastic audience with yet another feast of fine music, given by an unusual group of talented young players, the Korros Ensemble.  The setting of the drama studio, although arranged for quite other reasons, was well suited to the combination of flute, clarinet and harp.  Not a single work in the programme was originally written for this combination, though Villa-Lobos’s Choros No. 2 for flute and clarinet, beautifully performed, gave harpist Camilla Pay a brief rest.  Everything else had been arranged, to a greater or lesser extent, by clarinettist Nicholas Ellis.  The team was completed by the immaculate playing of flautist Eliza Marshall.
Perhaps the most obvious candidates for this treatment were the Rawsthorne Suite and Bax’s Elegiac Trio, both originally scored for flute, viola and harp.  Here the clarinet easily replaced the mellow tone of the viola and, in the Bax particularly, the beautiful writing for harp was allowed its full effect.  More surprising were the arrangements of piano works.  The Haydn Sonata in E which opened the concert was remarkably effective, giving the impression of a vocal duet with harp accompaniment. The familiar Debussy Arabesques and the less well known Stanford Prelude no.10 which was given as an encore both seemed to gain in colour and brilliance from their arrangement.
Of the arrangements of orchestral pieces, perhaps the most successful was the Dances from Falla’s La Vida Breve where the clarity of the folk rhythms was strongly maintained.  In Turina’s Danzas Fantasticas and Saint-Saens’ Tarantella, even though the latter is originally scored for flute, clarinet and orchestra, the harp struggled to convey the full orchestral sound.  However, both pieces were still very enjoyable and added to the variety of an imaginative and stimulating programme. Mairi Moulton
Still to Come
We can look forward to two exciting concerts to complete this season’s programme, John has written about James Kreiling’s piano recital on Friday 8th February 2013 which we anticipate will be popular with our members and, hopefully, a wider audience. Please bring any budding pianists you know to listen to this talented young pianist.

Our last concert of the season is on Friday 15th March 2013 when the Kaunas String Quartet will perform Grieg’s F major quartet, Schubert’s Rosamunde Quartet and Four Consolations for Sad Cello and Song without Words written by Vidmantas Bartulis who is the cellist’s brother. I am told this is a charming and witty piece despite the title! We are lucky to have booked this superb quartet from Lithuania as part of their UK tour so try not to miss this concert.
Both concerts will start at 7.45pm at the Bourne Hall, Sittingbourne Community College. Swanstree Avenue, Sittingbourne ME10 4NL.

Finally Finance!
Once again I would like to thank those of you who add a donation to your subscription, not only does this help us to book talented musicians but we have been able to claim gift aid on these donations so they are worth even more to us. Thank you.
Another way you can help the Society is by using  HYPERLINK “”
when you shop online, it is always worth checking as a very wide range of websites do donate to the nominated charity at no extra cost to you.

See you at the next concert on 8th February!

Completing with Communications
In an attempt to keep expenditure at an absolute minimum this newsletter has been emailed where we have an email address. We would like to use email whenever possible

if you do not want to receive communications by email please reply accordingly to my email at  HYPERLINK “”

if you receive a paper copy of this newsletter and are happy to receive communications by email please let us have your email address.

If more than one member lives at an address and each member would prefer their own copy of the newsletter please ensure we have both email addresses.

We will never pass your email address to any other organisation, it will be used solely by Sittingbourne Music Society

Summer 2012



Download Booking Form
Patrons:      Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, CBE   Pauline Panton, LGSM


First Concert: Friday 19th October 2012


The ever-popular Cameo Opera presents scenes from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and
Cosí fan tutte
, and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Performed in costume, with keyboard accompaniment, this will be an enchanting evening of music from some of the greatest operas ever written.


Second Concert: Friday 16th November 2012

KORROS ENSEMBLE (Flute, Clarinet and Harp)

Eliza Marshall, Nicholas Ellis, and Camilla Pay
An outstandingly talented young trio perform a wide-ranging programme of music specially arranged for their ensemble, including Bax’s lyrical and romantic Elegiac Trio, with its hints of Irish folk music, Spanish music from Turina, Falla and the Brazilian Villa-Lobos, plus delightful miniatures from Debussy, Haydn, Stanford and Saint-SaënsTarantella. Lots of lovely melodies to warm an autumn evening!


Third Concert: Friday 8th February 2013

JOHN McCABE (piano)

Our Artistic Director returns to the keyboard to give a recital of music from the era of Jane Austen – she might even have played some of it herself! Sonatas by Beethoven, Haydn and the English prodigy Pinto, who died at the age of 21, Mozart’s C minor Fantasia, and three of the beautiful Nocturnes by John Field.                                          


Fourth Concert: Friday 15th March 2013


A superb quartet from Lithuania (the home of great string-playing), the Kaunas Quartet will perform Grieg’s lovely F major quartet (his “Unfinished”), the supreme A minor Rosamunde Quartet of Schubert, and a charming and witty work by Vidmantas Bartulis (the cellist’s brother), Four Consolations for Sad Cello and Song without Words.

This concert is being given in association with the Lithuanian Embassy in London.

Download Application Form here


Spring 2012

WELCOME BACK,  after a mild, wet and very windy Christmas and New Year. Writing, as I am, in early January, the festive period already seems to have been blown away in the wind….Anyway, the reputation of the SMS continues to spread, with an article about the first seven seasons in BMS News 132, the December 2011 issue of the British Music Society’s newsletter. Read more →

Early Ripening

Review by Don Goodsell.

Two consecutive recorder events took place in Kent back in April, unrelated but for one vital link – recorder virtuoso John Turner, a presence to awaken many a composer’s muse. The first was staged by Sittingbourne’s forward-looking Music Society – rescued from the doldrums not so long ago by composer John McCabe and his wife Monica, encouraged by music-loving Kent councillor Peter Morgan, and violin teacher Miles Attwell.

Read more →

Winter 2011


Friday 11 th February, 7.45 pm, Sittingbourne Community College

Something really to cheer our hearts in a cold, cold winter! Not only is Malcolm Binns one of the foremost interpreters of Chopin’s music, world-wide, but he is generously donating the recital to SMS as a fund raiser. To boost this gift, one of our Society members, John Penry, is generously lending his Steinway piano for the occasion. What a great way for us to start the Year. Read more →

Autumn 2010


We are grateful that Swale Borough Council have given a generous donation to help fund our first concert this season by ‘Fine Arts Brass’, at Kemsley Village Hall, on Friday October 15 th, 7.30 pm. We take heart from this support and hope for more opportunities in the future to collaborate with SBC in the musical life of Swale.

Text Box:

And for our second concert…


Friday 12 th November, 7.45 pm

Sittingbourne Community College



‘ Four finer musicians you could not come across’ (Henry Kelly, Classic FM)

‘Five Stars’ (Financial Times)

‘Sparkling performance’ (Sean Rafferty, Radio 3)

Arrangements of songs by Gershwin will be followed by two popular string quartets.

Arnold Bax’s richly melodic String Quartet No 1 was written in 1918. Dvorak wrote his lovely F Major ‘American’ String Quartet in 1893, while he was Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. The second movement has echoes of an African-American spiritual, as does his New World Symphony composed also in the USA. Dvorak supported the belief that American composers should look to African-American and Native-American music to develop a national style, just as he himself drew much on Czech folk music. Incidentally, Bax was a friend of E J Moeran (see below).


Composer E J Moeran’s link with Swale

Monica McCabe has unearthed a remarkable piece of local history:

Thanks to detective work by PhD student, Ian Maxwell, an intriguing story has been uncovered, linking the composer E J Moeran with the Swale district. Moeran was one of the English romantic pastoralists of the early 20 th Century and a close friend of Peter Warlock and Frederick Delius. Monica writes that she was glancing through the September edition of the British Music Society News when she noticed, in Maxwell’s article about Moeran, a mention of Gore Court, Tunstall. She succeeded in making contact with Ian Maxwell in Germany, and she has put the following story together with the help of his assiduous research, and the added help of local historian, Helen Allison, Sittingbourne Heritage Museum, and Meresborough Books.


E J Moeran was of Anglo-Irish ancestry and his music evokes particularly the landscapes of Ireland and Norfolk. Moeran’s grandfather was a talented musician from King’s Lynn who married Esther Smeed from Kent. Esther died two years later giving birth to a daughter, Ada Esther. When the child’s father quickly remarried, her maternal grandfather, George Smeed, made the baby a ward-in-chancery and brought her to his home in Tunstall, near Sittingbourne, where she grew up in the family mansion, Gore Court.

George Smeed’s own story is worthy of a Dickens novel, and the two could well have met since they were both born in 1812 and Dickens lived not far away at Gadds Hill, near Rochester. George is believed to have been one of the many children of a poor widow and was a millionaire magnate. He became a smuggler but made his fortune as a local brick maker, barge owner and industrialist. When he bought Gore Court one of the local gentry wrote, ‘Unfortunately Gore Court has been bought by some low fellow…’ However, George Smeed’s bricks built much of 19 th Century London, including the new Houses of Parliament, King’s Cross Station, Tower Bridge and the Victorian Underground system.


Ada Esther was striking, intelligent and well educated. When her grandfather died she went to live with an aunt in St. Paul’s Vicarage Upper Norwood, where she met the young curate, the Rev. Joseph Moeran. They married and had two sons, the second being the composer, E J Moeran, born in 1894. Joseph supplied the main Norfolk connection since his father, the Rev J W W Moeran, EJ’s paternal grandfather, was Vicar of Bacton–on-Sea from 1873 until his retirement in 1910 at the age of 94.


Moeran surely owed much to his mother, nurtured in Swale, while he himself lived for some years in other parts of Kent. Described as a quiet and lonely man, Moeran was severely wounded while serving in the First World War. We owe gratitude to Moeran as a composer, but also as a collector of many English folk songs which otherwise might have been lost forever. His music has rather fallen out of fashion. However, his highly regarded Symphony in G Minor, was last performed at the BBC Proms in 2009. Two recordings of the symphony, particularly recommended, are those conducted by Vernon Handley, on Chandos, and by David Lloyd-Jones, on the budget label Naxos, which is coupled with Moeran’s ‘Sinfonietta’. CDs may be ordered through Swade Music.


FROM THE AGM – 10 th September

TWO NEW DIRECTORS were elected and welcomed onto the SMS Committee. Anne Ryback has taken over from Jeane Holmes as Secretary and Margaret Broughton is our new Treasurer. Warm thanks were expressed to Jeane; she continues as Membership Secretary. Pauline Panton was also welcomed as our new Patron, joining Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.


THE LONG TERM FUTURE of SMS depends upon sustaining and increasing our membership. John McCabe urged all who enjoy SMS concerts to become members, whether or not they can attend all the concerts. Membership, he said, was more than buying a season ticket; it expressed a commitment. As at 24 th September membership stands at about 40. Application forms are included in the Programme for the 2010/11 season, or may be obtained from Jeane Holmes (106, College Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 1LQ).

Summer 2010


Friday 15 th October, 7.30 pm

at Kemsley Village Hall

Entry Free


Fine Arts Brass

Simon Lenton and Angela Whelan (trumpets);

Chris Parks (horn); Katy Jones (horn); Sam Elliot (tuba)

This first concert in the refurbished Kemsley Village Hall will be a collaboration with Swale Borough Council, as part of their initiative to promote the arts and music making in the Borough. We are grateful for their generous sponsorship, making all tickets free. It will be a light-hearted programme, with music by Vivaldi, Mozart, Leonard Bernstein and others, and will conclude with great tunes from Broadway Shows, in New York’s Tin Pan Alley, including songs by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and Fats Waller. Fine Arts Brass was formed in 1980 and has become a highly accomplished group of British musicians, firmly established around the world. Their widely varied choice of music has led them to perform regularly for the BBC, on Radio 2, 3 and 4.


We are honoured and delighted that Pauline Panton, LGSM, an ardent supporter of the arts locally and well-known to many of our members, has agreed to join Sir Richard Rodney Bennett as a Patron of our Society.


A new orchestral suite by our Artistic Director, John McCabe, will be premiered by Maidstone Symphony Orchestra on 26th March next year. John’s ‘Three Portraits from Arthur’ are based on music from his two ballets, Arthur Pendragon and Morte d’Arthur.


This collage is one of the art works currently on display in the first public artwork exhibition by our Patron, the composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. The exhibition is at the South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre and runs until 10 th September (Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm). It is part of the Nightingale Project, of which Bennett is a patron, which aims to bring life and colour into a hospital or clinic, creating a conducive setting for medical and therapeutic work.

(Location: 1 Nightingale Place, London SW10 9NG; nearest tube stations, South Kensington and Fulham Broadway.)


Sadly, we shall soon be losing our Membership Secretary. Jeane Holmes, who has long been an energetic member of our Management Committee almost from the start. In 2009 she also took on the responsibilities of Company Secretary. Jeane will leave a big hole; we shall be very sorry to lose her, and are so grateful for all she has done for SMS. Our good wishes go with Jeane and her husband Ben, who plan to move to Dorset to be nearer their family.


We are grateful to Anne for responding to our appeal for a new Secretary. Anne has been a member of the Orpheus Choral Society since 1974. She came to Sittingbourne forty years ago to work in Shell Research. Later she became a science teacher, in Rochester and in Highsted Grammar School.


Allan Foot:

‘I enjoy the concerts – I’ve not missed any. The artists are so talented and the music magical…. It is a rare opportunity in this area to hear music-making of the highest order.’ (Allan conducts the Freegard Singers.)

Dorothy Mill:

‘I find I enjoy chamber music more than I thought I did…. Some outstanding artists, like the Kings Singers.’ She enjoys meeting people – ‘It’s a good social occasion.’

Eve Lee:

‘I appreciate the friendliness, which adds to the enjoyment….I like it now the audience sits in the round; much better than sitting in rows….I’m a bit on the fringe, musically; I want to expand my interest….New music is fine, but not too much at once.’

AGM AGENDA – 10 th September 7.30pm – Avenue Theatre, Avenue of Remembrance

1. Chairman’s Welcome

2. Apologies for Absence

3. Minutes of AGM 2009

4. Reports:

Chairman – Secretary – Treasurer – Adoption of Accounts

5. Retirement and Adoption of Directors

6. Election of Officers:

Chairman – Company Secretary – Treasurer

7. Any other Business

Please join us then. The meeting will be followed by a short musical entertainment.