The church music emsemble started life as a small
group of musicians and singers in 1987 led by Paul Revis, see the page
James's Players. During 1997 Martin took on the job of leading it
and gradually it changed from a rock style band to a small orchestra
involving families and youngsters, with Martin arranging all the music.
The group, now called St James’s Players, continues to accompany
and play in the All-age services.
St James's Players
Martin plays clarinet, bassoon and piano and while at school was a member
of the National Youth Orchestra, both as a clarinettist and composer.
He read music at Cambridge University and holds a further music degree
from Durham University. He studied clarinet with Georgina Dobrée
and Thea King, and composition with Herbert Howells and Patrick Gowers.
He taught music in a variety of schools for fifteen years before becoming
Music Adviser for Redbridge Local Authority, during which time he composed works
for children’s choirs and orchestra that he directed at the Royal
Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall. He then became Adviser for Music
and Art for Hounslow Local Authority and a schools inspector with Ofsted. He has published three books of musical classroom activities for GCSE, juniors and infants, the last two jointly with his wife Prill, and has just had one his compositions accepted for publication.
Martin took early retirement in 2006 and now has the time to devote
to his own musical interests. He plays clarinet and bassoon with a variety
of local orchestras and ensembles, including the
Richmond Symphonic Concert Band
and is Musical Director of the Thameside
, which he sometimes conducts with his clarinet! He
sings in Concordia
which is based at St James's.
Between Samuel Draper's departure at the end of 2014 and the appointment
of Mark Blackwell as organist in 2015, Martin took on the role of St
James's choirmaster, which he had previously filled on a temporary basis
in the intervals between permanent organist/choirmasters, whilst also
coordinating all the music and liaising with a group of excellent stand-in
organists. He continues to sing in the church choir and conduct the
st James' Players.