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 was based at St James's.
Since 2003 Martin has taken on the role of acting choirmaster many times
in the intervals between permanent organist/choirmasters. At the same
time he has also coordinated all the music and liaised with a group
of excellent locum organists. He also helps when a conductor is needed
while the regular organist accompanies an anthem. He continues to sing
in the church choir and conduct the St James's Players.