The Master’s Newsletter, March 2015

Dear Member,

The first months of 2015 have been busy for the Company: the new website is working well, events are being successfully booked online and the new-look Company Yearbook contains much more information this year.

Almost 2,500 pages from the surviving Court Minute Books from 1772 -1914 have been photographed and put on the Company Archives website Under Treasures/Manuscripts are photos of some of our most important manuscript scores with audio links, including Elgar’s Elegy played each year at the Company’s Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral. This year, the Evensong is on Wednesday 7th October at 5 00pm, and all Masters,Wardens and Clerks of the other Livery Companies are invited.
There is a link ( under News on the Company website to the delightful rhythmic carol, Run, Shepherds Run, commissioned from Iain Farrington for last December’s Carol Service at St Michael’s, Cornhill.

Yeomen Programme update
The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (who have an adult son with special needs) observed an Outreach at a special needs school in Swiss Cottage on Friday 27th February. Both spoke very highly of the work that the Company is doing in Outreach in schools.
Our Yeomen, The Jubilee Quartet, will play at the Big Curry Lunch hosted at the Guildhall by the Lord Mayor on Thursday 16th April.

The Yeomen Outreach programme continues to expand rapidly – 50 schools are now involved. 2015 has started with 15 Company volunteers arranging 31 visits for 30 Yeomen reaching 1500 children (as at March 15).
More volunteers are needed – so if you would like to help, please get in touch with John Nichols on 01483 564273, mobile 07747 023625, email .
Soon, professionally filmed examples of Outreach Sessions will be available to view via links from the website and we are extremely grateful to Arts First, the Islington Music Hub, for offering to do this free of charge.

The Richard Reeves Educational Trust has recently awarded the Company a grant of £10,000 for the development of the Outreach sessions during 2015/16 in Islington, Camden and The City of London. This is a terrific endorsement of, and vote of confidence in, the Yeomen Programme.

Yeomen Performances
2015 will see Yeomen performing in many Festivals, from Rye to Ryedale, via Petworth, Buxton, Two Moors, Thames Concerts, St John’s Smith Square, and many other venues. 80 to 90 performance opportunities have been found for the Yeomen in 2015. Please consult the Twitter feed on the website, or the Website Events Pages,, for details.

The Annual Yeomen and Company Volunteers’ Party will be held on Monday April 27th at St John’s Smith Square.

Informal Lunch for Company Freemen on Friday 24 April at 12.30pm
The Members’ Room at the Guildhall is the interesting venue that we are using this year, thanks to Court Assistant Elect Catherine McGuiness. The last date for bookings is April 6th – please contact Catherine at

Court Meeting Wednesday 28th January 2015
The Reverend Alan Boddy wishes to retire after 11 years as Honorary Chaplain at the end of my year as Master. I look forward to thanking Alan publicly for his great service to the Company.
Each Master will in future appoint a Master’s Chaplain for the year and the Court is delighted that Liveryman the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles has agreed to become Honorary Almoner to the Company after he steps down as Registrar to the Sons of the Clergy.

Liveryman Ian Ritchie will succeed the Senior Warden as Chairman of the Concerts Committee in May.

John Christie Award 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert
Monday 12th October Royal College of Music at 7.00pm
An advertisement plus an article on the history of the award will be in this year’s Glyndebourne programme. Please contact the Clerk if you are able to suggest possible sponsors for this event. We are aiming to raise a further £200K to make a total of £400K to ensure the award of £15K can be given for the next 50 years! The names of all the past winners have been included in the 2015 Yearbook.

We are delighted that John Wilson has agreed to be the Company’s 2015 Honorary Fellow.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies will attend the Livery Dinner on Wednesday 15th April to accept the Collard Life Fellowship. The three previous holders are Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells. Also attending will be the winners of this year’s Santley Awards, Diana Montague and Mark Padmore. Trevor Pinnock, this year’s winner of the Cobbett medal, will receive his medal at the preceding Court.

Judith Weir, the first female Master of the Queen’s Music, will receive the Company Gold medal at the Midsummer Banquet on Wednesday 24 June.

The Dankworth Prizes for Jazz Composition were awarded on 11th February by Alec and Emily Dankworth to Chris McMurran (Big Band) and Ralph Wyld (Small Ensemble).

The Livery Club
The visit to Stone House at Lewisham in South East London on May 6th is almost fully booked –check the website to see if there are tickets left.
20 Company Members and 5 guests have booked on the trip to Hukvaldy in July and new venues have been visited and booked by the Livery Club President and the Clerk for lunch following the Bach Cantata on Friday September 25th and for supper after the Company Carol Service on Wednesday 9th December.
Fundraising and Publicity for the work of the Company
Albion Media are working with us to raise awareness of the Yeomen Programme to support our approaches to possible sponsors particularly for the Outreach work in schools and also to maximise the opportunity to publicise the charitable work of the Company offered by the John Christie Award Celebration Gala Concert.

It would be very helpful if you could let the Clerk know of any educational charities that might be interested in supporting the Outreach programme in London Schools.

Company Christmas Card 2015
We are looking into the possibility of having a Company Christmas Card. Details will be sent out in a few months plus a request to ask how many you may wish to buy in order to plan the print run needed.

The 25th Anniversary edition of Preserve Harmony will be published in May.
A list of 2015 dates for your diary is attached. Those which have been added since the 2015 Yearbook was published are highlighted in red.

With every good wish for Easter and I look forward to seeing you at Company events in the next few months.

Kathleen Duncan