Musicians pay tribute to town’s ‘Mr Music’

By Dennis Fowle

MAIDSTONE’S “Mr Music”, Jef- freyVaughan Martin, touched the lives of thousands of people – and about 1,000 attended a memorable concert to celebrate his life at Mote Hall. More than 300 of them per- formed on an enlarged stage, rep- resenting local orchestras and choirs Jeffrey either formed or led. All had cause to be thankful for

his many talents, dedication and great energy. The musicians combined to form

the JVM All Stars Orchestra and Band, which was supported by Maidstone Youth Music Society and the YouthWind Orchestra. The choirs included The Maid-

stone Singers, Maidstone Choral Union and West Malling Commu- nity Choir. Therewere also guest soloists and

six conductors throughout the evening’s celebrations. Behind them, touching tributes

were paid on screen by friends who worked closely with Jeffrey – in-

cluding a performance by Dame Evelyn Glennie. The music was a warm celebra-

tion of a man whose love of and im- mense dedication to music was infectious. His concerts spreadwell beyond Maidstone and reached many parts of Europe. Jeffrey died last year at the age of

78, but in the final weeks of his life wasworking with theWest Malling

Community Choir. The Arran Road, Maidstone, res-

ident settled here in 1978, where he worked as a teacher and latterly as a specialist music inspector in the county. He founded and directed a num-

ber of musical ventures, including the Kent School Symphonic Wind Band, later renamed the Kent YouthWind Orchestra. Jeffrey was also the treasurer of

the Methodist Church in Union Street, Maidstone, a location used for the Maidstone Jazz Festival. One concert-goer said: “The con-

certwas a fitting tribute to amuch- loved man. He set very high standards – but even he would have been thrilled by this show. And that is saying something!” It was the largest assembly of volunteer musicians ever in Maid- stone. There is talk of more to come.  Jeffrey’s encouragement of young musicians is being marked with a bursary fund. A collection added to the show’s profit. Man robbed

TWO men have been arrested in connection with a mobile phone mugging in Maidstone. Police say the victim was walk-

ing in an area close to Camp Way when he says he was assaulted at about 9.40pm on Sunday, February 26.

During the alleged incident the

man’s mobile phone and bank cards were taken. The victim was taken to hospital with jaw and head injuries. The arrests were made the next

day and concern two men, de- scribed as local, and aged 31 and 32. They have been bailed, pending further enquiries, until June 1. Anyone with information, who

is yet to speak to police, should call the west Kent appeals line on 01622 604100, quoting reference YY/5241/17, or Kent Crimestop- pers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Policing bill

KENT tax-payers will pay more to- wards the county’s police force this year.

Kent Police and Crime commis-

sioner Matthew Scott approved a precept of £151.15 for an average band D home. This is the equivalent of £5 or 3.3% up on last year.


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