CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Young Music Makers tune up for 50th anniversary celebrations

16 March, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

Young Music Makers playing at last year’s International Jazz Day

The 50th anniversary of Young Music Makers, the thriving Saturday music school, is being celebrated at a bumper birthday concert later this month.

The event is being held at its weekly Saturday venue La Sainte Union School in Highgate Road on Saturday, March 25. Music being played is a mixture of early music/ baroque and classical through to contemporary styles such as jazz, rock, pop and drum corps repertoire. Performing are 36 YMM ensembles with more than 250 musicians aged from four to 84.

Among ensembles are early years groups, beginner and advanced guitars, junior and senior strings, two ukulele groups and five choirs.

“Our USP is definitely the family involvement,” says Rebecca McChrystal, YMM’s admin director who helps to keep the show on the road with musical director Daisy Cooke. We often have families with three generations learning an instrument or playing in a YMM group on a Saturday. Some perform together in collaborations or we have two sets of parents and children in the same group, playing together every week. The sense of community that both children, parents and grandparents get by being a member of the YMM family is definitely the most special thing about us. I do not know of other places that do this.”

YMM was started in by music teacher Margaret Fagan 1967. She ran two small children’s orchestras in Hampstead and Highgate at the time – and these were merged to form a grouping with parental involvement. After starting out in a basement, YMM enjoyed something of a peripatetic life, located in Gospel Oak Primary, Haverstock and William Ellis before finally settling at La Sainte Union.

• Details of the concert at www.youngmusicmakers.co.uk/events
• Former students and staff are being invited to forward photos and memories of their Young Music Makers experiences to music@youngmusicmakers.co.uk or #YMMis50

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