Chairman's page...

Don't let the music stop

Long Covid doesn't just affect humans. Countless arts organisations and music venues appear to be suffering from its effects too - in the form of reduced audiences and revenues.

Three Rivers Music Society, which holds lunchtime and evening concerts in Rickmansworth Baptist Church, would like to claim that it is bucking this global trend. But we too have been struggling to balance our books despite staging some unforgettable concerts.

Here are some of the stand-out performers we have attracted over the past three Covid-disrupted years:

Iain Farrington, a brilliant pianist and arranger who performed the "Chariots of Fire" comedy sketch with Rowan Atkinson at the 2012 London Olympics. He and John Reid, a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, treated us to an evening of dance-inspired piano music immediately before the first lockdown.

David Halls, director of music at Salisbury Cathedral, and a member of a piano trio that raised our spirits in early 2022. Earlier he had entertained the queue waiting for Covid vaccinations at his cathedral by playing organ music by Bach and Handel - and even a little Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Verona Maier, another accomplished organist, who is vice-rector of the National University of Music in Bucharest. Her piano recital last November was astonishing. She played Bach's Partita No. 1, a revolutionary composition that the immortal Johann Sebastian said he wrote to refresh music lovers' spirits. Almost 300 years later it still achieves that aim.

The highly regarded John Donegan Jazz Sextet, which has performed for us seven times, also helped to blast away the Covid blues. John is a local pianist and composer with a national reputation, and several members of his sextet are stars in their own right. But ever since the music society was revived by Dr Steven Halls, former chief executive of Three Rivers District Council, and our chairman Ash Patil, the concerts that have left audiences most awestruck are the recitals by teenage students at the Purcell School in Bushey, a world-class centre of musical excellence. "How can someone so young play so well?" is the perennial question.

Happily, these Purcell performances have been witnessed by children even younger than themselves because we always invite a local primary school to send a class to these concerts (in fact, free entry to concerts is offered to all under 25-year-olds).

We believe this early introduction to classical music will encourage children to become the musicians or concertgoers of the future. But, of course, it does not help us to pay performers' fees in the short term. That is why we must trust that, as Covid fears abate, residents of Three Rivers will turn up in greater numbers to support our concerts.

The music society, a charity established in 1975, should not be allowed to disappear. As one local concertgoer said on a social media site in February: "The people of Rickmansworth are lucky to have such a seriously good music society."

We have to hope that others will realise the truth of that statement in the coming year.

article by....
David Budge

Minutes of the latest 2021 AGM that took place on Wednesday December 1 at the Baptist Church will be available soon.

Minutes of the last AGM - 2019

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TRMS's History
TRMS Concerts


Hallses & Mooody trio (3)
TRMS Past Concerts


Sad news - Christopher Gunning's death...
Thomas Bowes (3)
Emma Abbate & Julian Perkins
John Donegan Jazz Sextet (7)
Purcell School (9)


Purcell School (8)
Verona Maier (2)
John Donegan Sextet (6)
Maggini Quartet (7)
Purcell School (7)
Organist Samuel Bristow
Symphonia Academica
Hallses & Moody trio (2)
Roberts & Horton


Purcell School (6)
Galliard Ensemble
Bowes (violin) & Maier (piano)
John Donegan Jazz Sextet (5)
Jayne Walker (violin) & Steven Halls (cello)Duet
Iain Farrington and John Reid piano duet
Jayne Walker Piano Trio


Purcell School (5)
The Maggini String Quartet (6)
John Donegan Jazz Sextet (4)
Hallses & Moody Quartet (1)
Peter Nall Chamber Ensemble
Louise Thompson Harp Recital
John Donegan Jazz Quartet (3)
Purcell School (4)
Ferio Saxophone Quartet


Jayne Walker Piano Trio
Symphonia Academica (2)
Purcell School (3)
Maggini String Quartet (5)
Maggini String Quartet (4)
Gunning Speech on Rubbra's music
Thomas Bowes Violin Solo
Stokes (flute) & Lee (piano)
Butterworth Organ Recital
Julian Trevelyan piano
Purcell School (2)


Purcell School (1)
John Donegan's Jazz Quartet (2)
The Sansara Consort
Maggini (3)
Uday Bhawalkar
What is Dhrupad?
Symphonia Academica
RYMY - 2017
Ashley Fripp
Donegan Jazz Trio (1)
Maggini (2)
Sad news - David Angel's sudden death...
Nall & Ward

By the by
articles by David Budge

recent articles

Gioconda de Vito
tinkling the "ivories"

past articles

Gunning Speech on Rubbra's music
Sound of Music best heard in Watford
Rosa Newmarch - a truly unforgettable woman
Gilbert loved Harefield
Janacek's "fairy tale" visit to Chorleywood

Previous articles

Sir Andrew Davis's journey
Strange link between Delius and Fanny Cradock
Arnold Bax's brief exile in Rickmansworth
Composers on the train to Rickmansworth
Musician's chapel
Sir Henry Wood
Piano Appeal
 The Piano fund donations always welcome