Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Tributes paid to Thirsk musical community stalwart Martin Hooper
9:17am Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to a community stalwart and long-serving chairman of a music concert series who has died aged 75.
Martin Hooper, who played a pivotal role in the monthly Sowerby Music concerts – which attracts international virtuosos to perform in the village, near Thirsk – died in the Lambert Memorial Hospital, Sowerby, after a five-year battle against pancreatic cancer.
With funds from the concert series, Mr Hooper founded the Music for Life initiative 13 years ago, after realising small rural schools in North Yorkshire had little access to professional music-making and rarely have trained music teachers.
The scheme has developed into the biggest and most diverse programme for youngsters organised and funded by any music society in the country, with performances and masterclasses for 4,000 pupils at 36 primary schools in the area annually. Graham Merriam, who co-founded the concert series, said: “Without Martin, I am not sure Sowerby Music would have survived and he certainly upheld the quality of the concerts.”
Eleanor, his wife of 52 years, said he played rugby for several counties when he was younger, but had been dedicated to his children, Christopher and Amanda, five grandchildren and music in his later years. Peter Rush, who founded the volunteer-run Thirsk Tourist Information Centre, said Mr Hooper’s death was a huge loss to the community.
A service of thanksgiving for Mr Hooper’s life will be held at St Oswald’s Church on Wednesday, September 11, at noon.
Comments are closed on this article.