Nancy Litten, Chair
Nancy received tuition from the Kent Music Academy (specialist Saturday school) from age 9 and played in the Kent County Youth Orchestra from age 13. Her first job was teaching violin for Kent Music School while she was still studying at the Royal Academy of Music on an open piano scholarship. She has taught and performed piano, violin, chamber and orchestral music, and singing, and was a piano accompanist for Kent Music (including KMA and Summer Schools) from 1993. She has run county and national courses for keyboard players. She now teaches privately, composes (15 books published by Alfred UK), writes, and speaks at conferences.
She became a member of the Kent Youth Music Association (precursor of KaMYM) in 1980 and joined as a trustee in 2008. She is an ABRSM examiner, Chair of the Kent region of the European Piano Teachers' Association, and a member of the Adjudicators' Council of the British and International Federation of Festivals. She lives in Maidstone and is married to a retired vicar who has found her keyboard and choral skills invaluable in parish life!
Jeannette Ward, Secretary
Jeannette moved to Maidstone in 1982 and joined the Maidstone Choral Union where she met new singers. Together they formed a singing quartet called Domestic Harmony and gave afternoon concerts to WI Groups, nursing homes and community centres in Maidstone and Medway. She started having singing lessons at Kent Music School and this led her to join a semi-professional group called Cameo Opera. She has sung at the Hazlitt, Marlowe Theatre and White Rock Theatre, Hastings, as well as in restaurants and at private functions. She retired from her job with Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust as a Psychological Therapist in 2000 and has started to learn to play the ‘cello. She is pleased to be a KMYMT trustee so that she can help disadvantaged young musicians to have the opportunities she has had.
Kate Mayfield, Treasurer
Kate read Politics and Japanese at university and the experience has helped to sustain her long-time interest in South East Asia. She moved to the south of England from Yorkshire 25 years ago and currently works for HSBC. She recently settled in Rochester, has joined the amateur orchestra Kaleidoscope as an oboist and for her last birthday, her friends bought her a drum kit. She wanted to join the Trust to become more involved in the local community and to support young people as she knows how important it is for them to have the opportunity to develop their musical interest.
Nigel Whitehead, Trustee
Nigel is one of the founder members of the KMYMT. In 2003 he was invited by Michael Wearne and Robert Hoult to join because of his business experience. Nigel is married to an almost retired professional musician whose brother is a well-known jazz-player and critic. He is a Surveyor and set up a joint practice in 1999 focussing on commercial property management and acquisitions. He started work in 1957 working for Coutts Bank before entering the surveying profession and formally retired in 2019 after almost 60 years working in the City of London alongside several major Institutions. He is a City Liveryman and until recently was chairman of the Livery’s Charitable Trust. He served for 30years on the Friends of Kent Churches’ Grants Committee, still serves on the Cranbrook Conservation Area Advisory Committee and is a veteran member of the Honourable Artillery Company. On attaining my eightieth birthday he raised £10,000 for the charity Crisis by undertaking a tandem skydive from 12,000ft
Richard Gretton, Trustee
Richard is a singer. He read Geography at Oxford University and became a teacher and then a private examination consultant. He has been connected to Kent Music through his wife who taught ‘cello at the centre before she retired. Richard has worked for many years with young people. He started working as a volunteer for the Maidstone Young Musicians Society (MYMS) and in due course became its manager. MYMS encourages the development of singers, string, woodwind, brass and percussion players and is based at Invicta School in Maidstone. He has also been involved with the Maidstone Area Arts partnership but has recently resigned from both these activities. He is delighted to be involved with KMYMT as he is fiercely dedicated to the support and development of young musicians.
Andy Millest, Trustee
Andy has lived in Medway since the age of 6 only going away for studies: Music at Sheffield and teacher training at Cambridge (Christ’s). He has had life-long involvement with the Salvation Army, including playing cornet and conducting the adult choir at Gillingham. He worked for 26 enjoyable years as Director of Music at The Rochester Grammar School, taking early retirement in 2016, and has been coconductor of the Kent County Junior Choir for over 20 years. Since September 2016 he has discovered the joy of working part time with the wonderful students at Abbey Court, Medway's school for students with severe and profound learning difficulties. And, beginning in September 2017, he has helped establish and run The Music Man Project Kent - a music education service for people with learning difficulties, giving the opportunity to learn to sing and play together, and to give public performances. Andy is aware that many families make great sacrifices to provide musical training for their children and sees the Trust making a significant difference for some where finances are tight.
Nigel Barham, Trustee
Nigel is a singer (tenor) who has lived in the Maidstone area most of his life.
By profession he is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Loss Adjuster and spent 10 years in mainstream construction followed by over 30 years involved with buildings related insurance claims. This included heading up and expanding the Building Services Division of one of the main UK Loss Adjusting firms. He has supplementary qualifications through the Institute of Leadership and Management and the Institute of Customer Service and is a past Chair of the UK Subsidence Forum.
Music has been close to his heart and actively pursued in his spare time since he was a boy treble. He was a founder member of the Maidstone Singers and of the Rochester Cathedral Voluntary Choir and still sings in both. He also plays the piano (albeit not that brilliantly!)
Having just retired Nigel wants to increase his music related activities and utilise his experience to put something back into the community. He would like to help more young people have the opportunities that he had as a youngster to develop their musical talents.
Jennifer Barwise, Trustee
Jennifer Barwise started her musical career as a classical soprano in the centre of Manchester, studying at both the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School and Chetham’s School of Music. She then went on to pursue a performance degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, graduating with a first-class honours in 2019. Jenny now works for the Learning and Participation Music department at Trinity Laban as a Project Coordinator, managing activities and programmes for participants with disabilities, older people, children and families as well as professional development and training opportunities for music practitioners. In her spare time, Jenny can be found performing with the Maidstone Singers, practicing alto saxophone, and volunteering for local organisations. She has recently been appointed Secretary for Coxheath Table Tennis Club and has helped to set up a local community group, Coxheath Connect. Jenny is delighted to be a Trustee for Kent and Medway Young Musicians Trust and looks forward to serving young people as they progress on their musical journeys.