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36th birthday

From the Archive

It's Berkshire Maestros birthday again! To mark this occasion, we've gone back into the archive and have found some concert programmes from the 1970s before the days that the Berkshire music service formed into Berkshire Young Musician's Trust. Click on the links below to see if your name is included amongst the performers:

16 May 1971 Berkshire Youth Wind Orchestra

26 February 1972 Berkshire Youth Wind Orchestra

18 March 1972 Berkshire County Youth Orchestra Concert

21 November 1972 Berkshire County Youth Orchestra St Cecilia Concert

7 April 1973 Berkshire County Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

12 April 1973 Berkshire Youth Chamber Ensemble Concert programme

24 March 1974 Berkshire County Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

26 November 1975 Berkshire Youth Orchestra St Cecilia Concert

22 July 1977(?) Berkshire Youth Orchestra Summer Jubilee Concert

BYO Programme

35th Anniversary - 2017

Berkshire Young Musicians Trust, which trades as Berkshire Maestros, was incorporated on 25 October 1982, so 2017 marked our 35th anniversary! We took this opportunity to delve into the archives for memories of yesteryear. Did you play with Berkshire Young Musicians Trust in the past? Do you recognise any of the people in these photographs?

We’d love to hear from some of our former musicians so if you used to play or sing with Berkshire Young Musicians Trust in the 1980s, 1990s or early 2000s please e-mail us using to let us know what you’re doing now.

The photos displayed below are all medium resolution, but if you click on them you can access much better versions of the files that will be clearer to see.

BYC 2002 A BYC 2002 (A)

BYC 2002 BBYC 2002 (B)

Bracknell Rock Band 2000Berkshire Choirs Wigmore Hall 1999

Bracknell Rock Band 2000

Bracknell Rock Band 2000

BYC 1998 Front BYC 1998 (Front)

BYC 1998 Back


BYC 1998 (Back with names)

East Berk Youth Orc East Berkshire Youth Orchestra 1996

BYO Verdi Requiem 1996 A
RAH BYO Verdi Requiem 1996 (A)

BYO Verdi Requiem 1996 B
RAH BYO Verdi Requiem 1996 (B)

BYC Chamber 1991
Tour of Austria 1991

BYC 1991BYC 1991

BYSO 1986 ABerkshire Youth String Orchestra 1986

BYSO 1986 BBerkshire Youth String Orchestra 1986

Some former members have been in contact with us

Former student Harry Brokensha is now working as a professional composer for film and TV. “I was involved with BYMT from the start of primary school right through to age 18 and it was a massive part of my childhood and teenage years. In my time there I played with BYO, Concert Band, Double Reed Ensemble, Swing Band and sang with the Boys’ Choir, going on tours to France, Germany and China. An absolute highlight was conducting my composition with BYO at the Royal Albert Hall for the Music for Youth Schools Prom — an experience I’ll never forget. I made so many friends for life at BYMT and it helped me develop hugely not only as a musician but also as a person — I’m so grateful for everything it’s done for me and for the world-class teaching it offers." Have a look at Harry’s website:

Julia Bentley-Dawkes now runs Concertini, an organisation that puts on family-friendly concerts. “I spent many happy years (1988 - 1997) at BYMT performing in The Zephyr Wind Band, East Berkshire Chamber Choir, BYWO and BYC. Although, I complained about getting up early every Saturday morning, playing the flute and singing in choirs has bought me great joy over the years (and kept me out of a lot of trouble). Since leaving BYMT I have graduated from music college, set up a teaching practice from home, worked for Dawkes Music (where I met my husband Jon Dawkes) and recently launched ‘Concertini’ an award winning concert series for families with young children. I’m a firm believer that learning a musical instrument or singing in a choir will help children in any career they chose and the earlier it’s introduced the better!”

Marie Copley remembers her time as a student. “I belonged to the Berkshire Young Musicians Trust from the tender age of 10 through to 18 playing the clarinet. My clarinet teacher got me involved at primary school and I LOVED my time there! I  still have so many fond memories, particularly of the summer courses at Leighton Park School - the auditorium we played in there seemed so big at the time. The audience of hundreds felt like thousands. Playing a solo at The Hexagon in Reading was also a highlight as I got a dressing room with lightbulbs around the mirror - felt like a proper superstar! I’m now a producer for the BBC and I still play my clarinet. In fact my editor also plays the clarinet so we are planning on serenading the news room very soon!

One former member of Berkshire Youth Choir is now a member of staff for Berkshire Maestros; Naomi Hinton is School Events Co-ordinator and she runs our Junior Music Festivals. “I was one of the earliest members of BYC and even went on their first ever tour. I had such a fab time in the choir and had so many amazing opportunities; we sang at the Royal Albert Hall and at Comic Relief, and we once sang High Mass at Sacre Coeur in Paris. I am still friends with some of the other members now.

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