Apr 052018

Macclesfield Methodist Community Choir’s next concert is on Saturday 14th April at 7.30pm. There are two main pieces. Firstly, Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No 2 with Christopher Walters. Chris is a former MDMT music volunteer at Starehe Boys’ Centre in Nairobi and an ex member of the European Youth Orchestra. Weber comes from the generation following our second composer, Mozart. His Solemn Vespers K.339 are neither solemn nor vespers but settings of 5 OT Psalms and concluding with the Magnificat. Mozart at his best! The soloists are Denise Leigh, Judith Tinston, Philip Cartwright and George Hulbert. Tickets are £10 available from 01625 433187 / 615298

Feb 122018


 is organising


On Saturday 3rd March at 8.00pm

Now Saturday 21st April at 8.00pm

In Bollington Civic Hall

Any number of people up to a maximum of 6 in a team.

Prizes for the top three teams!

Licensed bar.

A highly entertaining evening guaranteed!

Tickets £3.00   from  01625 433187 / 615298

Sep 182017

MDMT’s next event – Saturday October 7th, 7.30pm at Macclesfield Methodist Church – SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES – iconic songs from iconic films. Tickets – adults £10, children £5 from 01625 433187

Apr 052017

Music Graduates: Interested in an African Adventure?

We are looking for two musicians to work as volunteer teachers in Kenya for a one or two year placement, starting Aug/Sept 2017.

You will be based at Starehe Boys’ & Girls’ Centres in Nairobi. Duties include individual lessons, choir training, preparing students for ABRSM exams and Kenya Music Festival, piano accompaniment and some classroom teaching. You will have a Music degree/B.Ed with Music or equivalent and be a competent pianist. You may already have experience teaching, accompanying and training ensembles but this is not essential.

Starehe Boys’ School is a charitable boarding school with an international reputation, being the first school to offer free secondary education to some of the brightest but poorest boys in Kenya. The school has grown from its humble beginnings in two tin huts to educating 1000 boys at any one time. Starehe Girls’ School is its partner institution.

This is a wonderful opportunity for an enthusiastic and committed musician with high expectations to work in an inspiring educational and social environment. The students are well motivated, eager to learn and ready to seize any opportunities offered them. There is free accommodation, a monthly living allowance and the return air fare to the UK.

We have been sending volunteers to Kenya for life-changing experiences since 2004.

Please send CV and covering letter to the UK sponsor of this post:

THE MARTYN DONALDSON MUSIC TRUST, 7 Manor Crescent, Tytherington, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 2EN.

www.mdmt.org.uk / andy.donaldson@mdmt.org.uk / 01625 433187 for further information

Closing date for applications is 1st May 2017

Nov 062016

img_0300The Martyn Donaldson Music Trust welcomes the start of the Christmas season on Saturday 3rd December with a sparkling concert for all the family at Macclesfield Methodist Church. Based around an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’ read by Paul Connor, will be Christmas music for choir and orchestra, the story of the Nativity and a visit from Santa Claus!

Note that the evening starts at 7pm to enable young families to come.

Tickets are £10 adults and £2 for children available from the Donaldsons or North or on 01625 433187 / 615298

Aug 312016

The MARTYN DONALDSON MUSIC TRUST presents its major fund raising event of the year, MARTYN’S MUSIC 9 on Saturday 10th September at 7.30pm in Macclesfield Methodist Church.

The Community Choir and the Occasional Musicians will be joined by our special guests from Starehe Girls’ Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The programme is a truly eclectic musical mix including Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz, the Hallelujah Chorus, songs from Les Miserables and the Lion King and Kenyan tribal dancing!

Tickets, now on sale, are £10, £7 for Trust Friends and £5 children available on 01625 433187 / 615298.

Mar 072016

Macclesfield Methodist Church Community Choir


A scintillating evening of popular show time music


Saturday 21st May in Macclesfield Methodist Church at 7pm.

It should appeal to families young and old alike –hence the early starting time

Featured will be music from The Lion King, Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate factory, along with old classics like Annie Get your Gun, South Pacific, Les Miserables and lots more!

Children are invited to come dressed as their favourite characters from their favourite shows!

Proceeds in aid of the Martyn Donaldson Music Trust.

Tickets are £10 adults and £5 children from 01625 433187 / 615298

Mar 072016


on Saturday 19th March at 7.30pm

Macclesfield Methodist Church, Westminster Road

The Academy has a very successful music tradition going back over 40 years. It enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s leading educational establishments in its provision of musical opportunities for all it students.

The Showband has appeared twice in the New York Wind Band Festival in the Carnegie Hall receiving the Gold Award in 2007 and performing at the Showcase evening concert in 2010. In 2012 the Showband represented England in the Commonwealth Carnival of Music in Westminster Hall, London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

In July 2013 the Showband competed at the World Music Contest for youth wind bands at Kerkrade in Holland and was awarded the Gold Medal.

On numerous occasions the Band has received gold awards in the National Concert Band Festival of Great Britain. In 2015 the Band received the prestigious ‘Performance Practice’ award at the National Festival of Music for Youth in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the category sponsored by MDMT.

Do not miss this opportunity to hear a really outstanding youth band.

Tickets £10 from 01625 433187 / 615298

Jan 252016

At the end of 2015, volunteers Ellen McPherson and Lucy Meredith completed two years working at Starehe Boys’ & Girls’ Schools in Nairobi, Kenya as volunteer music teachers.  In this report, Lucy sums up the highlights of her time in Kenya…


Summary of being a Starehe Volunteer 2014-15


It’s almost impossible to summarise two incredible years but I’ll try and highlight the important parts…

  • At the end of my first year, December 2014, five Starehe Boys joined the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya (KNYO) on flute, clarinet, saxophone and trumpet. Three of the same boys have been in the Safaricom Youth Orchestra (SYO), which rehearses every Saturday, since April 2015. They have learnt an incredible amount musically but also, by interacting with other young musicians and tutors, Kenyan and otherwise, they’re learning more about the world too. The trumpeter, Samuel Ndungu, a fully sponsored boy with one parent, performed a jazz solo at the last SYO concert and received a standing ovation from the audience and a request to play it again. I shed a few tears that day and I have sent a trumpet back so he gets his own trumpet, as he has truly earned it.  Samuel still has one year left at Starehe where he is the band leader and a natural born conductor.
  • Many boys have taken ABRSM practical and theory exams in both the 2014 and 2015 period, but three in particular shone out this year receiving distinctions at Grade 3 and Grade 5 piano. As a result, they were asked to perform at the ABRSM High Scorers Concert and performed very well. Also the majority of theory candidates passed with merit or distinction at Grade 5.
  • There are many instruments considered rare in Kenya; viola, cello, double bass, oboe, bassoon and French horn all fall into that category with very few young Kenyans receiving the opportunity to play them. There have been two professional musicians from the US visiting the Kenya Conservatoire of Music, Lydia Van Dreel – French horn and Elizabeth Tomorsky Knott – Oboe. I was lucky enough to organise for them both to visit Starehe on several occasions and teach selected music students. We have two boys doing very well on the oboe and two trumpeters who had a few lessons on the French horn, so we’re hoping that they’re good enough to join the Youth Orchestra soon.
  • After two years at the National Kenya Music Festival (KMF) I’ve seen the boys go from strength to strength in all of the categories, with countless trophies and 1st I will remember two of the boys in advanced piano in 2015 coming 1st in solo and duet and rushing with the same boys over to another venue, to perform in our woodwind ensemble and our windband (they are both flautists too!), which I conducted and for which we came 2nd and 3rd respectively, then running to a different venue again for Moses Otieno, who came with us to UK, to conduct and accompany choir pieces which he trained. Doing their best from beginning to end of each day definitely made us proud.
  • During the two years at Starehe I have managed to increase the instruments, both by donations from UK or Kenya and ones I managed to purchase and fix myself. These include; upright acoustic piano, electric Yamaha Clavinova, 3 acoustic guitars, 3 violins, 4 flutes, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 4 trumpets (MDMT donated), euphonium, music stands and countless music books and enough spare reeds etc. to keep them going for a while. These instruments are used for hours on a daily basis, whether in their music lessons during the day or after school, in the band or other ensembles or just learning from each other in their spare time in the evenings and at weekends.
  • My personal highlights would be; performing in a wind trio in the School Christmas Concert 2015 with two of my “superstars” in the youth orchestras, taking the 6 boys to Macclesfield in September 2014, working hard with the wind ensembles at KMF performing Bohemian Rhapsody and A Whole New World and conducting the performances at the festival witnessing all the hard work paying off, watching the President of Kenya dance with our boys who were the main performance for Uhuru Kenyatta at a prize giving at State House in 2014 and finally throwing the surprise thank you party for the musicians at school where I bought cake and soda for over 50 boys and where many kind words were exchanged and a song or too also.
  • The majority of the best parts happen in the evenings, weekends and holidays. The day to day work of teaching about 35 students individual instrumental lessons, mainly piano with some flute and violin, can seem rather mundane.  However some of those are preparing for the Young Musicians competition in February 2016, with pieces I wouldn’t attempt myself, so those lessons are never actually boring and I feel I’ve learnt a lot from them also.


I must thank MDMT wholeheartedly, as without this incredible opportunity to teach many talented boys, I wouldn’t have learnt so many things about myself in the last two years, including how to live alone in a new country and how important friends and family are, whether new or old. I also continued learning and pushing myself by achieving ABRSM Grade 8 Viola, starting the viola sections in both of the youth orchestras in Nairobi during 2015, leading the Nairobi Orchestra viola section and performing solos, conducting ensembles, accompanying ABRSM students, teaching saxophone to a Grade 5 student who passed and also taking cello lessons!


I’m currently going back to teaching upper strings in schools across my county, as a temporary job until I (hopefully) train to be a Secondary Maths teacher later in the year and probably stay for a few years teaching. My long term goal is to train teachers to be teachers in poor areas across the world, as I’ve seen my fair share of bad teachers. I strongly believe that a good quality education is the key to success and pray for a world without extreme poverty.


Asante sana (Thank you very much)