Musical Jean is awarded British Empire Medal

Jean Holmes has been awarded the British Empire Medal.
Jean Holmes has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Veteran conductor Jean Holmes has been awarded the British Empire Medal – for services to choral music in Nottinghamshire.

The 84-year-old, of Newboundmill Lane, Pleasley, has been honoured in the Queen’s New Year Honours for more than 40 years’ service.

She said: “I was shocked to start with and thought ‘I can’t accept this I’m not worthy’, but a lot of people have said lovely things about me and I am very pleased to accept it.”

Mrs Holmes was nominated for the award by her daughter Jill Saville and husband Ralph.

She got together with a few others in Skegby to create the Parish Players, a music and drama group.

In 1980, the conductor retired and she agreed to take over – a position she held for 34 years.

She was also a member of the Ashfield Singers, a small group singing intricate music, and when their conductor left in 1983, she was persuaded to take over.

In 1989, the Phoenix Chorale Society in Sutton, of which Mrs Holmes was also a member, needed a conductor.

The choirs merged and Mrs Holmes held the position of conductor until their Christmas concert in December 2016.

In 1995, she became the first female conductor of the Mansfield Male Voice Choir.

Finally, she applied for and got the role as musical director for the new choir, Take Note.

She continues to conduct Take Note, coach individuals and play the organ in Pleasley church.