Late Dorothy’s musical legacy

PUBLISHED: 09:02 17 November 2018

Dorothy Wells, benefactor of the Dorothy Wells Organ Foundation at St Mary's Church in Hitchin.

Dorothy Wells, benefactor of the Dorothy Wells Organ Foundation at St Mary's Church in Hitchin.

Archant

A new strings foundation for young children launched last week in memory of Dorothy Wells, who honoured her Hitchin links with a bequest dedicated to young aspiring muscians.

Ros Woodin was teaching the children how to play the violin. Picture: Kay TuckerRos Woodin was teaching the children how to play the violin. Picture: Kay Tucker

Dorothy left a legacy for an organ scholarship – The Dorothy Wells Organ Foundation, which launched at the town’s St Mary’s Church in 2016 – and a strings project, named the Dorothy Wells Strings Foundation, which was hosted by Benslow Music Trust on Tuesday..

Young violinists – aged 3 to 5 – enjoyed their first experience of the Stringbabies approach, ably led by local violinist and teacher Ros Woodin.

Trustees invited Kay Tucker, founder of the Stringbabies approach, to help set up the classes and get the project off the ground.

In time, it is hoped that the foundation will be able to offer lessons to an extended age range.

The Dorothy Wells Strings Foundation welcomed children aged 3 to 5 to its first session last week. Picturre: Kay TuckerThe Dorothy Wells Strings Foundation welcomed children aged 3 to 5 to its first session last week. Picturre: Kay Tucker

Kay said: “I could not have dreamt of a better venue than Benslow to launch this exciting new project.

“The children and their families were made very welcome by the Benslow Music Trust staff and it was just wonderful for the children to experience the sounds of so much music making going on. It made all the difference.”

The organ foundation launched in 2016 with a recital from international organist Jane Watts, and was attended by friends and family of Dorothy Wells.

Dorothy was a Harrow borough councillor and served as chairman of planning and schools, while also working in support of the Harrow School of Music and promoted instrumental music in several schools where she served as a governor.

Although Dorothy was a Londoner, her paternal family hailed from the Hitchin area. Following her death in 2015, St Mary’s was bequested a five-figure sum to fund the training of young organists.

The DWSF is hoping to extend its classes in January and welcomes enquiries from families with children aged 3 to 5 years. There is a bursary available for financial assistance with the lessons.

The Foundation would also like to hear from anybody who is able to donate small violins or cellos, or any businesses who could offer some financial support or expertise.

To get in touch email is dorothywellssf@gmail.com or visit www.dorothywells.weebly.com.

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