Joy Bome MBE

Joy Bome

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Joy Bome MBE was born and educated in Chelmsford. After leaving the Royal College of Music she became a primary school teacher and then a peripatetic teacher of the clarinet in many local schools, before becoming Instrumental Music Co-ordinator for Mid-Essex Schools and tutor to the Essex Youth Orchestra Wind Band. She became conductor of the Chelmsford County High School wind band, participating in the finals of The National Music for Youth Competition at the Royal Festival Hall in London. In 1989 she formed the wind orchestra, Caprice - the Essex Wind Orchestra - to allow people of all ages to use their expertise. The orchestra has about 80 members and to date has helped raise over £107,000 for local and national charities. In 1999, Chelmsford Borough Council awarded Joy their Civic Award for Services to Arts in the Community and in 2001 she was made an MBE for 'services to music and the community in Chelmsford, Essex'. Recently, having retired from Caprice, she has set up an orchestra at All Saints Church, Chelmsford, which is already performing and growing.

In 2002 Joy Bome received an Honorary Master of Arts.


"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Master of Arts degree to Joy Bome, MBE school teacher, peripatetic music teacher and both Founder-Conductor and Musical Director of Caprice - The Essex Wind Orchestra.

Today we honour Joy, whose brainchild is Caprice and through whose dynamism and commitment it continues to flourish, providing not only an opportunity for wind instrument players of all ages and backgrounds to exercise their musical gifts, but providing a vehicle for community and connection within the region, as well as artistic and cultural links with Germany and France.

Joy was born in Chelmsford, attending Moulsham Infant and Junior Schools in succession, before passing on to the County High School for Girls. From there, she went on to study clarinet and piano at the Royal College of Music, before leaving to marry Roger in this cathedral building, forty one years ago. Joy then took up a teaching post at Moulsham Junior Boys School, before becoming a peripatetic clarinet teacher, when she discovered the paucity of music rooms in Chelmsford schools! Some-time later son David was born (he is now an accomplished flautist and percussionist) and later, daughter Helen was born (she led the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra for many years and is Head of Strings at the Kings School in Ely). Music certainly seems to be in the genes of this family!

Joy was then appointed conductor of the Chelmsford County High School Wind Band where she taught for ten years and during this time, the school participated in the finals of The National Music for Youth Competition at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Later, she took on the full-time task of Instrumental Music Co-ordinator with Mid-Essex Education Department, from which she took early retirement in order to realize her next musical adventure.

This was twelve years ago, when an Adult Education Class of ten students formed the kernel of what has become Caprice, currently boasting eighty musicians between the ages of 12 and 70 and now seeking more trumpet, horn and trombone players. Many musicians have benefited mightily from Joy's vision and determination in creating Caprice and this has also given them the opportunity to continue their playing but it has, also, provided the occasion for them to help less fortunate people, since the high standards achieved within Caprice enables them to give up to five concerts each year to help local and national charities raise funds and to date this overall total now exceeds £70,000. Under the direction of Joy, Caprice has established itself as an important and popular part of the Chelmsford musical scene.

Strong international links have also been established with the Stadtisches Blasorchester at Backnang (a town the size of Chelmsford, near Stuttgart in Germany) where both orchestras have visited each other on several occasions. In the case of the newer contact with Annonay (in the Ardeche region of France near Lyons) a most significant step was made towards the general entente cordiale through the joint participation of the three orchestras in a millennium concert in Annonay, in the year 2000. These contacts are, also, reported to have been a great encouragement and support to the liaison activities of the Chelmsford Town-Twinning Association.

The stalwart work of Joy across the community was recognized, by Chelmsford Borough Council through their presentation to her in 1999, of a Civic Award for Services to Arts in the Community and further recognition was evident by her being awarded an MBE in the Year 2001, Queen's Birthday Honours.

It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Vice-Chancellor, to confer on Joy Bome an Honorary Master of Arts degree of this University."