All are warmly welcome at a special service led by Canon Sam Corley in Leeds Minster on Monday morning 17 July at 11.00 am. This is in happy and grateful memory of Jan Holdstock, musician, composer, friend and mentor to so many. Jan’s son, Robin, is coming over from his home in Colorado, USA to be with us and the service is also being attended by Councillor Jane Dowson, Lord Mayor of Leeds and her consort, Mr Alan Bellhouse.
The Choirs of Leeds Minster and St Peter’s Singers, directed by Paul Dewhurst and Simon Lindley, will sing special music (all of which was chosen by Jan) by Sir William Harris, Felix Mendelssohn, Henry Purcell.
Jonathan Lilley from Waltham Abbey, formerly at Leeds Parish Church, will be playing organ music prior to the service by Vaughan Williams, Percy Whitlock and Jan’s friends Andrew Carter, Francis Jackson and John Rutter. David Houlder plays the organ for the service and the final voluntary – Carillon-Sortie by Henri Mulet.
Jan’s wonderful work at the outset YAMSEN – a trail-blazing scenario offering a vast experience of and with music for those with special educational needs – and, not least, in founding the Lord Mayor’s Carol Concert for People with Special Educational Needs held annually at Leeds Town Hall for well over thirty years – is well-known locally and nationally. Her countless compositions, especially those for Young People, “Sing for Pleasure” and so many pieces designed for school use, made her many friends, not least among thousands of youngsters who found her music interesting, quite often challenging, and always immense fun! In common with fellow-composer John Rutter, Jan wrote many of her own lyrics – spiced with a terrific sense of humour and an eye for the comical and sometimes the ridiculous!
A member of St Peter’s Singers for many years, Jan also was a long-serving Choir Secretary. Within the past two years she has been a full-time member of Leeds Minster Choir. A setting by Henry Purcell which she sang at her last service earlier this year is included in the service on 17 July.
There will be readings by Jan’s son, Robin, and by her friends Ashley Francis-Roy and Vivienne Hughes – both for long associated with St Peter’s Singers and the Minster Choir.