St James's Players Director

Martin conducting the band

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The church music ensemble started life as a small group of musicians and singers in 1987 led by Paul Revis. During 1997 Martin Hinckley took on the job of leading it and gradually it changed from a rock style band to a small orchestra involving families and youngsters, with Martin arranging all the music. The group, now called St James’s Players, continues to accompany and play in the All Age services. 

Martin plays clarinet, bassoon and piano and while at school was a member of the National Youth Orchestra, both as a clarinettist and composer. He read music at Cambridge University and holds a further music degree from Durham University. He studied clarinet with Georgina Dobrée and Thea King, and composition with Herbert Howells and Patrick Gowers.

He taught music in a variety of schools for fifteen years before becoming Music Adviser for Redbridge Local Authority, during which time he composed works for children’s choirs and orchestra that he directed at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall. He then became Adviser for Music and Art for Hounslow Local Authority and a schools inspector with Ofsted.

Martin conducting the choirHe has published three books of musical classroom activities for GCSE, juniors and infants, the last two jointly with his wife Prill, and has just had one his compositions accepted for publication. 

Martin took early retirement in 2006 and now has the time to devote to his own musical interests. He plays clarinet and bassoon with a variety of local orchestras and ensembles, including the Linden Wind Orchestra and is Musical Director of the Thameside Clarinet Choir, which he sometimes conducts with his clarinet while playing it! He sings in Concordia Voices which was based at St James's. 

Since 2003 Martin has taken on the role of acting choirmaster many times in the intervals between permanent organist/choirmasters. At the same time he has also coordinated all the music and liaised with a group of excellent locum organists. He also helps when a conductor is needed while the regular organist accompanies an anthem.

He continues to sing in the church choir and conduct the St James's Players and since 2017 has been teaching himself the organ and occasionally plays for services when needed.