A Brief History of the Questors Young Musicians Club
The Questors Young Musicians Club is a Saturday music school based in Ealing, West London, providing high quality music lessons for children aged 3 – 18. It is a ‘not-for-profit’ club run for the benefit of the pupils; other than the instrument teachers, we have only two paid staff- our Musical Director Fiona Johnson and our Administrator Chiara Sheaves. The remainder of the organisation is carried out by a volunteer committee and so this allows costs to be kept to a minimum and all profits can be put back in to the club.
QYMC was founded in 1964 by a group of friends who were all members of the Questors Theatre. Lessons in Carl Orff percussion initially took place in a front room in Ealing but rapidly became so popular that a move to larger premises was necessitated. The Club moved to Montpelier School where it remained for many years. During this time recorder and piano lessons were added to the curriculum, with strings, woodwind and brass following. Guitar lessons also took place, for some while at the Questors Theatre, then moving in with the rest of the Club.
As children progressed a number of ensembles were added along with orchestras and a variety of chamber groups. In the early 80s the Club moved to Elthorne Park High School, however as the school closed another local school was found- Grange Middle School (as it was then)- and the Club remained there for over 20 years. During the Grange era the Club grew from 150 pupils to around 230. When Grange went through extensive building works in 2007 we had to move to Fielding Primary School and then again when they embarked on a building program we moved again in 2012 to Little Ealing Primary School. We are now very happy here in our new premises where the Club atmosphere has really taken off and the Café has become the hub, not to mention raising very useful funds.
Over the last decade we have added classes in singing, electric guitar, keyboard, drum kit and jazz, but the ethos has always remained the same – to instil in pupils a lifelong love of music. Our pupils are dedicated and enthusiastic – one is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Former QYMC pupils are to be found throughout the music industry – one leads an international string quartet, quite a few are members of professional orchestras, one or two are composers and many are now teaching music. There are even some in the jazz and pop worlds, both as performers and in more technical roles.
The Club has always been run by a committee of parents who are tireless in their efforts to support events such as this concert, as well as the day to day business of the Club. QYMC today is only what it is through the hard work and enthusiasm of parents over the past 50 years.