Birthday concert for Doncaster music maestro

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Pupils staged a special concert in celebration of the birthday of their music teacher of almost 25 years.

Haydn Griffiths MBE, of Armthorpe, celebrated his ninetieth birthday with pupils at St Michael’s Primary School, Rossington, as they, staff and the local community staged a show in his honour.

Past pupils linked with the current school orchestra to play music from Pirates of the Caribbean and Londonderry Air, to Wallace and Gromit and The Sound of Music.

Teacher Mark Porter said: “Music can always be heard around the school and this year the orchestra have been very successful. They recently came first in the Hornsea Music Festival. They were also successful at the Robin Hood and the Don Valley Music Festivals.

“This is down to the hard work of pupils but also the dedication and expertise of teachers who have inspired the children to play to such a high standard. Mr Griffiths still has the same passion for music as when I met him nearly 20 years ago. He is an inspiration to us all.”

The final piece of the evening, the finale from the William Tell overture, was conducted by Mr Griffiths.

Haydn Griffiths MBE has been musical director for over 50 years to the Armthorpe Elmfield Junior and Senior Bands, has taught music in local schools for over 45 years and raised thousands of pounds for the bands and for charity.

He was made MBE at the age of 74, and received his award from Prince Charles.

As a young man he set up the Armthorpe Elmfield Band in response to requests from Doncaster Youth Service, and it went on to win national acclaim.

Mr Griffiths had a long association with Markham Main Colliery Band, and took it to many Championships.