Fantastic THAMES Celebration concert last night!

Great to see so many groups of young musicians from across Tower Hamlets including Drum Works And the Tower Hamlets Youth Orchestra.

Well done to all the tutors and musicians!

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Coffee Morning (and AGM 2018)

Calling all parents, carers and THAMES friends members!

Please join us for coffee and cakes on 30 June 2018 at around 9.15 (shortly after drop-off time) in the staff room at Saint Paul’s Way Trust School.

This will be another opportunity get together and chat with one another and the THAMES friends committee members.

It will also be an opportunity for us to hold the THAMES friends Annual General Meeting. This is a meeting that we need to have each year where, among other things, we will report back to all of you on the activities of the year.  The formal business of the AGM shouldn’t take very long, and hopefully most of the morning will coffee, cake, and chat.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible,

Bob Fields, Florlinda Clark, Patrice Clough, Steve Gilvin, David Greer, Liz Applebee

(THAMES friends committee)

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Contemporary Bands

One of the highlights of many SMC end of term concerts is performance by the Contemporary Bands and Blues Band, as they deliver a repertoire of classic Rock and Blues numbers that gets many a foot tapping in the audience. The ones old enough to remember classic rock numbers, at least.

Well, a recent donation from a parent will support these groups with some new kit, and THAMES friends will match the donation, allowing THAMES to spend £1000 on new band equipment.

Thanks ever so much for the donation – and we’re all looking forward to hearing the new kit in action the next time the Contemporary Bands perform.

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Fundraising success!

THAMES friends applied for a grant to help support the Soundbox project, with a successful outcome!  The Charles S French Charitable Trust liked our application, and has approved a grand of £1000! This will fund a Pastoral Care Worker who will play a vital role in the sessions where disabled and non-disabled young musicians work together at the Saturday Music Centre. While music is at the heart of what goes on at SMC and Soundbox, the Pastoral Support this funding will afford may be the key to the success of this  inclusive project.

Well done, Liz, for putting the application together, and many thanks to the Charles S French Charitable Trust.

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Donations to THAMES friends

THAMES friends, and the young musicians it supports, has benefited from two very generous donations recently. The first, an anonymous donation for £1000 earlier in the year will allow us to commit to supporting projects where professional musicians will visit the Saturday Music Centre to work with our young musicians. Thanks ever so much for this support for the young musicians of Tower Hamlets.

When private individuals who are UK taxpayers make donations through Virgin Money Giving (, we are able to reclaim Gift Aid – for each donation made this way, THAMES friends will receive an extra 25% So, please keep those donations coming!

Following that, Talbot Underwriting Ltd also made a very welcome donation of £2000, that will allow us to continue to make contributions to projects at the Saturday Music Centre, as well as support a planned tour by the Tower Hamlets Youth Orchestra. Thanks Talbot Underwriting – this gift will certainly be put to good use!

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SMC Winter Concert

Another great concert! And another excellent performance by the SMC Big Band – in a programme packed with lots of other excellent performances.

Great stuff – well done and thanks to all of the SMC musicians and tutors.

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Soundbox is an all-ability, inclusive music project involving Drake Music (, Spitalfields Music (, The London Symphony Orchestra ( and THAMES ( Young disabled and non-disabled musicians from East London will work together at the Saturday Music Centre, creating new music and preparing for performances at the THAMES SMC end of term concerts.
This excellent project sounds like just the sort of thing THAMES friends is intended to help to support.
But a project like this won’t run for free, so THAMES friends have committed to helping out by funding a part of the project. We’ll be trying to raise funds to make a contribution to support Soundbox. Watch this space!

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THAMES friends AGM 2017

Dear THAMES friends members,

This year, THAMES friends Annual General Meeting will be on 24 June starting at 9.15 (for a 9.30 start), and should be finished before 11.00.

You are all welcome – the meeting will be in the staff room at St Paul’s Way Trust School.

The main items on the agenda are the point where all members of the committee will resign and seek re-appointment for a further year, and a review of the past year.

So please come along – there will be coffee, cakes, and a chance for a chat – as well as the formal business of the AGM.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 24th!

The THAMES Friends Trustees.

AGM Agenda: Tf AGM-24-06-2017

Minutes of AGM 2016: Tf 2016 AGM 25 06 16-Minutes

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Fundraising successes!

THAMES friends (Tf) have been collaborating with a number of partners to raise funds during 2014/15.
The Canary Wharf Group continue to support us. They donated £1,000 in December 2014. More recently THAMES friends Trustees submitted another application for funding in respect of either:-
(a) “Music Master Classes” aimed at more advanced musicians who play instruments aligning to those played at SMC. The classes will address technical issues and focus on individual the musician, covering every performance detail of a particular piece. The students would improve their: • Overall level of musical performance• Interpretation of a piece and communication of that interpretation• Articulation• Dynamics • Breathing • Confidence• Happiness etc; or
(b) “Music Clinics” which provide targeted teaching for a small group in the format of a “surgery” that will identify and correct technical issues, with a view to improving • Reading music • Bow hold for string players • Embouchure for wind players• Stick hold for percussionists• Breathing technique• Posture• Accuracy of rhythm• Improved intonation.

THAMES friends’ Trustees in conjunction with one of our SMC parents submitted an application to John Lewis partnership’s Music matters initiative and were successful in being pledged £1,250, a significant donation which will be presented by John Lewis in the coming months and will be used to enable the THYO residential course to take place from 10–13 September at Leiston Abbey House, Suffolk by fully funding the transport costs of the attendees.
Tf have also received a very kind anonymous donation via the donor’s publishing house for which we are very grateful.
SMC parents and friends have been using when doing their online shopping and this is producing a steady income flow which Tf are able to apply to the various initiatives in the pipeline for the immediate future.

A regular source of funds continues to derive from both the tuck shop and from the concerts, we thank all who volunteer each week on tuck shop and front desk duties and all those who volunteer and contribute to the concerts in particular Celia Evans who provides the cakes which result in enormous anticipation and queues! These funds have enabled THAMES friends Trustees to contribute a further £1,750 towards the THYO residential course in addition to the £1,500 mentioned above.
We thank you all for your fund raising efforts.

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THAMES friends AGM

Annual General Meeting –

The THAMES friends AGM will be on Saturday 27th June 2015 at Paper & Cup Café, 83 St Paul’s Way, London, E3 4AJ, 9:30am – 11:00 am.

As members of THAMES friends, all parents and carers of THAMES musicians are very welcome to attend.


  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Agree Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of 28th June 2014
  3. Trustees retirements & appointments (S18, THAMES’ friends Constitution)
  4. Year in Review
  5. Treasury Update
  6. Any other business
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