Forever the beat of the drum


Foundation set up in memory of Hexham musician

Hexham Courant

A FOUNDATION offering financial support to young percussion students across the North-East has been launched in memory of a talented musician and composer from Hexham.

Family and friends of Mark Bolderson have been left devastated by the sudden death of the 45-year-old, who died on August 17 following a short illness.

But those closest to him are channelling their grief into the Mark Jon Bolderson Foundation, which has already raised more than £5,000 in his name.

“We’ve needed this to focus on,” explained Mark’s sister, Amanda, who has worked with their mother Alison to establish a fund which will be available to help develop percussionists under the age of 18. Amanda credits the inspirational music teachers during their time at secondary school with beginning Mark’s musical journey.

“He achieved so much but was very unassuming,” she said.

His passion for percussion began with timpani drums and led to him mastering the art of everything from the marimba to the guitar.

Having honed his skills in a variety of bands during his youth, Mark went on to study percussion and composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Determined to make a career out of music, Mark studied at The Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, before serving with the Royal Artillery.

He performed at many a Buckingham Palace garden party, and the Queen Mother’s funeral, and won percussionist of the year and musician of the year prizes before climbing the ranks to Lance Corporal.

Mark returned to Hexham after more than seven years of army service and began teaching students at Durham University, while performing with a number of local bands alongside trumpet player, Dave Hignett, in ensembles including the Tyne Valley Big Band.

He worked at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham, as a member of the pit orchestra at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal and was also musical director of theatre company, the Mike Fry Foundation.

Mark’s own requiem was performed for the first time in public at his funeral, where the Tyne Valley Big Band also played some of his favourite music.

19 September 2017 3:02PM