Tributes to talented musician who taught, performed and worked with numerous groups in Wellingborough and Rushden

Elizabeth Groome
Elizabeth Groome

A service of celebration will be held to honour the life of a musician who taught hundreds of youngsters and worked with numerous groups in the Wellingborough and Rushden area.

As a former head of music at the John Lea School in Wellingborough and musical/artistic director of various choirs, drama groups and amateur theatrical societies, Elizabeth Groome was known to many in the local music community.

She was born in Raunds in 1941, attended Wellingborough High School, performed in a Methodist Youth Club show organised by the young, now late, David Frost and did her teaching training at Eastbourne College when she left school.

Already an accomplished pianist and being totally immersed in music, she was accepted into the London College of Music where she gained a degree in singing, speech and drama.

The John Lea Swing and Wind Bands, formed by Elizabeth with the help of the County School of Music, in many ways laid the foundation for the County Youth Big Band.

Elizabeth’s directional skills allowed the school to perform many musicals of the time, culminating in the production of the operas Carmen by Bizet and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, productions that gained the attention and co-operation of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Outside of school Elizabeth took the lead in several musicals such as Anna in The King and I and was a sought after producer and musical director locally, including Rushden Amateur Theatrical Society.

Her enthusiasm and love of teaching music inspired many pupils to get involved in the musical aspects the school offered, guiding their aspirations for the future.

When Elizabeth had to go into full-time nursing care in 2005 at St Matthew’s Nursing Home in Northampton, it was a loss to all who were taught by her but her memory will live on with The Elizabeth Groome Music Charity, which was set up in her name by friend and carer Terry Broughton with the aim of assisting talented musicians to fulfil their potential.

Anyone who would like more information about the charity can write to Terry at 20A, Holdenby Road, Spratton, Northants, NN6 8JD.

A service of celebration for Elizabeth’s life and dedication is being held at 2.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday, January 12) at St Mary’s Church in Higham Ferrers.