People

Award honours Steve Hayes who brought joy and happiness to so many through his music

Alan Barclay, Managing Director, Absolute Music, presents the award in honour of Steve Hayes to his wife, Eileen, and sons, Patrick and George.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: November 30, 2022 | Updated: 1st December 2022

A trombonist, teacher and examiner who inspired hundreds of musicians around the world has received a posthumous award for his contribution to society through music.

The family of Steve Hayes were presented with the special Absolute Music award at the company’s Bournemouth superstore.

The award is rarely presented and was last accepted in 2020 by Joe Musker for his charity work and projects in youth music.

Steve passed away in May this year.

He was 69.

Alan Barclay, Managing Director, Absolute Music, said: “Steve has touched the lives of so many people and we have had the pleasure of working with Steve and his family for over a decade.

“He was such an amazing man, always keen to help others and he has taught so many musicians.

“The award is to give recognition for Steve’s impressive career and kind manner.

“We will always be grateful to Steve and privileged to have been friends.”

The award was accepted by Steve’s wife, Eileen, and sons Patrick and George.

Eileen said: “Patrick, George and I are so proud to receive the special Absolute Music award for Steve.

“He would have been very honoured and surprised to receive this accolade.

“Everything he did for his students and fellow musicians was through his love of music and music education and he really never expected anything in return.

“We would like to thank Alan, and all at Absolute Music, on behalf of Steve for this wonderful award and for their continued support to musicians in the local area.”

Steve, pictured, started his music journey at Leeds College of Music studying jazz trombone.

After his studies he ventured out into the music world as a professional freelance player, working in dance bands in the famous halls and cabaret clubs of the time.

For many years he was with the resident band in Jollees nightclub in Stoke.

It was there that he honed his craft, backing many famous acts who visited the club including The Three Degrees, Four Tops, Matt Monro, Tommy Cooper and Gene Pitney to name just a few.

Steve subsequently joined the pit bands in theatres for summer seasons and pantomimes playing for the stars of the day such as Freddie Starr, Cannon & Ball, The Nolans, Danny La Rue and Brian Conley.

He also toured with musical shows, both in this country and Europe, including West Side Story, On the Town, Annie Get your Gun, Anything Goes, Chess and just about every other musical.

Steve felt particularly honoured to have performed with three icons of the entertainment business during his career: Shirley Bassey with Goldfinger, Roy Orbison playing Pretty Woman and Thanks for the Memory with the legendary Bob Hope.

He travelled the world playing on many cruise ships – QE2, Oriana and the Canberra among them – and performed in many studio recordings and West End shows.

Steve’s great joy, apart from music, was travel and seeing the world.

He continued doing this in his role as a music examiner for Trinity Music Exams.

Eileen was able to join him on some memorable trips to wonderful countries including many times to India, which he adored.

Steve loved music education and felt strongly that he should pass on his passion and musical knowledge to the next generation.

He began his teaching career over 40 years ago, at a school in Coventry, and continued fitting in teaching around his professional playing and examining.

Steve became a peripatetic music teacher for many of the schools in Bournemouth and Poole starting at Parkstone Grammar School more than 30 years ago.

For many years he ran the Big Band at Bournemouth School for Boys and was the Director of the Bournemouth University Big Band for almost 20 years.

He particularly enjoyed seeing the students develop musically but also bringing out personalities and confidence which they sometimes didn’t know they had making young people – and some older ones too – feel that they were capable of anything they wanted to do.

Steve also taught at Bournemouth School for Girls, Park School, St Katherine’s in Bournemouth and Twynham School in Christchurch.

Along with the student bands, Steve ran many professional bands ranging from the traditional Bourne Valley Jemz to the Volcanic Big Band and all sizes of bands in between.

Many of his pupils carried on with their studies and attended music conservatoires such as the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College London, Leeds College of Music and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, becoming professional musicians and teachers.

Almost 300 people attended Steve’s funeral on June 27.

They were asked to dress in vibrant colours to reflect Steve’s love of India.

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