Baroness Wilcox, Maureen Brass, Dame Mary Perkins – BCA Patron
Maureen Brass was a teacher at the same school since 1939 until her retirement in 1980, which itself is an achievement worthy of note., However, it was her ‘gift’ of nurturing musical talent for which she has been nominated.
She is attributed with “encouraging many young children whose talent might otherwise never have been realised”
In 1952 she established St Dominic’s Music Group and under her leadership it soon became known locally and then nationally as a centre of excellence whose reputation preceded it. She undertook all aspects of the role ensuring that the music group was accessible to all – even those children from low income backgrounds. She was adept at spotting talent and sought innovative ways to gain funds for scholarships or organising free tuition. Her efforts were ground breaking for the day and assisted generations of children to enjoy music.
Perhaps most notable is that Maureen still today, as she has every year since her retirement facilitates annual reunions with as many members of the music group as possible. Maureen will be 100 years of age three days after the next BCA Medal presentations.
“Miss Brass was a pioneer in her field, embracing and nurturing the talent she discovered”
Her influence on many hundreds of young people is her lasting legacy. The admiration and respect afforded to her by many of her former pupils who supported the nomination is further testament to her achievements. She is still actively involved in the reunions, and interestingly still referred to as ‘Miss Brass’ by many of her students who are now mothers and grandmothers in their own right.