Memorial bench for music school founder

A MEMORIAL bench for the founder of a Saffron Walden music school is going to take pride of place in the centre of the town.

Anne Gehammer, who opened the Saffron School of Music in the early 1980s, is going to have a bench in her name in Market Square, close to the spot where she used to regularly hold a stall to raise money for charity.

It was announced by her son, Kjell, at her funeral at St Mary’s Parish Church on Saturday (Feb 18). A congregation of about 120 listened to readings and tributes before Janet McCallum and Isabella Warren of the Nightingale Trio, with Gail Ford on piano, played a number of her favourite pieces.

Anne and her husband �ke moved to Saffron Walden in the 80s when she founded the school. She taught and ran it until 1995, by which time it had grown to 200 students and 17 members of staff. During the summer holidays she and her daughter Louise ran regular summer music and craft courses for children.

“Music was central to Anne’s life,” said Rev Christopher Warren, who took the service on Saturday. “She played the viola and piano from an early age and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

“After a spell with the Hall� Orchestra, she got married and began her long musical teaching career. Over the last 30 years she has touched the musical lives of literally hundreds of children and adults in and around Saffron Walden.”