Well-known local musician Margaret Brown received her British Empire Medal for Services to Music in Northern Ireland at Hillsborough Castle last month.
The medal was presented to her by the Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie.
“I can hardly take it in that I have been honoured for doing something I have really enjoyed doing right through my life,” she said.
Margaret has had a life-long association with choral music. Her mother, Mrs Edna Anderson, (the first and `favourite` music teacher of the late Uel Deane) was a soloist, teacher and conductor of both adult and children’s choirs.
Margaret’s interest in choral singing goes back to childhood. Later she was to qualify as a teacher at Stranmillis, taking a fourth year specialising in Music.
She also obtained her LTCL in Class Music Teaching.
After a brief career teaching in Belfast, she married and moved to Ballycastle.
There she became a music specialist, working first as a peritectic teacher in a group of primary schools, and later as a part-time music specialist in Ballycastle County Primary School for almost 40 years.
At various times she taught piano and class music in a number of primary and secondary schools, and even taught courses for future primary teachers in the University of Ulster. For a number of years she acted as accompanist to the Ballymoney and District Male Voice Choir.
She also assisted in choirs for WI, Young Farmers Clubs, as well as Presbytery, Church and cross-community choirs.
Since her retirement from teaching, she has been conductor of the Route Singers, and of the Ballymoney and District Male Voice Choir. She is also an accompanist to Coleraine Music Festival, and is presently Church Organist in Ramoan and
Culfeightrin Church of Ireland Churches.Working as accompanist with the One Voice Cross-Community Choir in Ballycastle is
another opportunity which she greatly enjoys.