Tributes paid to Northampton music teacher who "inspired generations" of students

"He made everyone feel like they belonged, and once you were his student, you had a friend for life."

Sunday, 21st February 2021, 10:50 am
Updated Sunday, 21st February 2021, 11:02 am
Jon Lloyd

Tributes have been paid following the "unxexpected and sudden" death of a Northampton music teacher who "inspired generations" of students in the county.

Jonathan Lloyd, known as Jon, worked at the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT), in Kettering Road, and was also a leading figure at the NMPAT's Corby Music Centre, where he taught hundreds of students in his time.

Brother Jamie Lloyd said he and Jon are "from a very musical family, as mum and dad both sang in a choir". Jamie added that his brother was "a great bloke, a giver".

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Jon in his golf attire

Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust paid its respects to Jon in a Facebook post. The post reads: "It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden and unexpected passing of our friend and colleague Jon Lloyd.

"His tragic passing was the result of an accident at home and everyone at NMPAT offers their deepest condolences to his family.

"Jon grew up in Northampton, studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and returned to work for the music service. His association with the trust goes back at least 35 years.

"He had inspired generations of trombonists, jazz musicians, and members of Corby Music Centre with his caring, passion and enthusiasm. His proudest achievement was the appearance of slide technique at the 2017 Music for Youth Proms.

Jon conducting a trombone ensemble

"He will be sorely missed."

Jon's manager and close colleague at NMPAT, Rachel Coles, also paid tribute to the "versatile, capable and caring" teacher.

Rachel said: "I’ve known Jon for the 30 years I’ve worked for NMPAT. At first I knew him as a talented student who came on work experience with me before he went to Birmingham Conservatoire to get a First Class degree. He came back to work for us and very quickly showed himself to be a versatile, capable and caring teacher. It was exactly the right job for him.

"He was the sort of teacher who looked after the whole child rather than just worrying about whether they’d completed their work or not. He was brilliant at spotting each child’s particular gift and encouraging them to believe in themselves.

"Since losing him we’ve had so many moving messages from students past and present all saying the same thing: Mr Lloyd was so kind, funny and supportive. He made everyone feel like they belonged, and once you were his student, you had a friend for life.

"As a colleague Jon was easy going, so very supportive and considerate. As his line-manager, whenever I’d check in with him to see how he was doing, he never failed to ask how I was.

"He was head of NMPAT Corby, one of our regional centres. The centre was small but the loyalty shown by those students was remarkable. Many of them came back to be part of the centre when they were older, some of them bringing their children with them, others just coming back to help or support.

"Jon had so many musical successes, running several of our county music groups over the years. Possibly his proudest moment was taking a group of trombone students to perform at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth Proms. He conducted in his usual casual style, with one hand in his pocket, making it look easy. I don’t think I’ve seen him happier.

"When I think of Jon I will remember the whistling while he was working on our instrument stock, the many anecdotes about his nephews and niece who he adored and his laugh. It was infectious. I can hear it now and I pray I never forget that sound.

"To me and the rest of NMPAT he was family. We shall miss him terribly. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."

Another close friend of Jon's, Martin Izzard, paid tribute to him, saying he was a "man of standards".

Martin said: "The late Jon Lloyd was a great man who gave so much to many people of all ages. As a junior golfer Jon found a good swing in golf and developed into a fine player, a dedicated man and a talented musician, specialising in the trombone.

"Jon was a man of standards, reliable, first class in his approach and a good friend to many. At the Club he would play piano at the yearly Christmas Carols and drive the Santa Sleigh at the Children’s Party and love to see the expression in the children’s eyes as Santa Claus arrived.

"Jon played the organ at Kingsthorpe Church on Sunday mornings where his mum was a regular a devoted family man who loved being an uncle to his niece and nephew, too.

"Members of NMPAT were saddened to hear the news, there are so many people who have spoken highly of him, and how he’d inspired generations of trombonists, jazz musicians and members of Corby Music Centre with his caring, passion and enthusiasm.

"His proudest achievement being the appearance of slide technique” at the 2017 Music for Youth Proms. Jon enjoyed his food especially the odd curry and a sneaky portion of chips at the golf club after a game where he was always good company. Despite his many talents he had no airs and graces and was a supportive and humble man.

"There are so many special stories to be told about Jon, which we will recount soon in his memory. RIP JLo."