Tributes to Harley

Artwork donated by Andy Potts
Printing of 'Maestro' donated by Gai & John Woolrych
Thank you to Johanna Rosenthal, Amirah Farrell, Sara Rentoul, Kate Holley and Rochelle Manderson for their many hours creating this site.

Individual Tributes

Harley and I met during rehearsals for the Kwaya trip to Uganda. I could write a book about his many extraordinary qualities and all the reasons I fell in love with him. But mostly I loved his good heart. The way Harley connected with everybody he met melted me and was a joy and privilege for me to share. He was my fairy tale. My reality. The love of my life.

Although my relationship with Harley was personal rather than professional, I feel compelled to write a small tribute here to honour him as the outstanding musician he was.

Harley lived and breathed music. No matter where he was or what else he was doing at the time, his body moved to a rhythm and he rarely stopped hearing, rehearsing, arranging or composing music in his mind and through his hands.

His life's journey is mapped through his compositions, yet he kept the truth of his shadows and suffering hidden, living his work with energy, humour, dignity, humility, wisdom and passion. And his passion was to give to others.

Harley felt blessed to be able to work with musicians of all ages and experience. His enthusiasm at both the beginning and end of a day was palpable. I was fortunate in that he shared with me his excitement and stories about the day's activities whether he'd been teaching young children The Mexican Woodpecker song, inspiring toddlers to take up an instrument, guiding young musicians to master their AMEB exams, or showing young men the value of innovation and adventure.

Seeing a shy or self-conscious community choir member find their voice and shine, was always immensely rewarding for him. He felt honoured to have the privilege of working one to one to encourage the creative expression and talents of people with disabilities. He had the knack of making everybody he met feel special, because they were. He believed in people, and helped them to believe in themselves. And just as he was an inspiration to others, so too was he humbled and grateful and inspired when working alongside his professional peers, colleagues and friends.

Many idols - Mozart, Berlioz, Chilcott, Tawadros, Morricone, Jarms, Richard Gill, Atticus, Alexander the Great, Ghandi and so many more - were Harley's constant source of inspiration. He dreamt of furthering his education in composition and one day composing a world renowned masterpiece; I know he had it in him! And yet his greatest inspiration was children, and his greatest love was writing and sharing songs of joy and innocence with them. When his song Pretty Little Ditty was included in the ABC Sing! book and CD he was tickled pink.

I was awed by how proud and fiercely defensive Harley was of teaching as being one of the most noble professions in society. He was actively supportive of teachers - choral, instrumental and otherwise - who are passionate and dedicated to their work, who make a difference.

Harley had a passion to inspire boys to become men of dignity and for them to eternally look for the "love, truth, virtue and beauty" in everything they do, as he often quoted to me from his favourite book, Shinichi Suzuki's Nurtured by Love.

Always he encouraged excellence, believing that everybody had it in them to excel. The pursuit of that excellence he supported through a down-to-earth, humble, fun and light-hearted way. Harley sure made everybody laugh!

And as serious as he was about the importance of music education and beautiful music, he was a firm believer in the importance of not taking anything too seriously. I'm sure he'd be shaking his head at all these website tributes. He'd be saying - get a life guys! And he'd want to say "thank you" to the many musicians, young and old, beginner and master, who enriched his life.

Harley was the most thoughtful and generous and amazing person I've known. He was the tallest tree, and the most colourful, brightest star. May he continue to be our inspiration, our teacher, and our guide on how to lead a good life.

Rest in Music & Peace, Maestro.

Claudia Skinner

Harley Mead wrote “Silent Heroes” as a commission from my choir, “Allegro”, for Songbridge 2009. As in many of his songs, he captured the essence of the story of the Blackhawk tragedy through the lyrics, the melody and the accompaniment for full army band. He shared the joyous process with me, including playing the accompaniment (in its infancy) on my piano, transmitting the energy and intensity of the piece. I loved the heart of the man who gave so much so freely. My best way to remember him would be “inspiring” and “exhausting” in equal measure. I still can’t comprehend that he has left us.

Kerry Rehn

One evening, when the cloud of sadness and disbelief lifted, I saw the stars. Those stars sparkled like the countless young people who had the good fortune of experiencing your influence. Your energy wasn't a conscious effort, it was a by-product of your talent. When that talent began to flow, it was a tour-de-force of musicianship that was a delight to behold for your colleagues and friends. Now, when I look at those stars, I pick out the brightest one and remind myself of the following: "Sometimes, the stars that burn the brightest also burn the fastest."

Paul and Bianca Johnston

Tribute to Harley Mead
An old friend who encouraged me to be me

It's hard to write these words, as without Harley's friendship and encouragement in the early 90's, I would not be where I am now. I met Harley while working at Palings Brisbane. We instantly became friends. We were both struggling with career decisions. Harley continually challenged me and allowed me to realise my love for print music and education support. I now own a music store specialising in just that. What would my life have been like without meeting Harley? I wouldn't have met my husband and I wouldn't have found out that no matter what, I am great at being just me. Thank you Harley

Dianne Gittins co owner MauMusic

Harley leaps from the stage landing amidst the surprised but delighted children from the slums of Uganda.

Wild laughter mixed with squeals of joy set the backing track for the spectacular vision of Uncle Harley (affectionately now dubbed 'The Pied Piper of Uganda') leading an ecstatic, animated charge of bedraggled children across the manicured lawns of Parliament House in Kampala.

That moment of sheer unabated happiness shining from not only the faces of the children but Harley himself, will forever remain etched in the minds of those who had the privilege of working with him.

Uncle Harley, you are and will forever remain a part of our hearts

Marsha Gusti
KwaYa Australia

Marsha Gusti

Tributes from Organisations

View TributeAfrican Children's Choir
View TributeAustralian National Choral Association
View TributeCempaka Schools
View TributeGlennie School
View TributeHastings Choristers
View TributeKodaly Music Education Institute of Australia
View TributeKwaya Australia
View TributeMoreton Bay College
View TributeSydney Grammar School
View TributeToowoomba Grammar School
View TributeTrinity College
View TributeVoices of Birralee

Eulogy by Julie Christiansen OAM

What I knew and what I have learned
by Julie Christiansen OAM

Many loved Harley and he was surrounded by love when he died.

Harley taught me that the acceptance and encouragement offered to me in my formative years by my parents and family and subsequently by friends, teachers and colleagues, is critical to who I am.

Harley treasured every moment he spent with his three boys, Tiernan, Michael and Finbar and he often said that the greatest gig in the world was being a father. He said that he loved them with all his breath and the only time he ever slept soundly was when he was with them.

Harley cherished the three years he spent, sharing an abiding love with Claudia Skinner. Much of that time was spent relaxing on the shores of Kingscliff beach, camping adventures with his boys, fire twirling, swimming, rock climbing, picnics, fishing, music, travel, romance, fun and laughter. Claudia sensed that Harley was struggling with something profound, especially towards the end. But as was his resolve, he would shut down her pleas and withdraw.

Perhaps he never wanted to admit to himself, that he was ill. He certainly didn’t want to burden any one else with it.

He also demonstrated over and over again that it only takes a moment to tell someone that they are appreciated, important, gifted and loved.

Harley took time habitually to invest in others. He had an enormous capacity for generosity of spirit. He had a hunger for learning and wanted to make a difference. He lived his life, striving to achieve the definition of a good life in one of his favourite book’s ‘The Good Life’ by Hugh Mackay.

‘A good life is characterized by goodness, a morally praiseworthy life. A life valuable in its impact on others, a life devoted to the common good. This type of life is marked by a courteous respect for others’ rights, responsiveness to other’s needs (including most particularly, their need to be taken seriously) and a concern for others’ wellbeing. A person living this life will be motivated by kindness and compassion’

In addition to the prolific number of professional engagements throughout Australia, Harley’s final years were spent in Toowoomba. Perhaps it was the ‘call of the mountain’ which reminded him of his early days in the Blue Mountains, but it was there, that he became part of special and caring community. It was also there, where he met Vicki Smith. Vicki’s love ‘poured oil and wine’ bringing peace during his final days and a deep sense of belonging to a man who was inwardly tormented. He was devoted to her and her family, Jess, Tom, Kimmy and Lulu and they were devoted to him.

Harley probably suffered from *Bipolar Disorder II. I am told that this condition is not always easy to diagnose, and therefore can go unnoticed. It seems cold comfort now that he is gone. I understand that Harley would have had some experiences of deep depression (which he successfully managed to hide from most of us) but he lived predominantly in a state called hypomania. Google any reliable site and the symptoms describe Harley with alarming accuracy.

It has been incredibly difficult for people to understand how someone like Harley could have been capable of taking his own life, yet sadly, this is the potential chaos of Bipolar II.

‘In a hypomanic state, he would have had a magnetic energy – the type of energy that would allow him to feed off of other peoples’ emotion and respond brilliantly and creatively to any situation. The other side of this disorder, though, is the deep depression that makes a person feel devastatingly isolated even when surrounded by love. (1)

The bipolar spectrum includes people who never experience full-blown mania. They may instead experience hypomania. They are revved up, but not to the point of doing things that are abnormal. They may think faster, have more energy, require less sleep, and often do and accomplish more than other people. They may be dazzlingly brilliant, especially in artistic and creative fields. It is as if their brains are turbocharged.
(A disproportionate number of extraordinarily accomplished people—from Napoleon to Beethoven to Ernest Hemingway to Winston Churchill—are thought to have suffered from bipolar disorders).
Some people have intermittent hypomanic episodes. Some seem to function in this turbocharged way most of the time; it is their “normal.”

Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry who has written movingly about her own bipolar illness, described hypomania this way: “When you’re high, it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent, like shooting stars… Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty.”
The energy and creativity come with a terrible price. Sooner or later, hypomania gives way to depression (“bipolar II disorder,” according to the diagnostic manual). A few blessed souls seem to get mainly the benefits of the bipolar gene set: They get the turbocharged brain and boundless energy but seem to escape debilitating depression. But they are the exceptions. (2)

I was ignorant of symptoms of this mental illness and the fact that I never knew what Harley suffered will always haunt me. A week before he died, he told me that he was tired of being the showman, the clown. He said that he was going to hang up his hats and crazy outfits. There were so many signs but I was blinded by my ignorance. He was physically and visibly exhausted by his torment and frenetic pace. The ‘energiser bunny’ to which he was fondly referred, by his friends, was running out of battery. In one of his final songs he wrote that his ‘heart was dark, that a shadow had dulled the light of the fire which had once burned within and that the breath had left his soul’ 2

Ignorant people say things like ‘he made a selfish choice’ because they are simply ill informed and uneducated in this topic. I believe it is important to say to those who would be hasty to judge, that Harley’s ability to rationalise the effect his condition was having on him would have been severely impaired. He was not himself in that state. To condemn or judge; saying that he made a choice in a psychological or moral sense is as foolish as saying that those with a terminal illness have control over how their illness progresses or how it will affect them.

Understanding and compassion has forged a path for my own sense of peace. I cherish the memories. My knowledge that he was gravely ill and that the biochemical state of his brain affected his decisions and behaviours helps me to overcome the torment of his passing.

Whilst there were times of solace, our friend lived with persistent mental agitation and physical exhaustion. He had a predisposition to his condition through genetic channels. I have learned to forgive and accept that he didn’t want to share it with those who were closest to him. Rather, he was like a sponge, always willing to listen to others but rarely sharing his own burdens. I will always be deeply saddened that he didn’t reach out for help.

He would never have expected the outpouring of love, the tributes or the appreciation shared by others towards him. Perhaps if he had known, he would never have thought that his world was better off without him.

There is hope for those suffering with Bipolar Disorder or depression. There are professionals who are trained to assist and provide support and ongoing treatment and suicide can be prevented if the right treatments are sought. But I have learned that good mental health care can, and does prevent tragedy. I have also learned that as a society of intelligent and caring human beings, with a conscience for what is integral to healthy communities; we need to learn more about mental health so that the stigma is lessened and people who suffer don't feel so isolated and helpless.
I don’t know whether or not Harley had ongoing treatment with a professional or if his suicide could have been prevented. But I have learned that that good mental health care can and does prevent tragedy.

I am not qualified to make a *professional diagnosis and I apologise if any of my comments offend. What I have learned comes from various sources. In addition to speaking with a psychiatrist, I have read as much as I can in search of answers, which ease the confusion, anger and pain. I write as a person who was proud to be known as Harley’s friend and colleague.

My wish is that his ‘good life’ continues to enrich yours as it has mine.

1. Bottaro, Gregory PsyD August 14, 2014 ‘Catholic Psych Institute’
2. Mead, Harley August 31 ‘Weep’
3. Shedler, Jonathan PhD August 15, 2014 ‘Psychologically Minded’

Eulogy by Josephine Bottrell

Abraham Lincoln once said “It’s not the years in your life – but the life in your years”

Harley Mead born January 8th 1971 in the Blue Mountains District Hospital lived his short life to the fullest. The 3rd son for Shirley and a son for Barry, Harley was the little brother for Mark and John, 7 and 5 years of age at the time of his birth. There were no guarantees with Harley’s arrival as Shirley needed to be cared for in the 7 months leading up to his birth by 2 doctors from whom Harley derived his names. Their care saw this joyous, talented, gregarious, musical genius and inspirational teacher be amongst us for 43 years.

Harley loved school, loved his friends and found a calling in music. The 86 year old organist who played in the Katoomba Uniting Church recognised this and on her death bequeathed Shirley $500 in her will. It was for a piano – and at the age of 12 Harley knew it had to be a Steinway. After combing the music stores of Sydney and Newcastle, Harley found one that would be the accompaniment to his passion.

At the same time he found a teacher, Mrs Merle Gill who would give that passion training, discipline and an expectation. Mrs Gill was the inspiration of his life as his music teacher, friend, and confidant, his caring critic and mentor. She held his hand and pushed him ever so gently to take his love of music to become his life’s legacy. Merle was that teacher who understood, recognised and nurtured, not only the gift he possessed, but the future she could see for her protégé. There are many here who would now say that Harley Mead was their Merle Gill.

There are those of us here who as teachers recognise in Harley the indefinable gift of the teacher who has the ability to inspire, energise and take students to places never before dreamed of. Being able to do it with love, with a sense of fun and as an adventure – students not realising they are learning and that they are travelling to achieve beyond what they think - or have been told - is their potential. As School Captain of Katoomba State High School in the year of Australia’s Bi-centenary Harley found another voice and gave another commitment – a commitment to community - in the broadest sense of the word, and this continued in his adult life.

Surprising as it may sound, Harley’s first part time job while at school, was that of a clown in a local restaurant entertaining children while their parents enjoyed a quiet meal. (not sure how quiet it would have been?). His second, was also in a restaurant but this time as a pianist, after the owner was asked to hear him play for a group of school friends farewelling an exchange student.

“You’ve got 5 minutes boy, it better be ok or you’re off the piano”
What followed was a Friday and Saturday night gig that lasted even after he moved to Sydney for his university studies.

At the University of New South Wales Harley began his tertiary studies in music. His first supervising teacher on his first practicum, taught Harley that a music teacher’s role was to teach from when a student is a little one until their last day as an adult. An important lesson he took with him and developed through his community choirs. While studying, Harley moved to Queensland and enrolled at Griffith University and completed his Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching. It was here that he met Siobhan.

Harley’s teaching career began in Cooktown where he was the itinerant music teacher for the 6 very diverse primary schools and communities in the Cluster. It was here that I met Harley and a year later, Siobhan.
Day 1 Harley asked if we had a School song, did we have a choir? The answer to both was negative.
Day 4 A school choir sang the first verse of a school song at assembly. He announced a competition for the school to write the remaining verses. The principal and I looked at each other - ‘What have we got here?’

A highlight of Harley’s time in Cooktown was the arrival of his baby grand which was forklifted over the balcony and into the teachers’ flats – caused something of a sensation in the town! It was in Cooktown that he learnt how to teach – how to teach aboriginal kids, the children of ‘herbaceous crop’ farmers, fishermen’s kids, kids from cattle properties and kids whose parents valued education. Here we learnt that Harley loved to prove the ‘impossible was possible.’

Bella Volce was our primary choir who took on the Cairns Eisteddfod winning 3 gold and 2 silver. The highlight being the win in the Songs of Praise section! He introduced a community choir, narrated the re-enactment pageant on the shores of the Endeavour River. Harley was elected president for the Lion’s Club and was the recipient of an Australia Day Award for his contribution to the cultural life of the community. In his last year he asked if he could take on the role of a classroom teacher – year 7. “Ladies and gentlemen “- the usual greeting and ‘Light a spark in your mind” the inspiration

Those of us who left Cooktown with Harley and Siobhan on that little plane at the end of 1997 will never forget the champagne and chicken breakfast served from the back of a 4 wheel drive’s tray back and the school children who lined the fence and waved sparklers as we lifted off on the next adventure!

Over the next couple of years Harley became the proud father of 3 boys – Tainan, born 2000; Michael 2002 and Finbar 2004. All of his boys are musical as are both Mum and Dad. Tainan playing saxophone and obo; Michael base guitar and trombone and Finbar loves to sing. When asked about their father the boys recall

“ we remember Dad as a funny dad, an adventurous dad, a dad who loved to take us camping, bike riding, rock climbing, hiking, the speedway - and we really miss him”

We miss him too – and I know everyone here extends their love and thoughts to you at this very sad time but know that you will make him proud wherever the adventure of your lives takes you. Being in Brisbane Harley was able to involve himself in all that the music world has to offer – and in which he could share his love and passion.

Teaching positions were varied;
Lota State School; John Paul, Canterbury, Sheldon Colleges; Moreton Bay Girls College, Scone and Toowoomba Grammar all presented different opportunities and experiences. I became reacquainted with Harley when we invited him to be guest choral conductor at The Gap Cluster’s Instrumental Music School and it was here that he began his close relationship with Julie Christiansen, Paul Holley and Peter Ingram and from there Paul Jarman and many others.

With his infectious enthusiasm, his meticulous preparation, ridiculously hilarious warm ups, his ability to inspire and challenge, along with his outstanding children’s choral compositions, he earned a fine reputation as a conductor / composer not only in Queensland and Australia but also overseas. Harley was awarded 2 National Excellence in Teaching Awards, the Australian Society for Music’s - Education Award for Innovation in Education.

He was invited to be Guest Conductor on a number of occasions for Gondwana Voices and Voice of Birralee, the Australian National Choral Association, of which he was also the president elect. He was Toowoomba Region Chorus Master for Opera Queensland’s La Boehme. He travelled, studied and conducted in Malaysia and Uganda as well as across Australia. There is not a major Australian music organisation with whom he was not involved in some way.

In September this year, Harley had completed and submitted his Doctorate to Trinity Music in London.
There may not be many years in the life of this man we knew as Harley.
But there is much life in the years we have had the privileged of knowing him in our very different ways.
(I’m sure tonight there will be a hell of a choral recital in heaven!)

In the lyrics from one of your songs Harley,

‘be at peace in the palm of his hand’

Farewell Harley Mead

Eulogy by Paul Jarman

MEN OF SONG by Paul Jarman
“The Bunbury Men of Song”

Come gather round and sing me a song
Sing me back home to where I come from
One man for all and all for one
Standing together we’ll sing proud and strong
We will sing with our heart and we’ll let it all out
We’ll sing for each other, we’ll sing for the crowd
For the song is in you and the song is in me
And we will sing for you

We’ve passion for music and the land that we share
The rivers, the ocean and the clean desert air
The dolphins, the surf, and the moon on the sea
Living together in harmony
We have come from afar on a journey of song
We’ve found in each other a place to belong
For the song is in you and the song is in me
And it brings us together for all to see
For we are men of song, men of song
We are men of song and we will sing for you

The sound of your voice brings me to life
It lights up a spark that was waiting for fire
It takes me through dark and into the light
Living my dreams with my head held high
Now my song is alive I have nothing to hide
I stand tall beside you and sing it with pride
For the song is in you and the song is in me
And it brings us together for all to see

I’ve traveled this land far and wide
And given my best to the years of my life
I’ve loved and I’ve lost and I’m here today
For nothing can take a good song away
So I’ll sing with you for the rest of my days
You’ll sing me to rest when I go to the grave
For the song is in you and the song is in me
And it gives me the strength to follow my dreams
So come now my brothers and sing it me
And we’ll sing on forever for all to see
For we are men of song, men of song
We are men of song and we will sing for you

Eulogy by Peter Ingram

It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the tragic passing of our colleague Harley Mead. Harley was an inspirational character to many people in the worlds of choral music, music education and composition. He was the National Vice-President of ANCA, President of the ANCA Queensland Chapter and a tireless worker in the area of choral music in Australia and overseas. He was a prolific creator of over 80 works, mostly for choir. He was an experienced teacher of music and composition, having taught in various locations throughout Australia and overseas during a distinguished teaching career. He was a much sought-after adjudicator and clinician who willingly passed on his wisdom and creative ideas to whoever was in his charge. He was also a much-loved father, brother and son who will be greatly missed.

But Harley was more than just a tremendously talented and successful musician. He was an impossibly energetic and positive character who never failed to make the people about him feel better about themselves. He always gave everything of himself which never failed to energise and inspire those about him whether they were in his choir, his class or merely his presence. This has become clear since his passing as many people have posted tributes on the specially set-up Facebook tribute page.

From a fellow music teacher after Harley had worked with their students:

I don't think I've EVER come across such a positive and exuberant person as you! Thanks for the inspiration. shame I didn't really have my skipping / dancing / shimmying outfit on this morning! oops! thought i'd just be sitting quietly in the back row! Hahahaha...

Others noted his enthusiasm in front of a choir:

I'll never forget the dancing choir conductor. He embodied the joy that music can bring...making us all feel like stars

Harley’s great love was working with young people, or “Young Musicians” as he preferred to call them. He never tired of doing his crazy warm-ups with his choirs, of teasing the best out of the youngest of singers at a festival, of firing ideas at young composers as they sought to find the creative voice within, sharing positive thoughts and ideas with choirs and individuals when he adjudicated them... he would do anything to encourage young musicians to be more passionate about music. He himself said:

"Being a Choral Conductor of Young Musicians is an honourable and noble profession… The work you do impacts on the lives of young people and gives the world beauty, joy and laughter. Not a bad way to spend a life."

These words were shared by a young man striving to become the best composer he possibly could:

I want to say that he accepted me as I am and listened to my awkward words about how the music for my running song should sound. It took many tries and a lot of his patience but we got there. Harley gave me belief that I could make real music. I will never forget him.

Harley was keenly committed to the development of choral music in Australia. He served ANCA with distinction. His wonderful efforts at being the driving force behind the recent Queensland Choral Convention held on the Gold Coast in June 2014 were amazing to observe. This uplifting and significant event simply would not have happened without Harley’s vision.

Harley’s music has been widely performed and greatly admired for many years. He was renowned for creating a new song for an event which would be perfect for the occasion. He “had the knack” of capturing the moment, challenging the singers and captivating the audience with his music. It is infinitely sing-able but often contains an unexpected rhythmic or melodic “twist” to add some flavor. He was a gifted poet and almost always wrote his own lyrics. And what lyrics they are! Unerringly positive and uplifting, they are so very suitable for young people in particular. One of his final set of lyrics looks like this:

When we gather together to sing peaceful unity, everyone knows that the children are free.
All that we ask is be kind to each other so we can have hope for today.
Hate is not a natural feeling, for children it can only be taught.
Laughing, singing, innocent harmony – listen to the Children.

Harley was farewelled at various events as people shared their grief and their memories. On the day before his funeral, there was an informal gathering of hundreds of his friends and admirers at the Voices of Birralee centre in Barden, Brisbane. Harley was a special friend of Birralee and their Artistic Director Julie Christiansen and so it was appropriate that this should be the venue for what was an unforgettable time of remembrance. It was a particularly important occasion for the many young people who had been so inspired by Harley across the years. They came in their hundreds to mourn, laugh, sing, remember, hug, write special messages and celebrate someone who could not be replaced in their lives. A special booklet of some of his music was prepared and sung by all who had gathered, young and old. Leading the singing were various people, in particular his good friend and fellow-composer Paul Jarman. Just as the sun was setting, everyone joined hands and released hundreds of balloons as they repeated his favourite saying: “Hugs and Chuckles”.

The funeral the following day, Tuesday 7 October, was an equally moving occasion. Again hundreds of mourners came together at the Southport Church of Christ to farewell Harley. Music, of course, was central to the ceremony. The program, beautifully prepared by Julie Christiansen, was rich with uplifting quotes from many of Harley’s pieces. The Master of Ceremonies was his good friend and colleague Peter Ingram. Harley’s first Deputy Principal Jo Bottrell spoke glowingly about his days as a teacher and working professional. His brother Mark and mother Shirley shared family insights while Paul Jarman touched everyone with his heart-felt tribute to Harley the man and musician. Choral performances of one of Harley’s favourite pieces, Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, and one of his own pieces, Farewell For Now, were directed by good friend and well-known conductor Paul Holley. The choir consisted of dozens of his friends who gathered that morning as their special tribute. There was also a wonderful photo presentation prepared by friends Jenny Moon and Tony Forbes; this was particularly touching for his three boys. Recordings of Harley’s music also featured as did remembrances of his unique sense of humour ensuring that the ceremony was filled not just with sadness but plenty of smiles which is just the way he would have liked it. Two further tributes perhaps sum up the emotions and feelings of the occasion:

There is a saying 'that you may not remember what someone said, but you will always remember, how that person made you feel'. This seems very apt for Harley who made every individual he met, feel special and valued. Harley made a difference. His music and his personality remain a gift for the world. Thank you Harley

(You are) an inspiration to many, a tireless contributor, a generous collaborator, a joyful prankster, a light in the dark - you will be missed by so many dear man. Sing with the angels xxx

Harley Mead, an unforgettable character!