Singing for Sophie! at St Mary's Church Bruton, Somerset

by Phil Simpson

Singing for Sophie! at St Mary's Church Bruton, Somerset

7:30pm, Saturday 15th March at St Mary’s Church, Bruton.

A special one-off concert will take place on Saturday 15th March in St Mary’s Church Bruton in memory of Sophie Parr to raise funds for the local charity, “Positive Action on Cancer (PAC) and their Young People’s Service. PAC provide free, professional counselling for anyone affected by cancer in Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset and West Wiltshire.

Sophie, who was born and brought up in Bruton, died in December 2009 at the age of 24 after only being diagnosed with cancer the previous month. Her family and friends have already raised over £30,000 in her memory for national cancer charities Macmillan and Cancer Research UK through a range of events from triathlons to cake sales! For 2014, the Parrs were keen to support the local work of PAC, whose counselling service has proved invaluable to the family in coping with the loss of such a vibrant, loving and beautiful girl.

Sophie was a keen musician and talented performer throughout her time at Bruton Primary School, Sunny Hill and as Deputy Head Girl at King’s. After a Drama and English degree at Birmingham and a necessary slog through unpaid internships, Sophie secured a prestigious job in London as the Tours Manager for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She could regale friends for hours with her stories of herding hungover musicians around Mexico in a heatwave, arguing with Russian embassy officials over ‘instrument passports’ and how to deal with a performer falling asleep on stage whilst being projected onto a big screen in front of a festival audience of thousands!

Just before her sudden illness, Sophie had started a new role with a leading music agency and was hugely excited about representing world music artists such as Tinariwen, who she’d seen at both the Cheese and Grain in Frome and at the Glastonbury Festival!
To honour Sophie’s passion for all types of music, from classical to contemporary, her sister Alex has convened a one-off group of Parr family friends to give this special concert in her memory. Many are former members of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Chantage – Radio 3 Choir of the Year, 2006. Some are now professional singers who have performed with the Glyndebourne Opera and Welsh National Opera.
Sophie was passionate about music
The programme will reflect Sophie’s wide musical tastes, with a selection of sacred and secular choral music from Rachmaninoff and Byrd to Louis Armstrong and Billy Joel. The choir will be conducted by Jonathan Wikeley, an award-winning composer and arranger who is also Director of Music at All Saints Church in Fulham, London.

All proceeds will go towards PAC’s fantastic Young People’s Service, which supports young people aged 11 to 17 years of age. Some of them will have cancer while others are caring for or living with a parent or sibling with the illness. Counselling is offered in schools and colleges, providing a safe, supportive environment where young people can talk to someone they trust, outside their family. Young people often feel confused and frightened particularly if their parent is very ill and suffering the distressing side effects of cancer treatment. Bereaved children are more likely to have emotional, behavioural and concentration problems. They could be bullied or become bullies themselves, and are more prone to be excluded from school.
PAC has recently had to cut back on its services in schools due to lack of funding. It also wants to provide training and support to teaching and pastoral staff so they can recognise signs of distress in young people affected by life-threatening illness or bereavement.
The annual cost of providing a free service in one school is £8000. The Parrs’ hope for 2014 is to raise sufficient funds to enable PAC to re-establish its full Young People’s Service in schools, and to expand its work. Sophie would have so wanted to help these children and young people herself.

Tickets are £10 for adults and £7 concessions, with all proceeds to PAC. St Mary’s have generously donated their hire fee back to PAC and will be running a donations bar during the interval with the proceeds of that going to St Mary’s. All other proceeds will go directly to PAC, registered charity number 1095533.

Please do come along to enjoy a wonderful performance and support this worthy local cause.

Tickets Available from:
BRUTON: Church Bridge Stores, Patwell Street or Community Office, High Street FROME: PAC office, 2a Market Place
Or call Rosie Parr on 01749 850858 for more information.
Singing for Sophie!


  • 06 Oct 2014

    Having never met Sophie personally. I have heard a great thing about her, and seems she is an amazing person that many will miss. My sincere condolences for the loss.

    Thank you.

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