Once again the young people of Thame have pulled out all the stops and shown just what wonderfully, talented people they are and how tragedy can bring people together in a common cause.
Last night, Sunday, April 11, the Thame Youth Memorial Trust held their Variety Night and Raffle Draw at the the Player’s Theatre. The concert was a sell out and a triumph for both the organisers, supporters and performers.
The entire evening was captured on video by Matt Evans and an eleven minute taster can now be viewed online here
The concert and grand draw were the latest in a series of events to raise money for a permanent memorial for the young people of Thame and the families and friends of young people who have died, to meet, talk and remember their friends and loved ones.
Compere, David Boyle, did a brilliant job, introducing:
Wilber Sears – is an ex-pupil of Lord Williams’s School, is a finger style Folk, Jazz, and Blues Guitarist, and was a finalist in the BBC2 Young Folk Awards. He has supported many well known acts including the Blues Band and the Commitments at Towersey Festival.
Jugglists – born and still living in Thame, Laurence attended Lord Williams’s School, is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University, and is now researching his PhD. Laurence took up juggling a few years ago as a hobby and has attended the last two European Juggling Conventions in Bavaria and Northern Spain. Laurence and his friend Alby, also a Brookes student, have both just today returned from the British Juggling Festival in Yorkshire.
Dancers – The Shona Clack School of Dance celebrate their 20th Year this year. They started out in Princes Risborough with one class a week and now successfully teach Disco, Rock and Roll, Latin American, Ballet and Tap in Thame, Oakley and Longwick.
Pupils also take part in Regional Competitions throughout the year in Disco Freestyle and Rock and Roll and have won many trophies and places at the ISTD National Disco Freestyle Finals. Some of the dancers tonight are National finalists and winners, including Gemma Strathdee and Melissa Mairs who gained first place in the Under 16 Silver/Gold Disco Freestyle section to become National Champions in October 2009.
Holly Nicholls – Holly’s interest in music began at the age of 7 when she joined the local church choir and took up the violin. She studied her GCSE’s, including Music, at Princes Risborough Upper School and in year 11 auditioned for and was accepted as a first study singer and violinist at the Junior Royal Academy of Music in London. She has been there ever since. Holly moved to Lord Williams Upper School in Thame for sixth form where she is taking A level Music, English Language and Maths, and intends to study music at University, and to make it her career.
Thame Youth Theatre – Thame Youth Theatre started up in 1989 and has been providing drama coaching for young people between 7 and 18 years old ever since. The youth theatre’s ethos is all about affordable yet quality teaching: giving young people the chance to build on theatre skills, keep active in a friendly and social environment and perform regularly to their local community. This year the youth theatre also re-introduced dance coaching to their program and tonight Thame Youth Theatre will be presenting both a dance piece and a short selection from the Junior drama group’s latest end of term performance.