Aldbrough St John teenager holds concert for playground repairs

Sophie with Susanna, Jacob and Dame Emma at the Swaledale Festival masterclass.

An Aldbrough St John teenager is bringing two superstars of the early music world to her village to help raise funds for a local playground.

When Sophie Montgomery found that a group of local parents were raising funds to replace the village’s old and uninteresting playground equipment she decided to do something to help.

Sophie is a keen singer and music student and sings with Lindsey Ibbotson’s Marske Choir in Swaledale.

She decided to organise a fundraising concert in her village church with her choir, but that was only the start.

In 2016, Sophie was selected as one of a small group of local singing students to take part in a masterclass with soprano Dame Emma Kirkby at the Swaledale Festival.

For this event all the students needed to sing something from the early music repertoire and they would be accompanied by Jacob Heringman on the lute and Susanna Pell on the viola da gamba.

Mr Heringman and Ms Pell are two of the top early music performers and tutors in the world and now live in Richmond playing together as Pellingmans’ Saraband.

They invited all the masterclass participants to have a preparation session with them before the Swaledale Festival and Sophie in particular impressed them with her singing and has also now taken up the viol herself.

With this great contact she asked Mr Heringman and Ms Pell if they would help with her concert to which they generously agreed.

However, that does not mean the audience is in for an evening of only ancient music.

On her posters Sophie gives the message ‘Ravenscroft to Scissor Sisters’ which means the music covers a four-hundred year time span and the Marske Choir will provide a particularly upbeat contribution to the evening.

The concert takes place on Saturday, October 7 in St Paul’s Church Aldbrough St John and there will also be refreshments in the village hall.

The playground which is need of repair.

It is hoped that this event will make a significant contribution to the playground equipment fund.

Tickets are £10 from Sophie Montgomery, The Stanwick Inn or the Marske Choir

Full details are at or phone 01325 710215.