Wigmore Freemasons Help a Young Cellist Graduate into a Professional Musician

Sarah Perks

As a young child Sarah Perks fell in love with the cello. It was a hobby from the age of eight which has now turned into a career thanks to her late Grandfather’s Freemasons’ lodge in Wigmore. Worshipful Brother Tom Holden, a Past Master of Lodge de Wydemere No 6282, sadly passed away in 2007 but his granddaughter’s musical talents came to attention of the lodge which remains in touch with Tom’s widow Joan. When Sarah was five years old, her father had a serious accident and was unable to work for sixteen years. Sarah was thirteen when her grandfather’s lodge provided her with some financial support to help her pursue her musical interest and brought her to the attention of the TalentAid scheme with the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. This proved to be a turning point for Sarah in her musical development. Sarah said: “One of the key turning points for my cello playing, which enabled me to take my performance skills from enthusiastic child to university student, was the help I received from the Masonic Talent Aid. This generous award allowed me to receive a good quality instrument, bow and case. I still use the same instrument today and it carried me through a degree in music at The University of Leeds from 2006-2009.”

After university Sarah signed up to be an army musician - a good way to gain full-time employment as a musician - and she now plays her cello with The Countess of Wessex’s Orchestra. Highlights of her career, so far, have been performing for the Invictus Games, diplomatic events at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and a tour of India to provide music in support of international relations. As an army musician Sarah has met some interesting people up close – recently the Queen, Prince Harry and Richard Branson.

Sarah said: “I am very grateful to my Grandfather, Tom Holden, who was part of the de Wydemere Lodge, Wigmore, and to those at the lodge who have generously supported me.”

Sarah is engaged to Andrew, another member of the orchestra, and they are to be married on 9th May.

Read more about the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.

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