Amber honour ‘golden fundraiser’ Poppy McGhee – at last

Good things come to those who wait and so it proved for The Amber Trust’s golden fundraiser Poppy McGhee at this year’s Annual Concert. 

The 16-year-old violinist has raised more than £10,000 for the charity in the past nine years after being inspired to get involved with the Trust by a concert featuring patron Derek Paravicini at Chichester Cathedral.  

Her efforts earned her the Rotary Club Young Citizen Award 2021 title in May, having previously finished runner-up in Rotary’s Young Musician Awards National Final in 2018. 

Poppy was presented with her award at a virtual ceremony – hosted by BBC TV Presenter Ellie Crisell – in May. She donated her £300 winner’s prize to The Amber Trust’s “With Music in Mind” service for visually impaired children with a neurodegenerative disease. 

Prize giving: Violinist and golden fundraiser Poppy McGhee receives her award from Amber Trust Chair of Trustees Lady Julia Walport

But it wasn’t until Sunday’s Annual Concert at St Paul’s School, Barnes – where Poppy performed a double violin concerto by J.S Bach with Amber beneficiary Lilly Kurata – that she was honoured in person. 

Amber’s chair of trustees Lady Julia Walport, in a speech at Sunday’s concert, said:

“Poppy has been fundraising for Amber since she was eight-years-old and she has raised more than £10,000.  She first heard Derek [Paravicini] play in Chichester Cathedral when she was seven. Soon after that she said she wanted to raise money for Amber and since then has been doing it tirelessly. 

“She has learnt new instruments in a term, held concerts in person and online and, of course, she has been supported throughout by her mother Angie. 

“We were thrilled when you won Rotary’s Young Citizen Award, but unfortunately the presentation had to happen online because of the pandemic.  We’re sorry we couldn’t celebrate with you in May, but please accept a token of our thanks now.” 

McGhee and Amber Trust beneficiary Ashleigh Turley teamed up for an impromptu rehearsal prior to last Sunday’s main performance and this is what they produced – Poppy McGhee and Ashleigh Turley in rehearsals prior to The Amber Trust’s Annual Concert 2021 – YouTube 

McGhee said: “I just love how music acts as another language and it’s so powerful! One of the reasons my favourite quote is ‘Where words fail, music speaks’.” 

To see Poppy McGhee in action at the Amber Trust’s Annual Concert 2021, please visit our YouTube channel.

And for more on The Amber Trust’s Annual Concert 2021 click here Concert finale a hard act to follow, says Amber Trust chair – Amber Trust