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Fitting finale to 50th anniversary Cookham Festival

Will Taylor

Will Taylor

A fitting end to the Cookham Festival was provided by a member of a family closely tied to the event.

Alexandra Wood, 40, of Berries Road, a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music, provided the Grand Finale concert to mark the end on Sunday, May 21.

Her family has been involved in the Cookham Festival since it was first held in 1967.

Sara Wood, 72, her mother, of The Pound, helped with the musical side of that event with husband Tony, 73, who later managed the 1969 festival.

Now seeing off the 50th anniversary, a new generation of the Wood clan put her musical talents to the task, and closed off the festival with a grand finale at the Holy Trinity Church, in Church Gate, Cookham.

Alexandra is leader of the City of London Sinfonia Orchestra, a group which involves people of different backgrounds and has performed in schools and hospitals.

“I was fortunate enough to be joined by fellow members of the London Sinfonia at this concert, so the Cookham audience enjoyed a wonderfully rich musical experience,” she said.

“Although I have performed at the Proms, the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall, performing in Cookham is always a magical experience.

“I am delighted to take part in the festival, particularly as, growing up, I saw mum and dad’s dedication to it.”

Included among the pieces at the concert was Mozart’s Divertimento in D, Elgar’s Serenade, Arvo Part’s Fratres and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade.

Her mother Sara continues to be involved in the village’s music scene, and in her role as the director of music at Holy Trinity Church, she directs the girls’ choir, boys’ choir, men’s choir and the choristers’ mums’ choir there.

“I believe music is very important in building confidence among children and developing an interest for later life,” Sara said.

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