Twins hit the right notes with lockdown performances

Sophie and Emily Harrison from Reed have been contributing to their community with online music performances.

Sophie and Emily Harrison from Reed have been contributing to their community with online music performances. - Credit: Royston Rotary Cub

Teenage twins from Reed, who used their musical talents to contribute to their church and bring joy to the community, have been recognised for their achievements.

Sophie and Emily Harrison are both learning to play musical instruments, and it was their interest in music that led them to step in and help when Reed's St Mary’s Church was forced by the COVID pandemic to cancel public worship. 

The girls, 13, learned hymns and songs for each weekly service to be broadcast on YouTube and recorded these with their parents, ready for Sunday morning. Sophie and Emily also presented set readings and with prayers.

News of the success of these live services - especially the music - spread in the village and beyond, inspiring many to log in and sing with the girls. 

Villagers and the church put the pair forward for Rotary's Young Citizen Award 2021 and they made it to the shortlisting stage of the national competition.

Sophie and Emily Harrison from Reed  

Rotary Club of Royston senior members presented Sophie and Emily Harrison with certificates in recognition of their wonderful achievements in lockdown. - Credit: Royston Rotary Club

The Reverend Canon Ruth Pyke - rector of Barley, Barkway, Reed and Buckland - said: "I have known Sophie and Emily for over five years and they both participate in the life of the community of Reed and of the church in a way that many adults do not manage.” 

Royston Rotary was determined that they should have the recognition. So, last week, senior members of went to St Mary’s, to give each of them a certificate. In addition, they also received letters and a certificate from Rotary International. 

Royston Rotary president Martin Berry said: “Sophie and Emily are delightful, unassuming young people who have superbly demonstrated ability, commitment, maturity of character, and excitement for this project.

"They have worked hard to maintain high standards and have been aware of - and are proud of - the difference that they have made, and continue to make, to their community in these challenging times.” 

Sophie said: "It was a pleasure to contribute to the church and being nominated for the Rotary Young Citizen Award was very exciting."

And sister Emily added: "I really enjoyed being able to make a difference to our online church services and share my enthusiasm for music with others. It was an honour to be awarded a Royston Rotary Young Citizen Award."