Laura Reineke has been awarded a Coronation Champion Award for her services to music in the community.
Laura was nominated by Rosemary Duckett after she saw the article about the Coronation Champion nominations on the Henley Herald. Laura founded Henley Music School in 2010 as a community interest company and now has a full charity status. Henley Music School provides individual music lessons, curriculum school lessons and after school clubs, instrument loan and subsidies and bursaries on fees for young people. They also offer music sessions to older musicians to play and rehearse in the Henley Youthful Orchestra.
Rosemary who has known Laura since she was a baby said, “I’m delighted that Laura has won this very special award. I’ve watched her music develop and seen how she inspires the children. Laura founded the Henley Music School and it has now grown to providing music education to over 900 children and 100 adults with individual lessons (170 per week) to groups, orchestras, school clubs and full class lessons. Free lessons are also given to neurodiverse children, refugees and pupil premium children, they always lend an instrument for free. In the last 3 years Laura has raised over £90,000 with the Henley Mermaids to raise money for the HMS. Her next project is refurbish the old Trinity Hall which will become the Henley Hub which will be a community hub, and a safe place for children to meet with music at the heart. The Henley Music school thrives with Laura being so very full of enthusiasm for all the music activities.”
Laura said, “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am, really overwhelmed, and surprised I received the award out of 5000 nominees (there are 500 Coronation Champions). I knew I’d been nominated by Rosemary, but as the deadline got closer, I kept thinking I hadn’t made the cut, until one evening last week I checked my email, and there it was. The worst bit was that I had to keep it secret until Tuesday this week! Today, my certificate and pin came in the post, in a beautiful embossed box, with a lovely thick certificate signed by their Majesties the King & Queen Consort – how amazing is that!
“I’ve personally won the award, but it has been years of hard work, not just by me, but many, many friends I’ve roped in to help be trustees, directors etc. Not to mention my family who have put up with my endless swimming, and coming to millions of concerts etc. Then there are the Mermaids, who I love dearly as sisters. Basically, It’s with the support of the whole community that HMS, Mermaids and hopefully the Hub have achieved so much.”
Laura has also been rewarded with an invitation to the Coronation concert at Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7 which will see performances from Take That, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and from the specially formed Coronation Choir. She was also awarded the Henley Herald Community Champion Award in 2018.
The Coronation Champions Award for volunteers is a national official coronation project launched by the Royal Voluntary Service in honour of the King and Queen Consort’s service to the country. David Eggleton was also nominated for this Award for his services to the community during Covid, response and support for the war in Ukraine and volunteering in Henley.