Congratulations to our founding patron Julia McKenzie, who has been named a Commander of the British Empire for her contribution to the arts and her services to drama in this year’s New Year honours list. Julia joins the likes of actor and musician Hugh Laurie, novelist Jilly Cooper and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman in receiving the CBE this year – the third-highest ranking title awarded by the UK sovereign.
Julia should expect to be invited to an Investiture ceremony at some point in the coming months, when one of the members of the royal family will confer the title.
Thanks are due to Society member Sheila Caryer and Administrator Lynne Chapman for their efforts in championing for Julia to be recognised by the Cabinet Office honours committee.
The Stephen Sondheim Society owes a huge debt of thanks to Julia for her support in the early days of the founding of the Society, accepting the title of first patron. She continues to play a part in our annual Student Performer of the Year award, sitting on the judging panel, awarding the prizes and even, in the 2017 competition, sponsoring a one-off third prize – on the spot – when Edward Seckerson’s judging panel couldn’t agree on just a winner and runner-up. The Trustees would like to be among the first to congratulate Julia on her very well deserved recognition.