Coaches, teachers, musicians and mentors have paid tribute to Helena Farrell, who excelled in sports and music, as well as drama and at school. The 15-year-old Kirkbie Kendal School pupil was found dead in woodland behind the Castle Green Hotel on Friday night.
Roland Fudge – Musical Director, Westmorland Youth Orchestra
Helena was, for many years, a valued and very gifted cello player in the Westmorland Youth Orchestra.
She showed her commitment, along with her equally musical brother Declan, by coming regularly on Friday evenings in Kendal even after starting to attend the Junior Royal Northern College of Music School on Saturdays.
In this, the support of her parents was a key element; they are clearly a family who value music very highly.
She recently made an outstanding contribution as one of the soloists in the string master-classes given to the WYO by the world-famous musician Peter Cropper, after which he commented on the quality of her musicianship.
We shall all feel her absence acutely.
Emma Ferrand - Cello Professor, Royal Northern College of Music
Helena was a shining light in Cumbria's vibrant young artistic talent.
She was one of the most naturally gifted students that I have taught at this age.
She won a place at Junior RNCM in Manchester and was recently chosen to play Mendelssohn's Song without Words in the Informal concert in November.
She was working towards her Grade 8 and the South Cumbria Festival. She had all before her.
There was no barrier in her communication with her audience. Her musicianship had a maturity beyond her years and her feeling for playing the cello was a rare gift.
Karen Humphreys - Head of Junior Royal Northern College of Music
The lovely Helena joined us at the Junior RNCM in 2010 to study cello and singing.
She was a bright, bubbly, radiant musician who was extremely popular with staff and students alike.
We were all so deeply saddened to hear the news and I know that there will be many distressed souls at the college on Saturday.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very sad time.
Phil Hyman - Head teacher Kirkbie Kendal School
The entire school is in a state of shock following the sudden and tragic death of Helena Farrell who was in year 11.
Helena was a remarkable young lady. She was a wonderful musician who recently played the lead role in the school production of 'We Will Rock you'.
She was on track to achieve A*s and As in her GCSEs and she was a great sportswoman too, playing hockey and representing the school on many occasions.
Helena was a much loved member of the School and this tragedy will leave a tremendous hole in our community.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this sad time.
James Mackereth - head coach at Kendal Swimming Club
I think I speak for everyone here at Kendal Amateur Swimming Club when I saw how shocked and saddened I am to hear the tragic news of Helena Farrell’s death.
Helena was a huge asset to Kendal Swimming Club during her time here.
She was a very talented swimmer, who excelled as much in the water as she did in the numerous other activities she managed to find the time for.
She was also a very sociable young lady who made friends easily and was extremely popular among a large group of children, and also among the teachers and coaches.
She was also a credit to herself. Not only was she polite, attentive and charming, she had a great sense of humour that was extremely endearing to her clubmates and her coaches.
She approached her swimming with a smile on her face, a determination to succeed, and a willingness to do herself, her family, and her teammates proud, which is all you can ask for as a coach.
I can only speak on behalf of myself and others when I say that our thoughts are with Helena’s family at this difficult time.
Helena will not be forgotten by the friends and families of Kendal Swimming Club.
She will live long in our hearts and memories.
Rest in peace Helena. God bless.
A statement from Westmorland Youth Orchestra
The Westmorland Youth Orchestra is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of one of our brightest and most promising young players.
Helena Farrell was one of our leading cellists and played with the orchestra for a number of years, performing in a wide range of repertoire, including in October 2012 being chosen as one of the soloists in Peter Cropper's master class with the WYO.
The WYO would like to extend its deepest sympathies to Helena's family and friends.
Rachel Little – Director of Amabile Girls’ Choir
Helena was a popular and well loved member our Amabile family for over seven years.
She sang with Poco Amabile initially, then quickly distinguished herself as a strong member of the Mezzo section in the Amabile Main choir.
Helena sang one of the solos when we performed at Glasgow Cathedral last year and competed with us in Llandudno in October when we won the Youth Choir category at the North Wales Choral Competition.
Helena had a wonderful sense of fun. We stayed in Chester the on the weekend of the competition and Helena and her friends appeared in the hotel lobby wearing fake moustaches, ginger, of course.
Helena was a wonderful musician with a natural gift for communication.
She didn't just sing the songs that we performed, she lived every word.
Her enthusiasm and professionalism inspired the other girls and never failed to touch our audiences.
After every performance at least one audience member would single Helena out for praise.
The Amabile Girls' Choir motto is 'Choir is our Family'.
Helena will always be a part of that family and I know that the girls felt privileged to have sung with her and want to honour her name by continuing to sing with spirit she inspired in us all.