Concert featuring a host of talent will raise funds for local causes in memory of Banbury performer

Conor Dowers, whose memory has inspired a huge fundraising effort to benefit the organisations he had been part ofConor Dowers, whose memory has inspired a huge fundraising effort to benefit the organisations he had been part of
Conor Dowers, whose memory has inspired a huge fundraising effort to benefit the organisations he had been part of
A huge concert featuring a host of talented performers is to raise funds for Banbury organisations used by a young man who died tragically in 2020.

A Concert for Conor is being staged at St Mary’s Church, Banbury on Saturday, February 3 in memory of Conor Dowers, a talented performer who was studying musical theatre at Urdang Academy, London at the time of his death.

Organiser and family friend, Tina Griffin, said: “We have 50 performers appearing, most of whom are now professionally trained and working in the entertainment industry, with some who are currently in training. They will be performing a mixture of song, dance and comedy. Funds raised will go back to all the groups Conor was associated with.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Everyone performing at the concert is connected with Conor - most have now finished their training and are entering the professional arena. Some are performing in the West End.”

Conor Dowers travelled far and wide with the Rosewood Highland Dancing SchoolConor Dowers travelled far and wide with the Rosewood Highland Dancing School
Conor Dowers travelled far and wide with the Rosewood Highland Dancing School

The line-up includes soulful singer-songwriter Isaac Stuart, the Rosewood Highland Dancers, Avocet Theatre company, Nathan Shaw, Frankie Dowers, Emily Sloan, Max Griffin, Sharon Green Academy of Theatre and Dance, Steve Duffy, London Studio Centre and many more.

Tickets for the show are £15 for adults and £10 for children under 16. There will be refreshments and a raffle is being held to raise extra funds. To donate a prize email Mrs Griffin at [email protected]

Recipients of funds raised on the night will be Sharon Green Academy of Dance and Musical Theatre, Rosewood Highland Dancing School, Odyssey Youth Theatre Group, Youth of Banbury Operatic Society, Avocet Theatre Company, The Lynden Players, London Studios Saturday Programme, Stratford Upon Avon College musical theatre and dance dept, Dave Earle’s Spit ‘n’ Sawdust youth, Charlton youth FC, Horspath youth FC and Banbury United youth FC.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A football match was held in summer, 2021 to raise funds to buy a headstone for Conor and to provide a memorial bench to be sited in Bodicote churchyard.

Conor Dowers was an outstanding performing arts student excelling at musical theatre and danceConor Dowers was an outstanding performing arts student excelling at musical theatre and dance
Conor Dowers was an outstanding performing arts student excelling at musical theatre and dance

Conor was a professional dancer but was also a good footballer. He attended dance classes from the age of two with his sister, Francesca.

He trained in ballet, tap and modern with the Sharon Green Academy of Dance and Musical Theatre. He attended Scottish dance classes with the Acushla Highland Dancing School (now Rosewood Highland Dancing School) where he performed with Pipe Major Steve Duffy and the Scots Guards for the Queen in The Beating Retreat, The Berlin Tattoo and many other events.

He went onto train as a Saturday Associate at the London Studio Centre while at Stratford Upon Avon College. Conor also performed in the curtain raiser for Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Conor was well known in Banbury and dubbed Banbury’s Billy Elliott, having played the leading role as a student of Banbury School aged 12 years. He finished his final year at school playing the older Simba in The Lion King.

Conor Dowers, at home on the stage, although he was a competent sportsman too, particularly enjoying footballConor Dowers, at home on the stage, although he was a competent sportsman too, particularly enjoying football
Conor Dowers, at home on the stage, although he was a competent sportsman too, particularly enjoying football

Conor grew up on stage performing in many amateur dramatic theatre group shows including, Odyssey Youth, YOBOS and The Lynden Players. His last roles were as the leads in Pippin and Singin’ in the Rain.