Musical marathon for cancer charity

KEVI Students in the Chamber Choir at a recent Lunchtime Concert at St George's.
KEVI Students in the Chamber Choir at a recent Lunchtime Concert at St George's.

A GROUP of young Morpeth musicians are pledging their time and talents to support a children’s cancer charity.

Students from King Edward VI School and performers from the recent Wansbeck Music Festival will be taking part in a 12-hour music marathon on Saturday in aid of Henry Dancer Days.

Following his death in November 2010 from osteosarcoma, a particularly aggressive form of bone cancer, Henry’s mum Jane Nattrass set up the charity to help children suffering from this illness and their families.

In the past 15 months, more than £35,000 has been raised and it is hoped that the event – which includes a formal concert in the evening by some of the participants – will receive good support from the Morpeth public.

The musicians will be playing or singing in 10 to 15-minute slots and they are getting family and friends to sponsor them. Accompanists will be available to them.

Mrs Nattrass, former deputy head girl at KEVI, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that so many Morpeth youngsters want to support the charity.

“The music marathon is a great way to raise awareness and it gives them another opportunity to perform.”

The idea for the event came from her mother, Gillian Irvine, who organises and promotes concerts and activities for talented musicians, mainly focusing on young people.

She is heavily involved in the Wansbeck Music Festival along with her husband Ken. Many of those who took part in this year’s competitions have agreed to play during the music marathon.

“As a result of one young musician wishing to be involved in the event, a donation of £1,000 has been given from another source, which was brilliant,” Mrs Irvine added.

Henry Dancer Days gives financial support, including a day out for the whole family. It also supplies laptops and iPads so young sufferers can contact or Skype their siblings who are often unable to visit them in hospital due to the danger of cross infection.

It is presently working with 20 families and more referrals are expected in the near future as its profile increases.

The music marathon will take place in St George’s United Reformed Church between 9am and 9pm – the concert will start at 7.30pm. Each member of the audience will be asked to make a donation and coffee, tea and homemade scones will be available.

Those who can’t attend can send money to the charity by post: 1 Simonside Close, Kirkhill, Morpeth. NE61 2XY.