For 2010 the Derby Hospitals Choir Annual Christmas Charity Concert was specially produced to raise money for the Derby Branch of Parkinson’s UK. The sizeable Hospitals Choir was conducted by John Bucknell with accompanist Andrew Storer. An enjoyable evening of musical entertainment was ably supported by the Derwent Brass band and the guest compere was Steven Blakely, well known from ITV’s ‘Heartbeat’ series.
The Hospitals Choir, a chorale of more than 130 singers, with their clear precision and wonderful balance always give that extra dimension to their concerts. Singing more than 15 pieces, ranging from Handel’s Zadok, the Beatles’ Let It Be and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas the choir were in superb form. ‘Danny Boy’, recommended by soprano Kathy Grieg, was a great choice, audiences love it and the choir did not let them down.
But surely the highlight moment in the concert: The Marvellous Birth by Chilcott. This is really not a particularly well known piece and was recommended to the choir by alto Gill Meyer. What a find, the soprano and alto harmony was truly quite beautiful, a very moving and emotional performance
Derwent Brass under the guest direction of John Davis, as always, were in fine form playing music by Peter Graham and Darroll Barry alongside Mel Torme and Gordon Langford. One special highlight was a solo version of ‘You Raise Me Up’ played on the baritone, (Bb horn), by Carole Crompton. Especially performed as a thank you to the Royal Hospital for treatment she had received recently. Carole is one of the Country’s top soloists and over the years has played for most of the Country’s Top Brass Bands including Fodens and a long time with Desford Colliery Band during their hey days.
Other items in the programme included a humorous and very poignant piece, describing an everyday account of living and coping with Parkinson’s by Sheila North. Whilst, Steven Blakeley had the audience in stitches with an amusing reading about ‘Preparation for Christmas Festivities’ by Pam Ayres
Please accept our many thanks to our patrons and friends for making the 2010 fund raising activity our best ever achievement so far. In this respect, the Christmas Concert was a great success with 1158 tickets sold.
The Assembly Room capacity is 1236, so we almost had a full house. Nevertheless, this was the largest number seats we have ever sold for any of our annual concerts.
Also, we are most grateful to all the choir members and friends that where involved with the many aspects of running the prize draw. The actual ticket sales reached an all time high with more than 3000 tickets sold. In addition, there is a special thank you to the Derby Branch Of Parkinsons for all their hard work in acquiring all the prizes and then running the prize draw stand on the night of the concert. The Choir and the Derby Branch of Parkinsons would particularly like to thank all those persons and companies that kindly donated the many prizes.
Our advertisers have also helped us to increase the funds raised for this year’s charity. In this respect we are very much obliged to:
Sheila North Chairman of the Derby Branch of Parkinson’s UK
Jessica Storer for East Midlands Parkinson’s UK
Mr & Mrs John Rivers – Chairman, Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust (DHFT)
Julie Acred – Chief Executive, Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust (DHFT)
Diane Prescott – Director, Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust (DHFT)
Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Development, Parkinson’s UK
Mr & Mrs Andrew Hilton (son of the late Lady Winifred)
Mr Barry North (husband of Sheila North)
Mayor and Mayoress of Derby
The Mayor is particularly pleased to be associated with the Derby Hospitals Choir fund raising activities. Traditionally, each year the Derby Mayor supports a number of health related charities. By coincidence the St John Ambulance will be one of the Mayor’s beneficiaries, an organisation the choir has supported in the past.