22 March 2013
Birmingham audiences were entertained by three bands in one at the Adrian Boult hall on 17 November 2012.
The evening was compèred by journalist and news reader Joanne Malin, who ably introduced the Band of West Mercia Police, The Band of the West Midlands Fire Service and Blackwell Concert Band. Together they provided a thoroughly entertaining evening, joining forces to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan Cancer Support and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, with musical gems such as the police band performing the theme from Zulu, complete with narrator; Georgia on my Mind, featuring a duet between Blackwell band’s principal trumpeter and conductor on soprano saxophone; and the fire service performing with a special bass drum dedicated to Fiona Irving, in whose memory the concert was being held.
Police Chief Inspector Fiona Irving was diagnosed with breast cancer and died in 2010, aged just 36. She was inspired to write a book about her experiences, designed to help carers, friends, colleagues and relatives of people receiving cancer treatment.
There were also speakers from the two charities and also from Fiona’s family. The three bands then performed a massed band set at the end of the evening featuring Highland Cathedral, complete with pipers, and for many the highlight of the evening; Bugler’s Holiday, featuring the massed trumpeters and cornet players of the three bands, and finally the famous tunes from Last Night of the Proms: Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory, with retired Police Inspector David Coulson as principal singer.
Co-organiser Vicky Stock, 34, who is secretary to Blackwell Concert Band and librarian for West Mercia Police Band, summed up events, 'I started out on my own cancer journey over three years ago in December 2009, and made a commitment at that time to do some fundraising for worthwhile charities such as Macmillan and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, who both do fantastic work supporting people going through cancer.
'I am absolutely thrilled with how tonight has gone – it has been a brilliant experience, and thanks to the generosity of everyone who has come along, we have raised over £2500 for the two charities. I am very grateful to Joanne, who gave up her time to come and do such a fantastic job introducing us all. I am also grateful to David, the two charities, all the musicians and MDs and everyone else who helped make it such a successful night!'
Thank you to all the organisers and supporters for making it such a successful event to help more people affected by cancer.