Appeal hits high note with Harmonies for Heroes concert at Richmond School

The Northern Echo: Robert Logie, five and a half months, went through the whole rehearsal with mum Heidi who is a member of the Military WAGS Choir. Robert Logie, five and a half months, went through the whole rehearsal with mum Heidi who is a member of the Military WAGS Choir.

AN appeal to raise £100,000 towards a performing arts facility for injured service personnel and veterans hit a real high note at the weekend.

Richmond School's theatre hall was filled to capacity for the Harmonies For Heroes concert on Saturday evening.

Proceeds from the event - part of The Northern Echo and Help for Heroes £100,000 for Our Heroes appeal - will go towards the facility at the Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison and while initial estimates put the money raised at £1,000 it is hoped the eventual total will be much higher.

The Military WAGS Choir Catterick, Muker Silver Band and Reeth Brass Band each performed separately as well as as an ensemble and drew lengthy standing ovations - especially after the finale of Land of Hope and Glory complete with audience participation.

Introduced by compere for the evening, The Northern Echo editor Peter Barron, Muker Silver Band opened proceedings with Arnhem March before performing the Beatles' classic Yellow Submarine and then Hymn to the Fallen.

The band concluded with a march specially written by band member and conductor Norman Guy, which was premiered at the concert and was named in honour of the Military WAGS Choir Catterick.

Reeth Brass Band, led by retired military bandmaster conductor Brian Hicks, performed This Could Be The Start of Something, The Second Waltz, Trumpet Filigree, Singing in the Rain and Manhattan Skyline.

It was then the turn of the highly anticipated WAGS Choir - with youngest member five-and-a-half month old Robert Logie watching in the audience after spending the afternoon's rehearsal cuddled snugly up to mum, Heidi.

Mrs Logie said: "Robert is definitely an honorary member of the choir, along with the one other WAGS Choir baby who is even younger.

"He was quite content all afternoon in rehearsal and for the evening performance in the audience. He seems to love hearing us sing."

The evening concluded with the choir singing with selected members of both bands forming Swaledale Brass and performing Dancing With You - a track written by one of the concert's organisers, Jill Lundberg.

Richmond School dance troupe Breakin' Point also took to the stage during the evening, showcasing a skilful piece based on witchcraft with an underlying message about drug addiction, while drama students shared scenes from a recent production, I Have Heard and Read of Battlefields, originally performed at the Richmond Georgian Theatre Royal last year and reprised at the request of the organisers.

A CD launched on Saturday sold more than 150 copies with all proceeds going towards Phoenix House.

Speaking after the concert, Phoenix House manager Mo Usman said: "Music, singing and performance can be a friend - something to relieve stress and pressure and something to get the party started - all elements of what we try to sum up at Phoenix House.

"It is about giving something back to those who have suffered."

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