Held at Manchester Grammar School, Penny of the CLIC Sargent Singers and over 250 performers in the choir and orchestra, including professional soloists, performed Verdi’s choral masterpiece and one of the most enduring Requiems ever, raising a wonderful £10,000.
Penny started to fundraise for CLIC Sargent 20 years ago by organising charity fundraising concerts after her 15-year-old son Joe was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
Penny felt that her family owed ‘so much’ to CLIC Sargent and wanted to help other families in a similar position.
Penny said: “We were so grateful for all the help and encouragement Joe had received from CLIC Sargent throughout his long battle with cancer.
"After successful treatment Joe became ill with secondary leukaemia and sadly died in 1999, just after his 18th birthday.
“Our family, Joe in particular, received tremendous support from CLIC Sargent both at the Young Oncology Unit in The Christie in Manchester, and at home.
“Joe said many times that his CLIC Sargent Social Workers were among the most important people to help him through his illness, through his pain, his hair loss, his joy and much more.”
History of the concerts
The first concert in 1996 was held atthe Church of the Holy Innocents, Wibraham Road in Manchester raising around £745.
With the full support of the then Manchester Grammar School music director Andrew Dean, singers were invited along to ‘learn and sing one of the great choral masterpieces in one day’
This concert spurned a series of events and fundraisers including a full day workshop in 2000, the ‘Fields of Gold Music Show’ where dance schools and choirs from across Manchester took stage at the Palace Theatre in Manchester and in 2002 Cheshire Youth Orchestra released a CD in memory of Joe.
Concerts were held at Our Lady and the Apostles in Stockport and at Fallibroome School, but the majority have taken place at The Manchester Grammar School with the last three performances inspired massively by their current Musical Director Robert Cary who leads a team of dedicated and inspiring musicians in both the Senior and Junior School.
Year on year the concerts have raised an increasing amount of money and this year involved more singers and performers than ever – some 250 strong, some of those having been involved since the very first concert.
CLIC Sargent Fundraising Manager Maria Healy said: “It was an absolute privilege to be involved in the latest concert organised by Penny who time after time has shown so much energy in bringing people together who give up their time to put on this event.
“We really appreciate her hard work in raising awareness and funds for CLIC Sargent through her concerts.
“Every penny raised will help provide vital support for children and young people with cancer, and their families.”