Saturday 30th April
All Saints’ Church, Oystermouth, Swansea
This was a concert we would have preferred not to have to had taken place. It was to raise funds to help provide a life-extending cancer drug (Kadcyla) for Helen Davies from Swansea. The Welsh NHS would not fund this treatment for Helen due to the cost of nearly £8,000 per phase of the treatment.
As our compere and one of our soloists said, it is galling and frustrating to think how many billions are spent and wasted by our Government each year on arms, vanity projects, foreign aid, etc. when many people like Helen are, if they are lucky to have the support, having to raise money to prolong their own lives.
Consequently, when we were asked by the whirlwind which is Pam Walters of https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Helen-Davies to help her mammoth task, we agreed at once.
Pam had also enlisted the services of two soloists and a school choir: Richard Allen is a local tenor with an impressive pedigree and a long list of musical achievements. In his spare time he is a maths teacher! Accompanied by Hywel Evans, he sang a couple of songs that were thoughtfully relevant to Helen’s predicament, and he tested Hywel’s awe-inspiring prowess at the keyboard with Lara’s Granada. He brought a few blushes to some ladies in the audience as he serenaded them with Lehar’s Girls Were Made To Love And Kiss.
Jonathan Lycett is now also a local singer, having moved from across the border after graduating from Swansea University, and is renowned in the area as an accompanist, musical director, and a Director of musical shows.With D. Huw Rees at the piano, Jonathan’s programme came mainly from musical shows, with Ivor Novello’s And Her Mother Came Too raising several knowing smiles among the gentlemen in the audience.
Bishop Gore School Choir excelled in their programme, which included a challenging piece written by their accompanist Richard Braithwaite. They were conducted by Catrin Lewis, and soloists were Lauren Edwards, Kaiah Rutterford, Anna Lucignoli (ocarina), and Lynden Peters (harp). We hope they will enter our Schools Choral Competition next year, when, judging by this performance, they will be in with a very good chance of a prize.
Our own performance, accompanied by Hywel Evans (piano) and Huw Tregelles Williams (organ), and conducted by D. Huw Rees, was a variety of religious, musical show, and traditional Welsh songs. Our Bass soloist was Huw Roberts. Richard Allen joined us for Lloyd Webber’s Anthem from Chess.
In tribute to the 96 football fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough 27 years ago and who had been vindicated earlier in the week, and as the Swans were to play Liverpool at home (3-1) the next day, we added their own anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone as a final finale.
Our compere was “Mr. Swansea”, Kevin Johns. As usual, and as had happened in the Brangwyn Hall at the beginning of the month, he made the evening go with a swing and many laughs. He even joined us in our final tribute, and would play a large role during the following day’s match at the Liberty Stadium as the Swans’ Chaplain.
We were so pleased that Helen was able to attend the concert, in spite of receiving her arduous 4th treatment earlier in the week. The good news is that it is working!
STOP PRESS: The concert raised almost £1,500 for the Fund.