A Christmas Carol Concert for Sarcoma UK

Featuring: Reading Spring Gardens Band
Conductor: Matthew Ruel
The Actor's Church
Covent Garden
Wednesday 8th December

Reading Spring

These are the type of concert appearances that give brass bands at any level the chance to perform to audiences that they wouldn’t normally make a musical connection with on a regular basis.

Sarcoma UK funds vital research and offers help for anyone affected by sarcoma, as well as campaigning for better treatments. 

Positive publicity

Support provides an associated profile that can prove to be invaluable in more ways than one - especially in a new era of Covid restricted performance opportunities: The packed venue, with pews filled with lots of familiar faces from screen and film enjoyed a concert that attracts positive publicity and much needed financial help for a lesser known charitable organisation.

The band links to it in memory of the great trumpet star Derek Watkins, the late husband of Band President Wendy Watkins. Derek passed away in 2013 having battled synovial sarcoma.

The band links to it in memory of the great trumpet star Derek Watkins, the late husband of Band President Wendy Watkins. Derek passed away in 2013 having battled synovial sarcoma.

Hosted by Rector, Rev Simon Grigg, Reading shared the stage with the likes of Enchorus, Victoria Joyce, Mark Llewelyn Evans and Lance Ellington, with familiar Christmas readings and poetry from Johnny Ball, Robert Powell, Sandra Dickinson and husband Mark Osmond.

Seasonal and uplifting

The music was as seasonal and uplifting as a turkey dinner with all the trimmings – from ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’, ‘Feliz Navidad’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angles Sing’  to ‘Ding Dong Christmas’, ‘Jingle Bells’  and ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’.  

The concert also heard from the inspirational Gareth Emmerson in an interview presented by Gavin Ramjaun. Gareth has battled Ewing sarcoma since 2014 and in November 2020 his diagnosis became terminal.

It was a poignant reminder of both the joy and sadness Christmas can bring.

David Richardson 

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