Gaelic Choir - Aberfeldy & District Gaelic Choir
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18th March 2007

Music extravaganza as Welsh Choir joins up with local Gaelic Choir and Pipe Band in fund-raising concert!

The Aberfeldy and District Gaelic Choir and members of The Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Pipe Band are joining up with a Welsh Choir for a music extravaganza in Dunkeld Cathedral on June 14th in a bid to raise money for a Palliative Care Unit at Perth Royal Infirmary. The Cancer Challenge Singers, from the Port Talbot area in South Wales, has raised nearly £60,000 for charities and worthy causes since its formation in 1999. The choir has travelled extensively throughout Britain and Europe, usually raising money and awareness for local Cancer charities. Tour organiser Alan Maggs, a long-term supporter of both choirs, arranged for the Welsh visitors to join up with their Gaelic-singing counterparts in Aberfeldy. “It will be a wonderful concert, not only because of the singing and piping, but Dunkeld Cathedral is such a lovely setting!” he said.

The Cancer Challenge Singers are led by Musical Director Joan Lewis, who also founded the Choir and herself has an impressive background in competitions, as a youngster winning first prize 6 times at the National Eisteddfod, and later winning the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. In remission from cancer since 1992, Joan formed the Cancer Challenge Singers, and is the driving force behind their fundraising tours. She was awarded the MBE in 2005, and though she retired as MD of the choir in January this year, Joan will be coming out of “retirement” to conduct the singers! The conductor of the Aberfeldy and District Gaelic Choir, Frances McCallum, says she is thrilled to be joining up with the Cancer Challenge Singers, and is looking forward to meeting both Joan and guest accompanist R. Allan Fewster MBE, also a musician of great repute in Wales. “It’s going to be a great evening, I think “ said Frances. “Not only do we get to sing with a good choir who dedicate so much of their time to fundraising, but we have the chance to hear one of the best organists in Wales! Terrific!”

The prospective Palliative Care Unit at PRI is being planned by Macmillan Cancer Support, in partnership with NHS Tayside, with a view to improving the lives of people affected by cancer. People using the unit would benefit from Macmillan’s expertise in providing a healing environment, while having full access to other hospital facilities. Trish Orr, Chairperson of the Aberfeldy, Strathtay and District Committee of Macmillan Cancer Support, explained that the concert comes at the beginning of a four-year fundraiser for the planned unit. “I’m absolutely delighted these two marvellous choirs have chosen to support this project” she said. “It’ll be an evening of musical rhapsody – and it’s just the boost we need!”

Tickets for the concert cost £8 and are available from May 1st from The Sheep Shop in Pitlochry's Atholl Road, or from Kate Coaton on 01887 830315. Seating is limited and early purchase of tickets is recommended.


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