Sir John Hurt sends message of support to orchestras

Two local orchestras united for a charity concert in Fareham recently '¨'“ raising over £2,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 21st March 2016, 1:22 pm
NOTABLE TOTAL The charity concert raised more than £2,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. Picture: Christine Lowe

The Portsmouth Philharmonia and the Meon Valley Orchestra performed in a joint concert at the United Reformed Church, Fareham.

Organised by Stuart Reed and his wife Irene, it is the third year running the pair have put on a charity concert.

They have previously raised funds for Ninewells Cancer Campaign and Brain Tumour Research.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sir John Hurt

Mr Reed, who plays violin in both orchestras, said donations towards this year’s charity made it their ‘most successful concert yet’.

He said: ‘Three of our friends have died from cancer in the last three years so we wanted to join the fight against this dreadful disease.

‘We also heard Maggie Blanks from the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund on Radio Four outlining the valuable work they are doing to combat the awful disease.

‘All the players rose to the challenge of playing in public, some for the first time.

Sir John Hurt

‘Many people in the audience have come to our concerts year after year and a great number say that the orchestras are getting better every time they hear them.’

The audience, which included the Mayor and Mayoress of Fareham and Gosport and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, were played a collection of popular, light classical music.

Two-time Oscar nominee Sir John Hurt, who has survived pancreatic cancer, had sent a message of encouragement to the members of the orchestras before the event.

Maggie Blanks, chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, said: ‘To get a special message of support from Sir John Hurt was a much-deserved bonus which raised everyone’s spirits and helped make all the effort worthwhile.’

‘It was a magnificent amount to raise for us. We’re very grateful to Stuart Reed and everyone involved, as we know how much work went into the concert.

‘The money will be put to great use.’