Songs from hit West End shows, favourite classics and lighthearted melodies were amongst the mix of music at the concert, organised by church organist Dr Maurice Paffett.
The Southern Counties Co-operative Ladies Choir was among the performers along with locally renowned musicians Dr Elizabeth Le Grove playing the organ and Paul Hart on trumpet. Professional tenor Simon Long, from Waterlooville, and his 10 year-old daughter, Freya, also delighted the audience with their singing.
Dr Maurice Paffett, from North End, talked about the success of the concert and explained the motivation behind it and supporting the Alzheimer’s Research Trust:
“After many months of planning, the concert was a great hit with the audience and the performers all thoroughly enjoying it. Simon Long was truly magnificent and received an outstanding ovation. If I hadn’t known it was Simon singing, I would have assumed it was Pavarotti! When we came to the finale, everyone joined in with Land of Hope and Glory and the singing drowned out the powerful organ – it was a superb ending.
“A dear friend of mine died with Alzheimer’s earlier this year and it was terribly sad knowing there was little that could be done to help him. Soon after, I watched a regional news clip and was surprised and shocked to learn that dementia research is desperately underfunded and this charity relies entirely on public donations to fund research. That’s what spurred me on and I want to do whatever I can to help the Alzheimer’s Research Trust in its fight to beat this devastating disease.
“I am very grateful to all the performers who gave up their time freely to take part in the concert and to everyone who came along and gave so generously to the retiring collection. A big thank you must also go the Master of Ceremonies, Michael Waites, who ensured everything went smoothly and spent many hours researching information for the programme.”
Miranda Mays, Community Fundraising Manager for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said:
“This is a wonderful result and we greatly appreciate Dr Paffett’s support together with everyone involved. The money raised will pay for 40 hours of cutting-edge research, bringing us ever nearer to finding preventions, new treatments and an eventual cure.
“Over 15,500 people in Hampshire are living with the daily reality of dementia, one of the highest county figures in the UK. More investment into research is desperately needed and the Alzheimer’s Research Trust relies solely on its wonderful supporters like Dr Paffett.”