PREPARATIONS are almost complete for what promises to be a spectacular evening of big band music, song, dance and performance in aid of a military charity.
The highly-anticipated Harmonies For Heroes concert tonight (Saturday, March 15) will bring together the talents of the Catterick Military WAGS Choir, Reeth and Muker Bands, and performers from Richmond School.
The concert at Richmond School, at 7.30pm, will launch a Harmonies For Heroes CD – a collaboration between the choir and bands – and is part of a huge fundraising effort backed by The Northern Echo to raise £100,000 for Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison for sick and wounded service personnel and veterans.
Phoenix House intends to use the cash to create a performing arts facility in a new Wellbeing Centre after realising the therapeutic potential of allowing centre users to express themselves through drama and performance.
Phoenix House manager Mo Usman said the idea for performance space came after the success of a fashion show starring veterans and personnel last year.
He said: “The positive impact on those taking part in our fashion show was evident to every member of the audience.
"Not only did they thoroughly enjoy being in the limelight but the boost in personal confidence that it gave individuals has never left them.”
WAGS Choir musical director and co-producer Carol Gedye said: "I am very much looking forward to tonight's concert.
“This has been a fantastic community project, uniting the Dales and the Garrison through music – and the Harmonies for Heroes CD sounds great.
“We hope that it will make good sales for the benefit of the recovery of our injured service personnel and veterans who use the facilities of Phoenix House.
“I feel very privileged to live and work amongst so many committed public-spirited musicians and singers who have given hours of their time to make it all come together."
Jill Lundberg, co-producer of Harmonies for Heroes, added: "The concert will be a fabulous evening of great music and entertainment.
“It is the culmination of tireless hours of rehearsals by all the performers, coupled with an immense amount of hard work going on behind the scenes.
“Everyone involved with the project has given their all for this very worthy cause.”
To contribute to the appeal print out the form at http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/resources/files/31397, complete and send to Phoenix House with a cheque for Help For Heroes.
The form is necessary to ensure the money is directed to Phoenix House and should be sent to Help For Heroes, Northern Echo Appeal, Phoenix House Recovery Centre, Richmond Road, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, DL9 3AW.