A stunning night of music in St Mary’s Church, Melton, raised more than £2,000 on Saturday.
The special evening was held to celebrate the golden wedding anniversary of Derek and Janet Larder, who have spent many years working tirelessly to help with the running of the life of the church.
So the packed-out event was a fitting tribute to the hard-working couple and they were joined by friends, family, well-wishers and music-lovers alike to raise the staggering amount of money which will go towards the refurbishment of St Mary’s Church - which is hoped will start at the beginning of next year.
The concert, arranged by the highly talented James Gutteridge, musical director of Melton Mowbray Choral Society and St Mary’s Choir, treated the audience to a rousing, uplifting and thoroughly entertaining night.
The evening was compered by the Rector of Melton Mowbray Team Parish, the Rev Kevin Ashby, and the first performers to appear were the choir from St Mary’s Church. They chose Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, Mascagni’s Hosanna, Kramer’s Irish Blessing and Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium and rose to the occasion with ease.
Next to appear was the Rev Catriona Cumming, who produced fabulous renditions of Purcell’s I Attempt from Love’s Sickness to Fly and Fairest Isle, all Isles Excelling.
The talent kept on coming, this time in the form of Derek and Janet’s grandchildren, Alex and Becky, who played Debussy’s Reverie.
Then, for something completely different, the magnificent Melton Mowbray Choral Society gave their renditions of Bernstein’s Tonight and a selection of hits from Simon and Garfunkel.
The variety of music continued with a version of Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven played by Derek and Janet’s daughter and grandchildren, Katie, Matt and Beth.
The first half ended with the two choirs combined for Jenkins’ Benedictus, after which refreshments were served.
The second half started just as the first had with the church choir in brilliant voice for Gardner’s Fight the Good Fight, Chilcott’s Be Thou My Vision, Graham’s You Raise Me Up and Goodall’s Love Divine.
It was then the turn of the Rev Cumming again with Novello’s Waltz of my Heart and Fly Home, Little Heart, before Derek and Janet’s daughter and grandaughter, Katie and Beth, played Haydn’s Gipsy Rondo.
Next up were the choral society with a selection of songs from the musicals Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera and then it was time for the audience participation - with audience members bringing out the Union Jack hats and flags.
The Rev Cumming, along with the combined choirs, started the ball rolling with Rule Britannia and then it was their turn. Rousing renditions of Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem finished off a spectacular night of music which left the audience wanting more.
Derek and Janet would like to thank everyone who made the evening possible. They include the church choir and choral society, the Rev Kevin Ashby and the Rev Catriona Cumming, James Gutteridge and everyone who came along to help them raise money for St Mary’s Church.