Young orchestra raising money for hospice

Acle St Edmund Youth Orchestra has launched a fundraising CD in aid of a Gorleston-based hospice app

Acle St Edmund Youth Orchestra has launched a fundraising CD in aid of a Gorleston-based hospice appeal. - Credit: Archant

A youth orchestra has covered a string of upbeat songs on an album recorded to benefit a £4m hospice project.

The 15 track CD, which includes some original compositions, has just gone on sale raising money for Margaret Chadd House, a 10-bed hospice taking shape on land at Sidegate Road, Gorleston.

Taking the charity’s motto Raise the Roof as its title it is hoped the tracks will also raise awareness of the East Coast Hospice charity behind the bid.

Elaine Brown, who runs the Acle St Edmund Youth Orchestra (SEYO) said a number of things had come together to inspire the caring compilation.

She said: “I lost my mum to cancer 10 years ago, and she was made comfortable during her last weeks at a hospice in Suffolk. The care given to us as a family was amazing, and my dad continued to support this hospice.

“However, he died last September. Whilst going through his papers with him in those last weeks, I discovered he had kept links with the hospice and he wanted me to continue in mum’s memory.

“I had already been thinking that SEYO was at a stage where we could relax a bit and look at making the best use of our talents to fundraise through our concerts and other local venues.

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“I did a bit of digging and came across the East Coast Hospice site. Much tied up and I strongly felt it right to push the door and see if reality was as good as it read. “It was, and Jeff Wood came over to talk to the youngsters and their parents. Everyone was happy, so we formed a fundraising partnership with East Coast Hospice.

“I took some SEYO youngsters to play live on Stephen Bumfrey’s BBC Radio Norfolk Show. Stephen asked if we had recorded anything - and we hadn’t - but the idea rolled around and wouldn’t go away. I owe Stephen a huge amount for helping make the idea a reality.

“Then on February 16 this year everything fell into place.”

The album was recorded live at Open, in Norwich, in the main banking hall - a popular concert venue which has hosted many big names.

It was engineered and mixed by David Royse at Open, producing a “lovely honest and energetic sound” described as “perfect for playing way too loud - but also great for background music.”

The CD cover was designed by Mark Cator and printed by Catton Print.

Acle SEYO started in December 2005 to play for the Acle Christingle Service and just continued.

It is for children in the Acle area and is completely voluntary with no band fees or funding.

All recording and production costs were met by donations.

Mrs Brown said the response from early sales had been “amazing.”

Raise the Roof by Acle St Edmund Youth Orchestra is available for £5 from all East Coast Hospice Charity shops, in Acle at the Post Office, at Carter’s Butchers, Barclay’s Bank, and from Acle Primary School. The proceeds will be match-funded by Barclays Bank.

It can also be snapped up at the Post Office shop in Ranworth and at The Acle Bridge.