Radio legend, Ken Bruce, helped Elmbridge based Ember Big Band raise the roof at The Hampton Theatre on Saturday 25 March, when they celebrated 60 years of popular music in aid of Princess Alice Hospice.
The Live and Kicking event was conducted by Allan Rogers, Musical Director of the Strictly Come Dancing live tours and featured a special contribution from Strictly judge Anton Du Beke, who attended via Zoom.
The Ember Big Band, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, comprises twenty-plus musicians and three talented singers whose day jobs range from teaching to television production. The band performs regularly, sometimes promoting its own concerts, but often supporting other organisations and charities.
Attendees of the sell-out concert were treated to the big band sound of six decades, including hits by Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee, Otis Redding, Queen and Paul McCartney.
Ken Bruce said: “Celebrating 60 years of popular music on behalf of the Princess Alice Hospice has been a poignant and important occasion for me as I say goodbye to 45 fabulous years at the BBC and begin my new life at Greatest Hits Radio on 3 April. I really hope we did the Hospice proud.”
Hospice Ambassador and former GP, Debi Oliver, spoke poignantly about the care provided to her daughter, Emily, who received end of life care from the Hospice in 2019.
Debi said: “It was a huge honour being asked to speak, on behalf of the Hospice, at such an amazing evening of musical celebration. Not only was it great to hear the brilliant Ember Big Band, but it was also totally inspiring to see the huge support from everyone there. We were totally overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and kindness.”
Community Partnerships and Events Lead at the Hospice, Claire Woodward, who also spoke at the event, said: “What a fabulous event this was. Huge thanks to Ken Bruce, Allan Rogers, Anton Du Beke, Hampton School and of course Debi Oliver, who spoke so movingly about how the Hospice supported Emily. We really couldn’t continue to help families like Debi’s without the incredible financial support we receive from fundraising events like this in our local community.’.”
Band member Nick Handel told us: “This was a special night for a very special charity. The atmosphere was electric in the magnificent Hammond Theatre that was packed to the rafters. So many people said how great it was to hear a live 20-piece band – and how much they enjoyed the range of our repertoire which includes contemporary rock, Latin and soul as well as classic big band favourites. We look forward to supporting the Princess Alice Hospice again in the future.”
For more Hospice events, please visit http://www.pah.org.uk/events
Princess Alice Hospice: For Compassion. For Excellence. For People. For Living.
Princess Alice Hospice has, for more than 35 years, provided free, high-quality, specialist end of life care to tens of thousands of people across a large part of Surrey, south west London and Middlesex.
Today, at any one time, Hospice nurses, doctors and other specialist staff are looking after more than 1000 people in need. The Hospice’s mission is to reach out to even more people by delivering outstanding care to those that need it.
To enable us to do this, we must rely on the commitment and support of our communities who help us to raise vital funds.
£10 million is needed each year to provide our vital services. With limited NHS funding provided by CCGs, which represents circa 24% of our expenditure on charitable activities, in more normal times, the balance is raised through legacies, fundraising, dedicated shop units and investments.
It is only the generous support of our communities and beyond, that makes it possible to do our work.