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Mikado raises £9,500 for Heart of Kent Hospice

Tuesday 14th November 2017

SONGS of love and laughter helped to raise more than £9,500 for the Heart of Kent Hospice charity, which cares for terminally ill people in mid-Kent.

The hospice will benefit from the charity gala night performance of The Mikado.

It was staged at Maidstone Leisure Centre on Saturday October 28.

The audience of more than 450 people packed into Mote Hall to enjoy the popular songs and love story of Gilbert and Sullivan’s timeless comic opera set in Japan.

Maidstone Choral Union and singers from 15 other local choirs and individuals provided the 125-strong Hospice Festival Choir, together with orchestra players from all over Kent, led by Martin Hindmarsh, Maidstone Choral Union’s Music Director.

They were joined by several experienced professional singers who freely gave their services for Voices for Hospices, the world’s largest singing event held every two years.

The cast was assembled by the artistic director, Colin Morris, and he updated the amusing libretto when he reprised his role as KoKo, the Lord High Executioner.

James Barker-McCardle, chairman of Heart of Kent Hospice trustees, afterwards paid tribute to the high calibre musicianship and singing which, he said, had provided a ‘magnificent’ evening’s entertainment.

He told the audience that the hospice relied on community support, and that 91p of every £1 donated was directly spent on patient care.

But with increasing costs and patient demands, he said: “We need to mobilise in a way that has never been achieved before.”

Rehearsals are now under way for Maidstone Choral Union’s Christmas concert at All Saints Church, Mill Street, Maidstone, on Saturday December 9, starting at 7.30pm.

Carols for the choir and audience are on the programme, as well as Saint Saens’ Christmas Oratorio.