WETLEY Rocks Male Voice Choir may not be the biggest group, but its members definitely have the biggest hearts.
Next month the 25-strong group is organising a concert for Shine – a charity supporting those living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, after hearing how much the organisation has supported Musical Director Ian Jones’s grandson, Harry.
Harry was born in 2008 and it was apparent from birth that he wasn’t well.
He was eventually diagnosed with spina bifida and major spinal deformities – and it was with the help of Shine, which a relative suggested contacting, that a glimmer of light began to appear.
Harry is now five years old and despite having major surgery, with the possibility of more to come, he is a bright and vibrant child who has coped remarkably well with all the challenges he has faced.
During this difficult time for the family, the choir would ask Ian each week how his grandson was, and on many occasions Ian would mention the support received from Shine.
Last November they surprised Ian and told him they had arranged a concert in aid of Shine, as an acknowledgement of what they have done for Ian’s family and to allow them to continue their vital work.
The choir of 25 has since decided to ‘go big’ by booking a venue to seat an audience of 800.
The evening will also feature a choral first as the choir will be performing ‘Stronger As One’, a song written for the Queen’s Jubilee.
Ian said: "We are eternally grateful for the help that Shine has given to our family. I was overcome with emotion and humbled that the choir had made such a commitment.
"After hearing the lyrics of the song I felt it fitted perfectly with Shine’s ethos."
The original arrangement is for a solo performer, so a unique alternative has been specially written by Welsh choral genius Alwyn Humphries; a service which would normally cost £800 and he has done free of charge for the benefit of the charity. The choir will also be joined by the Audley Brass Band, who were approached by one of the choir members, and they jumped at the chance to support Shine.
The concert is booked for September 28 at 7.30pm and will be held at The Methodist Church, Central Hall Buildings, Longton.
If you’re interested in joining the choir, they are always looking for new members, contact Ian on the number above.