BEST EVER? Star Filled Candlelit Christmas Concert runaway success.
“The perfect way to start Christmas” – this was the message from friends who came from far and wide to our annual Candlelit Christmas Concert at the beautiful St Peter’s Eaton Square in London. From the moment Kiana Mottaheda sang from the back of the church for our first Carol, the audience were captivated. The golden voices of the children from Queen’s Gate School held the audience in thrall. “This is the most important event of our year” said Patricia Parker, Founder of Kids for Kids “The packed audience came from all over the world, from America, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the far ends of the United Kingdom, all together to support children out of sight, out of mind, living lives we hardly dare to imagine.”
Julie Etchingham, ITV’s beautiful News Presenter, hosted the evening. “Julie held us in the palm of her hand, from the moment she welcomed us. She and her sons, Leo and James really understand what Kids for Kids is all about” said Patricia. Celebrity Readers, Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margolyes and Timothy West with Patron Lord Cope were phenomenal – not just reading, but performing a wide, sometimes funny, sometimes moving selection of excerpts. “It is overwhelming that such spectacularly famous and loved stars should support children in such a hidden region of the world.” said Patricia. “How can you begin to thank them for devoting their time to us. My gratitude is beyond words.”
Kids for Kids Candlelit Christmas Concert of course is also about the music. All join in with our best loved Carols, and the joint choirs perform music that uplifts and transports. This year Benjamin Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’, sung by the Chamber Choir, conductor Susan Parkes, with the lyrical magic of Margaret Watson‘s harp was the centre piece, before the children lit the candles in the darkened church. 13 year old Gigi Tate-Gargour‘s clear voice lead ‘Silent Night’ before Patricia told the hushed audience what it is like to live in a straw hut in the deserts of Darfur and the extraordinary amount Kids for Kids has been doing this year to transform the lives of children. FOUNDER’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2017
Music Director, Egon Liepa who master minded all the music, invited the celebrities present to lead the singing in our Celebrity Choir with special guests Philippa Hall and Orla Chennaoui. with Trustees and Patrons of the charity. Patricia said “It is such a joy to have more celebrities getting involved in supporting Kids for Kids. Their support is instrumental in getting the word out about our work in Darfur, and how much we can do to help others.”
Afterwards we had a chance to mingle, with mince pies and mulled wine on the portico, thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers lead by Kathy Lady Orde, whilst Roy Bilham, leader of Thames Fanfare Brass, played Christmas music to send us on our way.
And the result? Sponsorship from our wonderful friends Delamere Dairy, and the generous advertisers in our Concert Programme has covered all our expenses – so that the total amount we can spend in Darfur is a spectacular £20,435 – right now. “We have never raised anything like this amount in all the years we have been holding our magical concert” said Patricia “It’s unbelievable this should be happening now, because it is now that prices are soaring in Darfur and whilst we celebrate the New Year, children will be starving in January. The crops have failed. Prices are soaring, and we are needed more than we have ever been. This really is a miracle at Christmas. I am overwhelmed.”
Many thanks to Jonathan Timpson Photography Ltd for all our beautiful concert photographs!