Staff at Belong Atherton care village have made a dream come true for lifelong music fan, 85 year-old Edith Ibbotson, by arranging for her to perform with Fred Longworth High School’s brass band, in their charity benefit concert.
Edith, who is an avid singer, recently revealed to Belong Atherton staff members that it was her dream to sing with a brass band. When the village shared the idea with Fred Longworth High School music teachers, who have worked with Belong Atherton in the past, the school were only too happy to invite Edith along to perform.
Edith, who lives with dementia and is registered as blind, had a wonderful day at the school and was treated like a true celebrity; she joined the award-winning band’s pre-show rehearsal and her emotional and perfectly pitched rendition of ‘We’ll meet again’ received a standing ovation from the audience.
Edith was accompanied by her son and two friends from Belong Atherton, who joined the large audience which included Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, as well as school pupils and their relatives.
Edith said of the day: “Performing with the brass band was a dream come true and I cannot thank the Belong staff enough for organising this wonderful experience and for the teachers and talented band members for inviting me to take part in the concert. It was amazing to sing my favourite song and to meet so many audience members who enjoyed my performance.”
Gemma Willetts, experience coordinator at Belong Atherton, added: “It was a true honour to accompany Edith on her special day at Fred Longworth High School. She finds singing very relaxing and enjoyable and it was lovely to see her showing off her true passion and talent in front of such a large crowd. We cannot thank Fred Longworth High School enough for helping us to organise this experience.”
Money raised by Fred Longworth High School’s benefit concert will be donated to the I Love Manchester appeal and victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.