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ExtraCare’s Annual Symphony Hall Concert

29th November, 2011

An audience of over 1,000 residents, friends and staff from ExtraCare's 28 retirement villages and schemes have attended the Charity's annual Christmas Concert at Birmingham's Symphony Hall today.

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Tom O'Connor, Rustie Lee and Britain's Got Talent stars Stavros Flatley all performed at the concert. They were joined by nationally-acclaimed soprano Kirsty Michele Anderson, international violinist Gary Lovini and award-winning vocalist Tom Edis.

Choristers from eleven of ExtraCare's villages and schemes made up a 160-strong choir, ably conducted by St Crispin's Dot Bailey, and music was provided by The London Central Fellowship Band, including resident Ken Stones from Lovat Fields, who played the euphonium.

This year's theme was The World In Union, and the schemes and villages each chose a different country to represent, with many coming in costume. James Beattie House and School Court residents were both representing Greece, staff and residents from Camoys Court were all dressed up for Spain, and Lovat Fields were all in their brightest floral shirts to show off their Caribbean style.

The concert started with a bang as Traditions and Events Manager Donna Ball descended onto the stage from the ceiling. Donna, who hosted the event, also caused a sensation by going through 12 costumes over the course of the afternoon. She said that she hoped everyone had enjoyed the show. "A big, big thank you to all for supporting us. We have had a great 2011 and 2012 is just around the corner!"

Future residents of Shenley Wood Village, due to open in Spring 2012, came along to the concert to get a taste of what ExtraCare is all about, as did several people who are considering moving to Pannel Croft Village and Hagley Road Village in Birmingham, which are scheduled to open in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Brian Hobbs, who is due to move to Shenley Wood in February, said this was his second year at Symphony Hall. "I came last year and we had a lot of fun, so it's good to be back!"

ExtraCare's Chief Executive, Nick Abbey, even took part in the festivities, joining in with Village Activity Facilitators Scott Reed-King from St Oswald's in Gloucester and Keir Pedley from Beacon Park in Lichfield in a song and dance number about the Charity.

Nick said that it had been "a show to remember."

"What a swell party that was! I'd like to thank all of the people who have helped make this possible, and that's a lot of people. Thanks to everyone who works in the ExtraCare charity shops. They're such an important part of what we do. The money from those shops underpins everything that we do. I'd like to thank all my colleagues who have worked so hard in the schemes and villages around ExtraCare, and thank you to all the guests and the residents who have come a long way today."

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Picture: Future Shenley Wood Village resident Brian Hobbs joins Lovat Fields residents Ken Stones and Denis Balchin at Birmingham's Symphony Hall for ExtraCare's Christmas concert.

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For further information, please contact:

Lucy Henson, PR officer
0789 105 3062
lucy.henson@extracare.org.uk