A large crowd gathered at Preston’s Guild Hall to listen to musical star Russell in the one-off Concert for Katy.
All those involved had given their time and talents for free for the Katy Holmes Trust, the charity formed after inspirational Katy died from a brain tumour aged just 10 in January 2012. It funds research into paediatric brain tumours.
Russell was down to earth and likeable, shaking hands with the audience and inviting them to sing along, with Robert Emery playing piano. The tenor’s versatile style took in Italian opera, pop such as Rod Stewart’s Have I Told You Lately? musicals like Les Miserables and the crooner classic Moon River. Christmas is only a few weeks away, and the concert took a festive turn with Let it Snow (which the audience sang along with).
Russell wasn’t the only star on stage. Jonathan Antoine, from Britain’s Got Talent, provided powerful vocals, joining Russell for Ave Maria.
Preston’s Got Talent winner Nina Fahey – only 13 years old – also wowed the audience with a duet with the tenor.
Youngsters from St Mary Magdalene and All Hallows school choir impressed with their musical renditions.
Towards the end of the evening, Katy’s parents presented an award and flowers to Russell, thanking him for his support.
One of the tunes sung was the Phantom of the Opera’s Music of the Night with the lyric “power of the music of the night”. The power of this night? An amazing sum of money raise in aid of a cause that has taken this city’s heart.