Children keep granddad’s musical legacy alive

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HUNDREDS of talented youngsters are set to take to the stage in support of a Wearside charity.

More than 300 children will appear at Sunderland Empire for the Rotary Youth Musical Spectacular (RYMS), which will help raise funds for Hope 4 Kids.

The Pennywell-based group helps special needs and disadvantaged youngsters.

Jessica Hanson, six, and Samuel Scott, eight, from Sunderland, will be among performers taking part in the annual extravaganza on Saturday, May 25.

Appearing as part of the RYMS, they will be following in the footsteps of their late grandfather, Rupert Hanson, a well-known figure in North-East musical circles.

The virtuoso, who rose from humble beginnings in Sunderland’s East End and went on to travel the world and perform for royalty, played a huge role in the city’s music scene.

He was the founder of Sunderland Symphony Orchestra, along with a series of other musical projects, and left behind a lasting legacy to the city when he died of cancer, aged 73, in 2009.

Samuel, a member of the Northern Star Arts Group, said: “It’s lovely to think that we are doing something that grandad did for so many years and working with the same people.”

Organiser John McLoughlin said: “Each year, we pick a charity to raise funds for and try to help in any way we can.

“We are hoping to raise as much money as we can for the group.”