Christmas Spectacular concert to raise funds for older people in Sunderland

Salvation Army annual Chistmas concert. Major Martin Sayer
Salvation Army annual Chistmas concert. Major Martin Sayer

Expect a real Christmas cracker of a concert when an annual fundraising gig returns to the city this month.

Hitting the high note in the Christmas Spectacular 2018 will be world-renowned opera singer Graeme Danby; professor of vocal studies at University of Sunderland Valerie Reid; euphonium virtuoso Andrew Hedley from the Reg Vardy band; vocalist Caitlin Hedley; The Sunderland Monkwearmouth Salvation Army Band; the Dodici Voce choir and the choir of East Herrington Primary Academy.

Salvation Army annual Chistmas concert. From left Major Martin Sayer with Gordon Quinn with one of the trees from the Christmas Tree display

Salvation Army annual Chistmas concert. From left Major Martin Sayer with Gordon Quinn with one of the trees from the Christmas Tree display

The concert will once again be held at the Sunderland Monkwearmouth Salvation Army church and community centre in Roker Avenue on Friday, December 14, and will raise vital funds for Age UK Sunderland.

Organiser Gordon Quinn, a member of the church and a retired bandsman, said: “All the performers have given their time free of charge so that all the funds are ploughed back into the charity, which does great work to help older people in the city who can feel very lonely at this time of year. “For the audience it’s a great chance to see world-renowned performers like Graeme who does it in his inimitable way, as well as local performers like East Herrington Primary who are a great choir.”

The night will feature a mixture of classical and Christmas music.

Gordon said: “This is a great venue for the concert and we have our hall downstairs where people can enjoy tea, coffee and mince pies provided by John G Hogg Funeral Directors.”

Salvation Army annual Chistmas Tree display

Salvation Army annual Chistmas Tree display

The concert is part of a busy season of events at the citadel in Roker Avenue which this week held a popular Christmas tree display.

Community groups and church members used everything from egg boxes and music stands to cup cakes and poinsettia to fashion the striking trees.

Major Martin Sayer said: “This was the second year we’ve held the Christmas Tree Festival which gives various groups the chance to design a tree in the theme of what their group stands for. It’s also brought a lot of people through the doors who don’t usually visit the building.

“It’s been so popular we’re hoping to do it again next year.”

A tree from the display

A tree from the display

Other events in the calendar at the Roker Avenue citadel, which are free to attend, include a carol service at 5.30pm on Sunday, December 16 and a Carols by Candlelight service at 7pm on Tuesday, December 18.

•Tickets for the Christmas Spectacular 2018 are priced £10 and includes tea, coffee and mince pies afterwards with all proceeds going to Age UK Sunderland. Tickets are available from Age UK Sunderland in Stockton Road, from Gordon Quinn on Tel: 07718 521943 or from Sunderland Monkwearmouth Salvation Army on Tel: 565 8918 or 548 6831.