We have a feast of music in St Mary & St Giles church this week as part of StonyLive 2011.  Most of the concerts will be for the church restoration fund, with the Grand Gala Concert next Saturday for the organ fund and one special concert for the hospital.

Yesterday was the Hearing is Believing concert in St Mary & St Giles church. It was dedicated to the ENT department at Milton Keynes General Hospital who saved the hearing of Jacob Collins, one of our young parishioners who is a very talented musician. Jacob wanted to say thank you by raising some money towards new equipment which will help others with hearing difficulties, so enlisted his friends and teachers to participate in his concert.

Jacob has been learning the violin since he was 4, and also plays the piano and organ.  The day before the concert the Allen organ which the church is hiring whilst the 3 manual Willis organ console job is being done stopped working just before a wedding, so the Grand piano was pressed into service!  Consequently Jacob brought his own electronic organ to the church for his organ pieces in the concert because the Allen was out of action.  The concert began with organ, then piano and violin, and he also played a trio with his organ teacher at the piano whilst his school music teacher played violin too.

During the first half he showed his budding conducting skills when he conducted the church band for two pieces from Pirates of the Caribbean.  Just before the interval he used his electric violin to accompany his friend Eleanor Page who sang 'Believe' by Lin Marsh, they were accompanied on the piano by Dave King.

There were delicious refreshments at the interval made by the Collins family and the second half was another feast of music making which the appreciative audience enjoyed very much.  The retiring collection raised over £405 for the ENT department, which was a superb result for Jacob's efforts.

Jacob can be heard again at the Grand Gala Concert on Saturday 11th June when he participates in the Milton Keynes Music Service Baroque group contribution to the programme.  There are some vouchers still available for this concert which includes Allegri's Misere sung by Quorum and the Parish Singers, as well as items by Andante, the Orphean Singers, Ed Tomlinson on organ and James Westlake playing flute.  The Musical Director is James Wharton.  

For a video recording of 'Believe' performed at this concert see http://youtu.be/G0F6ekCXq04