Talented performers from Yehudi Menuhin School to raise funds for seriously ill Sussex youngsters

Performers from the Yehudi Menuhin School are heading to Arundel Cathedral on November 10 at 7.30pm in support of the Chichester-based Sussex Snowdrop Trust. The trust provides nursing care at home for local children who have a life-threatening illness or who may be terminally ill.

Yehudi Menuhin Sussex Snowdrop Trust 2018
Yehudi Menuhin Sussex Snowdrop Trust 2018

Concert spokeswoman Lucy Ashworth said: “The school has produced amazing musicians such as Nigel Kennedy and Vanessa Mae as well BBC Young Musicians of the Year.

“The Yehudi Menuhin School near Guildford is one of the most prestigious music schools in the world for violinists. Only five per cent of applicants who apply for a place are accepted which indicates the very high standard of musicians who attend. The Yehudi Menuhin School is home to just over 80 young musicians from all over the world, aged between nine and 19. Becoming a professional musician is their aim, and one of the benefits to the community at large is their joy in giving performances in a wide variety of venues and situations.

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“Concert programmes such as the one being presented in Arundel Cathedral are made up of repertoire which has reached a high level of performance in the weeks immediately preceding the event. Therefore we are not yet able to confirm the programme for November 10, except to say that it will probably include a sonata and almost definitely a showpiece or two. Many of the senior students are preparing for college auditions and so will have suitable repertoire to present to an audience at this time.

“The concert date is the day before the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice. The school’s founder, Yehudi Menuhin, famously visited the death camps at the end of the Second World War and played for the benefit of the survivors. Music is a source of solace, but also of hope, and it is to the future that our young musicians look when they play.

“Several years ago, students from the school gave an unforgettable performance at a charity concert for Snowdrop at the Chichester Festival Theatre. We are delighted to welcome them to Arundel for this concert. Please book early to avoid disappointment. Free entry for children aged nought to 16 years with a paying adult.”

In 1992, Dr Ann Wallace, consultant paediatrician for the Chichester area, and ward sister Beth Connolly, asked families of sick children what their needs were when they left hospital and returned home. They found that parents wanted to know more about their child’s illness, the prognosis, diagnosis and medication and the time to discuss all their concerns.

They also wanted to wanted to be shown how to care for their child eg feeding through a nasal gastric tube. Parents also needed financial help. Caring for a very sick child can put huge demands on resources, as invariably one parent will have to give up work. With no funds available to help these special families, in 1993 co-founders Kate Shaw, Diana Levantine and the late Frank Snell set up The Sussex Snowdrop Trust.