Music marathon nets grand total

Musical maestros have been pulling out all the stops at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House in Wisbech to raise more than £585 to replace or restore the ageing grand piano.

A nine-hour musical marathon at the home of the National Trust co-founder at 7 South Brink attracted a crowd of about 160 people, including more than 60 performers, and the total raised is expected to top £600 when all the sponsorship money has come in.

Organizers staged the all-day concert because the piano in the Long Room is no longer an instrument that fulfils its potential to delight pianists and audiences, despite the substantial work that has been carried out on it.

Audience members enjoyed a varied programme ranging from pop to classical and from jazz to folk and the participants included a choir, a recorder consort, a flautist, piano students and solo singers, as well as two guitarists representing distinctive traditions – the classical and the world of popular hit songs.

Pianist Loc-Mai Yuen-Brooker, who organized the event, said:  “I was absolutely thrilled that the performers were all really happy to share their music and I was very pleased that the audience was so warm and extremely enthusiastic.”

Mr Peter Clayton, chairman of the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust, said:  “This was one of several community open days that we run at the Birthplace House where access is available to all.   Our piano is an invaluable asset, which engages both individuals and groups routinely, and is part of our arts mission.”