Possibilities are unlimited at joint fundraising concert
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A COLLABORATION between an award-winning group of musicians and a school band will raise money for two organisations.
Musicians Unlimited will team up with the Barnard Castle School Big Band for a performance at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, on Friday, May 10.
Money raised from the show will be split between the venue’s ongoing fundraising appeal and Centrepoint, Darlington, the charity that tackles youth homelessness.
The connection between the two groups of musicians is Mick Donnelly.
He is founder and musical director of Musicians Unlimited and also bandmaster at Barnard Castle School, where he has taught for 22 years.
An acclaimed musician in his own right, Mr Donnelly has toured and recorded with the likes of Barry White, Sting, The Faces, The Bee Gees, Ronan Keating, Kool and the Gang, Lisa Stansfield, Sammy Davis Jr, Whitney Houston, Lulu, Shirley Bassey, Paul Weller and many more.
Now in their 30th year, Musicians Unlimited draws on 20 regular members who play music spanning from Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Count Basie to Glen Miller, Frank Sinatra and Michael Bubble.
The group is a previous recipient of a prestigious gold award in the Boosey and Hawkes national big band competition.
During the bands history, they have released four albums, with the last one raising more than £15,000 for the charity Support Your Bowel in 2012.
As bandmaster at the school, one of his many duties is to rehearse and conduct the 32 musicians that make up the Barnard Castle School Wind Band.
At Friday’s show, the school band will perform some of their own repertoire as well as performing alongside Musicians Unlimited.
The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £10 and £8 for U16s.
Contact The Witham box office on 01833 631107 or go online at www.thewitham.org .uk.