Fundraiser dedicated to beloved late Aylesbury music teacher raises £15k for Motor Neurone Disease Association
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Musicians celebrated the success of a fundraiser celebrating the life of a teacher who worked in Aylesbury by picking up a cheque for £15,008.45.
An event held at the Waterside Theatre raised money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and commemorated the life of Nick Care.
Nick died with MND and was known to the Bucks town through his teaching for the Aylesbury Music Centre (AMC).
Award-winning, Aylesbury-born musician, Jules Buckley, returned home to lead the concert and pay tribute to his former mentor.
A sell-out audience of 1,200 people witnessed ‘Nick Care’s BIG Band Paean on 5 March. Money was raised through ticket sales, additional donations on the door and subsequent payments online.
Nick was 62 when he passed away, he was instrumental in Aylesbury becoming known as a centre for excellence of youth music.
Five of Nick’s bands, spanning ages 10 to 18, won forty national and international awards. His Aylesbury Music Centre Dance Band won the BBC Big Band competition four times. Nick’s bands performed live on BBC Blue Peter seven times and internationally at Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals five times. They also played Buckingham Palace, The Royal Albert Hall, London Palladium and BBC Proms in the Park. Some youngsters performed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Nick also helped Warwick Davis with his band conducting. Guest soloists with Nick’s bands included Sir John Dankworth, Georgie Fame, Julian Joseph and Django Bates.
Jules, who was the headline guest at the event, played in Nick’s bands from the age of 9 to 18. He has gone on to become a Grammy winner and an artist who has curated 70 albums and performed at 20 BBC Proms concerts.
He has performed alongside Paul Weller, Chaka Khan, Robbie Williams, Stormzy, Arctic Monkeys, Quincy Jones, Tori Amos and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
At the Aylesbury event 160 performers took to the stage, with ages ranging from eight years old to retirees, who were mainly friends and alumni from Nick’s AMC Bands. The Farnaby Brass Ensemble were among the performers in Aylesbury.
The programme was drawn from four centuries of music and included fun and familiar music like Buddy Rich’s arrangement of West Side Story, Sing Sing Sing, and works by Django Bates, William Byrd and Handel as well as three of Nick’s own dramatic compositions.
Nick’s widow Kathy Gifford, who also worked closely with Nick at the AMC, was the event’s producer, and alongside Aylesbury Waterside Theatre staff, there were 75 volunteers assisting performers and the audience.
People can access the concert online for free on YouTube here. Also, people can still donate money towards the concert on the JustGiving page set-up for the fundraiser, it can be accessed online here.
The majority of the £15,000 raised is earmarked to fund research looking for relief and a cure for MND. The remainder goes to the Bedfordshire branch of the MNDA whose volunteers provide equipment, advice, relief and personal support as they did through Nick’s illness.