IN their 25th anniversary year, Herefordshire's community music charity The Music Pool is delighted to have secured the support of a major musical talent in the shape of tenor Ian Storey.
Having spent more than half his singing career in Italy, Ian had not been aware of The Music Pool and its extensive work throughout the county, but having been introduced to the staff and visited a Yam Jams session, he has donated his time - and his voice - for an evening in Leominster Priory to help raise funds for this year's Splash! appeal.
"I am really thrilled to be involved with them," he says. "And this recital will be the first of many I hope.
"I was very impressed when I met them. I hadn't come across the Music Pool before, and when I went to a Yam Jams session I was blown away. I was in tears at one point. What that guy, Lofty, was achieving is fantastic. When awards are given out he should get something.
"No matter what the disability a participant had, they were happy, touched in ways they probably aren't outside the sessions. Regardless of what the problem was he was with them. It was a really remarkable experience, and I want to go and see other things.
One of the things that staggered me is how much Music Pool does and the wide variety of functions that it has, in spite of funding being reduced all the time. The breadth of their involvement in society is phenomenal."
It's about keeping music alive. Music is incredibly powerful but is often undervalued. It's there around us all the time and we don't really register it half the time."
The Music Pool is equally thrilled to have attracted a supporter of such international renown - Ian opened the season at Milan's La Scala Opera House in 2010 and was the first and only choice of Daniel Barenboim to sing Tristan. "We are delighted that Ian is giving his time to the Music Pool for the Splash! Appeal, and it's wonderful that he'll be singing in Leominster Priory, one of the best concert venues in the county," said Rob Strawson of the Music Pool.The programme for the evening will include several much-loved arias, and a selection of English songs, followed by a Q&A session.
An evening with Ian Storey is in Leominster Priory on Saturday, September 20 at 7.30pm. Tickets available from Miranda Cooke on 07768 020129 and from The Courtyard box office on 01432 340555, The Outback, and from Fletchers Newsagents and the Forbury Office at Leominster Priory and from Ludlow Assembly Rooms on 01584 878141.