Special guest soloists, Tom Richards - saxophonist and keyboard player for Jamie Cullum - and singer, pianist and songwriter, Joe Stilgoe, joined Abingdon School’s Big Band for a concert in aid of The Abingdon Bridge, a charity that supports local young people who face challenging circumstances. The Band played to a capacity house at the School’s Amey Theatre.
The Big Band opened the show and was joined by Tom on the tenor saxophone. Tom, a former student at Abingdon, enjoyed performing alongside the School's Big Band conducted by Simon Currie, his former saxophone teacher. Singer songwriter and pianist Joe Stilgoe then took to the stage, performing a number of original and traditional jazz numbers. The show culminated with Joe and Tom accompanied by the Big Band and music teachers from Abingdon School playing Alright, Okay, You Win with a special guest appearance by the Headmaster, Mr Michael Windsor on the bass guitar.
Michael Stinton, Director of Music at Abingdon added, “I was so pleased that this ambitious concert came together so well. It was fantastic to have Tom Richards back to play with us after all these years. We are so proud of his achievements - he's clearly a player of international stature these days far removed from the eleven year old who arrived with a treble voice and much promise!"
Talking about the event the Chair of the Trustees at The Abingdon Bridge, Chris Bryan, said he was overwhelmed by the response.
"We knew that when Joe Stilgoe and Tom Richards arranged to do this gig, it would be a popular event but we were amazed at how quickly tickets sold. The demand for our support work amongst troubled young people in the area is increasing so we are encouraging local organisations to help us with fund raising events. We have already had great support from Abingdon School and this was another fantastic evening for everyone involved."
The concert raised £4500.