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Fundraising concert is in memory of Alex
A fundraising concert is being held in memory of Alex Lewis, who died of bone cancer last year.
The former Wallingford School pupil from Brightwell-cum-Sotwell was also the subject of the BBC documentary Alex: A Life Forward, which first aired in July 2011.
Mr Lewis was just 22 when he died in February 2011, but the film drew attention to the plight of young people diagnosed with bone cancer.
Last October pupils at his old school staged a charity walk in Mr Lewis’s memory, to raise £22,000 for the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Now an evening of classical music will take place next Saturday at Dorchester Abbey, with two of Oxfordshire’s leading music groups and top opera singers raising awareness of the trust’s work.
Alex’s mum Angela Lewis said: “Alex had the most positive attitude to life, which didn’t diminish one bit in the last months and weeks before he died.
“We want everything we do in his memory to be equally positive, and I think he would have loved to hear us raising the roof of the abbey with such amazing music.”
The concert will combine the Oxford Chamber Orchestra and award-winning Wallingford Parish Church Choir to perform opera classics including Puccini’s Nessun Dorma and Bizet’s Toreador’s Song.
The concert was the idea of Mrs Lewis and opera singer Stuart Pendred, from West Oxford.
Mr Pendred lost close friend Andy Greig to the disease in November 2010, and Mrs Lewis and Mr Pendred have both spent time promoting and supporting the work of the BCRT.
Mr Pendred added: “Being able to use my day job to further the work of the BCRT is so satisfying.
“Andy loved music as much as me, and creating a celebration like this is such a great way to lift people’s spirits, as well as raise money.
“We really hope that we’re able to share a beautiful and inspirational evening with a sell-out audience.”
Mrs Lewis added: “Although primary bone cancer is rare – about 450 people are diagnosed with this disease each year in the UK– research into this lesser-known cancer currently gets very little funding from other sources.
“It’s also a disease that mainly affects children and young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
“Raising awareness of these facts, and encouraging people to donate, is critical if we are to reduce the number of people’s lives that are blighted by the disease.”
The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets costs £25, with students paying £15.
Tickets are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 01491 825680.