Belfast Pops Orchestra hitting the right note for The Children's Cancer Unit Charity

Orchestra members, Laura Salt, Stephen Cullen and Gillian McCutcheon are joined by Anna McDonald from The Children's Cancer Unit Charity to launch the Belfast Pops Orchestra performance at the Ulster Hall on June 25

CELEBRATING its 10th year, the Belfast Pops Orchestra returns to the Ulster Hall on Saturday for an evening of contemporary to classical music.

Taking place at the Ulster Hall, the concert, in aid of The Children's Cancer Unit Charity, will be hosted by Radio Ulster's John Toal and feature international award-winning violinist Patrick Rafter and vocalist James Huish.

The 75-strong orchestra, led by conductor Colin Scott, is comprised of musicians from all kinds of backgrounds, disciplines and age groups, and will perform an eclectic range of music - from the classics to theme tunes, dance songs and pop favourites.

Among the programme will be Star Wars, Cry Me a River, a James Bond medley; Saint-Saens Organ Symphony Finale; Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings; Riverdance and the violin solo from Schindler's List.

The orchestra organises this fundraising event in aid of local causes every year, with this year's chosen charity holding a special meaning for orchestra leader, Stephen Cullen.

He was inspired by his experience at the Children's Haematology and Oncology Unit at the Royal when his daughter received treatment.

Stephen is also a consultant anaesthetist, who worked as a trainee at the Children's Hospital, so he knows only too well the work that goes in to caring for young patients and hopes the event will raise vital funds to support their services.

"In my line of work, I understand the impact of vital medical services but it's a whole different story when it comes knocking on your own door," he explains.

"Like all families, we never expected a childhood cancer diagnosis in our home. Since then, I have witnessed first-hand the amazing team at the unit who work tirelessly to help children and families like ours during the most difficult period in our lives.

"The concert was postponed last year due to the pandemic, so it's great that after a long hiatus we can get back to enjoying a wonderful night of music to mark a decade together while supporting such a fantastic cause.

"Whatever people's musical taste, the show will have something for everyone so we hope anyone who enjoys good music can join us for a brilliant night."

Every year, between 60 and 70 children are diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland. Each of these children will visit the Children's Cancer Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children as it is the only place where children with cancer and blood disorders can receive specialist treatment.

The Children Cancer Unit Charity supports the work of the medical teams that care for these vulnerable young patients, as well as their families.

:: The Belfast Pops Orchestra takes place at Belfast's Waterfront Hall on Saturday June 25. Tickets from £12.50 with all proceeds going to The Children's Cancer Unit Charity.

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