Light Up A Life is described by the St Luke’s Hospice as “the most meaningful event of the year.” Participants are invited to dedicate a light on the Christmas tree to shine in memory of friends and family who have been cared for at St Luke’s. It is also a major fundraiser.

2017 was the 5th consecutive year HAMC’s Ensemble has taken part. For the past couple of years, a Rock Choir has also performed at the event. We feel privileged to be present at what is a difficult and emotional ceremony for many of the bereaved and we always feel humbled by the testimonies of both patients’ families and the Hospice staff. Each year the emotive, end of life stories and wonderful service offered by the Hospice are both moving and inspirational. Clearly, we must be careful to choose appropriate items from our repertoire such as You Raise Me Up, Hallelujah, You’ll Never Walk Alone and other contemplative items.

The Ensemble first took part in “Light up a Life” at St Luke’s Hospice in December 2013, following disappointment that HAMC were unable to participate in the first “Voices for Hospices” event in aid of St Luke’s that year. This was because Porthcawl MVC were visiting for a joint Concert that weekend. However, we asked the Hospice what we might do instead and “Light up a Life” was suggested.

We have always been lucky with the weather. It has been very cold on occasions, but always dry – only the accompanist and keyboard are under cover and umbrellas are always on the kit list. This year was the debut of Avis Gerry’s fingerless gloves, something no outdoor accompanist should be without!

Thanks to Chris Drew for providing much of the content of this post.