Wigan singer finally fulfils grandma's dying wish

A talented Wigan singer hopes to hit the right note when he puts on a charity concert that will fulfil his grandmother’s final wish.

Andrew Brown, from Poolstock, has been planning the perfect tribute to his grandma Barbara Dance in aid of Wigan and Leigh Hospice (WLH) for several years and is now ready to stage the event.

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown

Barbara died in 2012 and one of her last instructions to her grandson was that he used his skilled vocal cords to let more people know about the work the Hindley-based charity does.

Operatic singer Andrew, who has studied at some of Britain’s most prestigious music schools, will now ensure her wish is done when he puts on Boheme to Bernstein at St James’ with St Thomas’ Church in Poolstock next month.

Andrew, 27, said: “My grandma had cancer and before she died she told us she had a few wishes she wanted sorting out.

“One of them was that she wanted me to put on this concert and raise awareness of the hospice.

Barbara and her husband Brian

Barbara and her husband Brian

“She and my grandad were massive supporters of my singing; they helped me no end.

“They had so much confidence in me: even in the hairdressers or in the hospital before she died she wanted me to sing for her.

“However good or bad I could do no wrong.

“I wanted to put the concert to one side for a while until I got a bit better vocally and I’d made more of a name for myself.

“I’ve since been involved with a few operatic concerts at the church but now I feel the time is right for this concert.”

Barbara was cared for by WLH in 2012 before she died following her cancer battle.

The tenor will team up with baritone Aidan Edwards and soprano Juliet Montgomery, both of whom he met while studying at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester.

Andrew also went on to further vocal training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

The first half of Boheme to Bernstein will feature well-known opera arias such as Nessun Dorma, made famous by Luciano Pavarotti, and a duet from La Boheme.

The second half will feature popular songs from musical theatre and a range of solos, duets and trios, with David Goulden providing the piano accompaniment.

The Poolstock Lane church holds around 200 people and Andrew hopes it will be packed with music fans hoping to enjoy high-quality opera and musicals excerpts as well as learn about how WLH helps Wiganers with life-limiting illnesses.

Boheme to Bernstein is being staged for WLH by Andrew Brown on March 16.

Tickets are £10 each and are available by ringing Andrew on 07891 315790 or emailing him at andrewbrown-10@hotmail.co.uk.

Concertgoers can also buy tickets from the church, with more information available by searching for it on Facebook.