Singers raise their voices and awareness

peebles hosts 120 musical performers next Saturday (December 3) for The Earth Appeal – a project to raise cash for charities working in drought- stricken eastern Africa.

African Celebration will be held in the Leckie Memorial Church from 10am to 3pm, and will include music from The Priorsford Singers, Nomad Beat, InChorus, Sophie Dyer and Edinburgh-based African women’s choir Zawadi Alba.

There shall also be story-telling by Poppy Browne, face painting, children’s arts and crafts, African drumming workshops by Nomad Beat and kid’s singing workshops.

Light lunches, home-baking, African crafts, cashmere and wool scarves, gifts and second-hand stalls will be available.

Entry is £3 for adults with concessions and children free.

Meanwhile, at the Ex-Serviceman’s Club in the evening, well-known music event Fondoo will present live performances from Scatterbrain, Paul Gilbody, K-Lab and the Downright Homespun Radio Company House Band. Entry is £5 and is payable on the door.

One of the organisers, Aly Skidmore, explained: “This is a musically-orientated project.

“The team met through their membership of the Peebles community choir, InChorus, and have joined forces through their love of music and their desire to raise money for this worthwhile and vital cause.

“The success of InChorus’ own New York fundraising programme over the last 18 months made many choir members realise how much energy and ability existed in the group, and how beneficial this could continue to be if channelled into other, highly worthwhile causes.

“Over the coming months we intend to plan and organise a number of fundraising activities and events, both locally and further afield, which centre on the common themes of celebrating both music and African culture.”

The first charity to benefit from The Earth Appeal’s efforts is Mary’s Meals – a Scottish-based charity that works internationally to provide meals to children in some of the poorest areas of the world.

Abeer Macintyre, head of supporter care at Mary’s Meals, said: “Events like this are vital in raising funds for our East Africa Emergency Appeal and also for raising awareness of the current severe food shortages in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.”

For more information about The Earth Appeal or either event email patsygemmell@aol.com or alyskidmore@hotmail.co.uk