ALMOST two years ago conductor of Kendal’s K Shoes Male Voice Choir, Ian Allan, suggested that the choir should host a spectacular concert to raise funds for Help For Heroes.

That inspirational idea became reality last Saturday when Kendal’s Westmorland Hall resounded to 180 male voices and the Band of The King’s Division in Music for Heroes.

Having enjoyed an extensive career in military music it was inevitable that Ian would choose a military band to assist in the project and as well as K Shoes Male Voice Choir help was enlisted from Stockton, Blackpool, Dumfries, Whitehaven and Lancaster and District male voice choirs, who all waived their expenses to boost proceeds from the grand gathering.

The sound of the massed choirs and military band together was electrifying and captivated the capacity audience, which included Deputy Lord Lieutenants of Cumbria, Hal and Susan Bagot of Levens Hall, chairman of Cumbria County Council and Forces Champion Alan Barry, chairman of South Lakeland District Council, Evelyn Westwood, Mayor of Kendal, Syvia Emmott and Mary Powney, president of K Shoes MVC.

With such a large audience comes a wide variety tastes and the programme of music catered for everybody - from Verdi to Elvis and items from stage and screen while the versatility and standard of all performers, singers and band, was outstanding. The audience themselves were also in tremendous voice when they were superbly led through a Last Night of the Proms section by the band’s director of music, Captain James Marshall and the ever-popular soprano Tracie Penwarden.

The final amount raised for Help For Heroes has yet to be finalised but thanks to a grant of £3,000 from Barclays Bank and the generosity of an appreciative audience the final total looks likely to exceed £8,000.