Saturday 29 September 2018 was Opera Gala evening in St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh.
Jill Andrew, senior associate in our Edinburgh office explained her involvement in an event which raised £4,900 for the Target Ovarian Cancer charity which was a fabulous result:
‘In my spare time, I run a community orchestra in Edinburgh (Stockbridge & New Town Community Orchestra) which is itself, a charity. I’ve played the trumpet for a very long time and through this I have a plethora of musical connections throughout the city.
So, I was asked if I’d be interested in playing at the Opera Gala and I accepted given the great cause it was raising funds for. I used to be quite a good musician before law took over much of my life!
The Story behind them having set up the event is:
“In 2013, a friend of ours noticed a lump on her abdomen. She was told various things by medical professionals; perhaps she was pregnant, was it a cyst, they tried removing several organs etc. Less than a year later, she died of aggressive ovarian cancer. She was only 21 years old.
Our sweet, bubbly childhood friend was gone, and she took a piece of us with her.
Friends devastated. Her family broken. It really was a traumatic time. For those of you who have experienced something similar, you will know, in a sad way, life stops for a while, with a cold numbness that doesn’t really want to shake itself away.
Something that really helped me get back on track and feel joy again after she died was music. Opera music is not everyone’s preference, and it certainly does not fill the space left by our departed friend, but for myself and others taking part in this concert, this music gives us purpose, makes us feel alive and helps us celebrate life.
Many of the participants in the orchestra, choir and a few of the soloists in the concert have had friends, mothers and grandmothers die from the disease. Two of our performers actually managed to overcome the disease. One man lost his wife from the cancer, and will sing for her during the performance.
We believe Target Ovarian Cancer and the work they do really does make a difference in the lives of those living with the disease and pushes the work forward, medically, so women young and old, never experience the illness. The charity put so much effort into raising awareness, so doctors, nurses and other women can identify the symptoms quicker.
This would have helped my friend so much and probably saved her, had the symptoms been recognised earlier.
Michael and all the musicians involved in the Opera Gala. ‘