Last Friday saw the fifth annual Concert for Billie, which was once again a heart-warming mix of school choirs and impromptu bands, junior jazz, professional musicians, special guests, a raffle and presentations of new musical instruments to nine competition-winning schoolchildren
Amongst the special performances this year was harpist Fiona-Katie Roberts who premiered her self-composed ‘Billie’s Tune’, and actor Steve Huison who swapped Coronation Street for Featherstone for one night and stepped out of his comfort zone to perform the Bob Dylan song ‘Forever Young’. As always, the star of the show was Edward Clayton, who has played piano at all the concerts. Starting in 2007 when he was 10 years old, the concerts have charted his development both as a pianist and as a growing boy. His entrances to the stage are becoming increasingly more protracted and the swagger in his step is starting to show itself. Here he is above, filmed from the middle of the audience, playing along to Mark Witty’s saxophone.
The concert is the annual prize-giving concert for Billie’s Violin Trust, a charity that donates musical instruments and tuition to the schoolchildren of Featherstone. The trust was founded by Ian Clayton and Heather Parkinson in memory of their daughter Billie Holiday Clayton, Edward’s twin sister. For more details on the trust visit: www.ianclayton.info/next.html