A POPULAR community centre has received a welcome boost from a fundraising concert held in Knutsford.

Classical songs, opera scenes and well-loved carols featured in the concert at St John’s Church, which has become a firm favourite in the town’s calendar.

For the fourth year running the church hosted ‘An Evening of Vocal Music’.

As in previous years, young local stars Jacob Phillips, Lenny Turner and Eleanor Woods were joined by some of Jacob’s fellow students from the Royal Academy of Music in London.

The concert raises money for charity, with last year’s evening raising more than £1,000 for Cystic Fibrosis.

This year’s concert again raised £1,000, which will be divided between The Welcome at Longridge and Brass for Africa, which supports disadvantaged African children.

Jacob said: “The concert was a great success, and we would like to say thank you to those who attended and to local businesses who very generously donated raffle prizes - Waitrose, April's Kitchen, Gusto, Cottons Hotel and the Curzon Cinema.”

Six students, including a pianist, from the Royal Academy in London travelled to Knutsford to join Jacob, Lenny and Eleanor.

Jacob added: “They all put on an amazing night of vocal music, which included pieces from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Benjamin Brittan's Billy Budd and Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte.

“We raised £1,000 on the night which was split equally between two really worthwhile charities, Brass for Africa and The Welcome in Knutsford.

“A representative from The Welcome came along on the night and spoke about the invaluable work they do locally, particularly in the Longridge estate.”

The Brass for Africa story began in 2009 when founder Jim Trott was helping to store 30 old and well-used brass instruments while waiting for his son to finish playing in his junior brass band.

On finding the instruments were surplus to requirements and destined for the scrapheap, Jim, a British Airways pilot, set about finding a new home for them on his next work trip to Kampala.

Brass for Africa now supports more than 1,000 children and young people in Uganda every week through brass music education.