Music

DANCE, MUSIC, rugby, family and friends.

Those were the things that were important to Andrew Spencer though definitely not in that order.

Andrew was a big bright talent in theatre circles and a much loved son and friend. He could power his way across a rugby field and dance his way across a stage.

And it is just those talents, plus his zest for life and the sheer buzz of his personality which have ensured that two concerts next weekend will be packed with performers wanting to do what Andrew did so gloriously and that’s entertain.

Andrew, who lived at Waterloo, died suddenly more than two years ago. He was 33.

His parents Ray and Lesley, supported by the family’s many friends, set up the Andrew Spencer Memorial Fund.

It has held concerts, balls, an activity day and many other events since Andrew’s death to celebrate his memory and to help so many other young people.

“Through the fund we’ve supported a charity called Cardiac Risk In The Young and we have bought quite a lot of equipment for epilepsy sufferers,” said Ray.

And it seems as though there is never a shortage of volunteers willing to help.

Next weekend, many of the town’s young musical performers will fill the Huddersfield Methodist Mission in Lord Street with the kind of music Andrew loved.

Martin Stead, who has played leading roles with many of the town’s musical societies is the driving force behind the concert.

“Andrew was a great lad. The way he got across a stage was astonishing,” said Martin.

“He was a big guy but the way he could move was phenomenal.

“Just to see him stand and watch a dance routine a couple of times and then just do something that I’d spent a couple of months trying to learn was amazing.”

“I also love Ray and Lesley to bits and would do anything for them. In operatics, we all see Ray as Uncle Ray and we are thrilled to be able to support them through these concerts.”

Martin has gathered together a company of young performers who will mix songs from the shows with those from popular culture.

Expect everything from songs by popster Adele to showstopping tunes from musicals such as Jekyll and Hyde.

There are a series of big company numbers which will involve all 16 performers in the cast in songs from shows such as The Lion King and Robin Prince of Thieves.

Martin will be joined on stage by performers that he has worked with in various shows including Sharon Whitehead, Zoe Clarkson and Luke Flacks.

Mark Breen is the musical director and accompanist and the team has been rehearsing in rooms at Dundas Street in Huddersfield.

Two previous concerts have raised almost £2,500.

Entry to the shows on September 2 and 3 is free but audiences are asked to give a donation to Andrew’s memorial fund.

Such talent and friendship deserve your support. The shows start at 7.30pm.