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Spirit of Christmas 2012

Matthew Kelly played host to the NMC's 17th Spirit of Christmas concert in Chester Cathedral on Friday 7th December. He was joined by a staggering 16 stars from television, film and stage: Alison Steadman (Pam in Gavin and Stacey, Beverly in Abigail's Party), Adrian Scarborough (Pete in Gavin and Stacey, Charlie in Miranda), Paul McGann (Doctor Who in the TV movie), Sir Derek Jacobi, (Last Tango in Halifax, Cadfael) Jim Broadbent (Iron Lady, Harry Potter films), Michael Elwyn (Iron Lady), Susannah Harker (Pride and Prejudice), Richard Clifford (My Week with Marilyn), Alex Jennings (Spooks), Shaun Dingwall (David Grant in Survivors), Jan Ravens (A Funny Look at Impressions), Lesley Manville (The Queen), Nicholas Farrell (Iron Lady), Stella Gonet (Eliot in House of Beatrice), Roger Phillips (BBC Radio Merseyside presenter) and soloist Claire Harbourne.

This year's Spirit of Christmas event was a complete sell out, raising £32,000 with an audience of nearly 1000. It was a fabulous evening of readings and songs and of course, plenty of Champagne afterwards.

During the run up to Christmas, we launched our county-wide children's choir competition (sponsored by Dawsons Music) to find a choir to perform at the event. This year's winning school was The Grange Junior School in Hartford. The children were very excited to win, and after their wonderful performance had the opportunity to mingle with the stars and to get a few autographs. The school is also thrilled to be receiving a digital piano, kindly donated by Dawsons.

We were also delighted to welcome for the first time The Queen's School and Robert's Bakery Band, who were very well received.

Thank you to everyone involved, particularly the performers for devoting their time to us for free.