Annual charity carol concert gets a virtual makeover for Christmas 2020

Singers Ed Gamwells and Eirra with Willow co-founders Bob and Megs Wilson. Picture: Supplied by Will

Singers Ed Gamwells and Eirra with Willow co-founders Bob and Megs Wilson. Picture: Supplied by Willow - Credit: Supplied by Willow

Willow’s annual charity Christmas Carol Concert has gone online this year.

Willow Christmas Carol Concert

Willow Christmas Carol Concert - Credit: Willow

Normally held in front of a sell-out audience at the magnificent St Albans Catheral, the festive event will be streamed for free on Facebook and YouTube tonight (Friday).

The concert will be hosted by Willow co-founders Bob and Megs Wilson, and feature a special performance by Eirra, aka Spod Bailey, a young cancer survivor who is based in Hitchin.

Eirra also performed at this summer’s virtual ‘Family Nest’ Fest, which was organised by the Folk by the Oak team, with proceeds going to both the folk singers and musicians taking part, and Welwyn Hatfield-based charity Willow.

Willow has been holding its much-loved musical Christmas get-together at St Albans Cathedral for over a decade now, during which time it has become a beloved part of the local festive calendar.

A Willow bauble on the Christmas tree. Picture: supplied by Willow

A Willow bauble on the Christmas tree. Picture: supplied by Willow - Credit: supplied by Willow


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The concert has raised thousands of pounds over the years to create Special Days for seriously ill young adults.

However, this year, in line with the ongoing restrictions on public events, Willow has had to be a little bit creative.

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To keep everyone safe, this year’s concert has undergone a virtual makeover.

Still packed with all the usual carols, musical performances and more, it will take place online on Friday, December 4 at 7.30pm, on Willow’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Hertfordshire Chorus performing at a previous Willow Christmas Carol Concert in St Albans Cathedral.

Hertfordshire Chorus performing at a previous Willow Christmas Carol Concert in St Albans Cathedral. Picture: supplied by Willow - Credit: supplied by Willow

The evening will feature special Christmas performances from Eirra, aka Spod Bailey, the Hitchin-based singer who had a Willow Special Day last year while recovering from treatment for thyroid cancer, and the wonderful Hertfordshire Chorus.

Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School Choir, the school that Bob and Megs Wilson’s daughter Anna attended, will also perform, as will Ed Gamwells, an Essex-based singer who has already raised over £3,000 for Willow with online concerts.

The event is hosted as always by Willow life presidents Bob and Megs Wilson, who founded the charity 21 years ago in memory of their daughter, Anna.

Anna’s birthday was December 7, so the concert is a celebration of her incredible spirit and passion for creating special memories and a way to remember all the members of the Willow family who are no longer with us.

The choir from Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School performing at a previous Willow Christmas Carol Conce

The choir from Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School performing at a previous Willow Christmas Carol Concert at St Albans Cathedral. Picture: supplied by Willow - Credit: Willow

The concert is free – to book tickets visit willowfoundation.org.uk/christmas

There will also be opportunities to make donations during the event, and this year, as part of The Big Give week, all donations received on the night will be doubled.

After lockdown restrictions in March, Willow was forced to temporarily suspend its Special Day service, so to bounce back in 2021 it urgently need donations to continue its vital work.

Willow’s Christmas Carol Concert 2020 is possible thanks to the generous support of The Galleria in Hatfield and H&G Recruitment of St Albans.

All donations from the concert will go towards helping create Special Days for seriously ill young adults.

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