A SUMMER concert will see funds raised to record the Christmas Carols of the former head of music at Queen Elizabeth High School (QEHS).

Len Young taught at the Hexham school in the latter stages of his career, which also saw him take up posts at Heaton and Brixton, having graduated from the Royal College of Music. He was also a musical advisor in Newcastle.

Many of Len’s former pupils have too gone on to have successful musical careers.

As well as teaching, Len, formerly the conductor of Newcastle Choral Society, has also composed music for theatres, choirs, and other groups.

And now, fundraising will allow the St James Consort, directed by Simon Davies-Fidler, to rehearse, record and film ten of Len’s most memorable Carols.

Singers from the Voices of Hope choir, which won Choir of the Year in 2016, will be on the recording.

J’s & B’s singers and the Hexham Orpheus Choir will give a joint performance of Len’s requiem on Saturday, July 2 as part of the fundraising effort. The performance will be at St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham, and will start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 at the door.

Performers involved in the concert have offered services free of charge.

Len’s requiem was written in memory of friend and former colleague Jay Mawdsley who died in a tragic accident in the Far East, which saw the hotel she was staying in collapse.

“It’s great that other people think it’s worth promoting”, said Len, of Low Fell. “I’m really grateful to all these guys for setting up the site.

“Quite a lot of my past pupils have donated money which is really nice to see.”

Len, rather modestly, described his creative process as just “fiddling about”, with some ideas working out and others taking longer to come to life.

Hexham Orpheus Choir recently played one of Len’s pieces at Hexham Abbey to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Queen Elizabeth High School with St Joseph’s Middle also performing.

A series of other events are being planned to help raise the money.

The Len Young Christmas Carol Project has, so far, amassed over £3,000 in donations. To donate visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-len-young-christmas-carol-project?member=16925983&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer