North East Connected

Gurkha concert will raise money for quake-proof classrooms

CONCERT-GOERS will help change the lives of young people in Nepal by providing a safe haven from earthquakes in which to learn.

Proceeds from the annual Northern region concert by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas will be spent providing shock-proof classrooms for children in Chyandanda school in west Nepal also allowing its transformation from a lower to a higher secondary school.

Last year’s concert raised funds to replace the bamboo classroom of a school in the Okhaldhunga district of east Nepal which had been erected in place of one which was badly damaged during the earthquakes of 2015.

Chairman of the Yorkshire branch of the Gurkha Welfare Trust Col Keith Ryding said: “It is hard for us to imagine living and learning constantly under the threat of earthquakes and by providing this shock-proof environment young people will be able to concentrate fully on studies that could change their lives.”

This year the concert promises pomp and circumstance with a touch of the last night of the proms as it becomes an act of commemoration by elite soldiers recalling their fallen comrades.

The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas will be accompanied by the celebrated Northern Voices Choir, combining to raise the roof with an extra special performance for those who fell in service of the King.

Staged within a week of the 100thanniversary of the end of the War to End all Wars, the popular annual fundraiser attracts concert-goers from across County Durham, North Yorkshire and Teesside. It will be staged at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, at 7pm on November 17.

The annual concert for the North of England has raised more than £200,000 over almost two decades for good causes in Nepal, the home of the Gurkhas.

The band is currently on tour in India and Afghanistan and will perform at the Gurkha Passing out Parade in Catterick before travelling to Darlington.

The 18thconcert in the series will feature a lively mix of Western and traditional Nepalese music and, to commemorate the end of WWI, songs from the First World War era, culminating in a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory.

Col Ryding said: “I am convinced that this year we will all be caught up in the national spirit of Remembrance.

“The Gurkhas have been a fundamental part of the British Army since we first faced them in 1815 during an incursion from Nepal into India. It became evident all too quickly that they make much better friends than enemies and they have served us with distinction ever since, including during WWI.”

The concert’s main sponsor, chairman of Sherwoods Alasdair MacConachie, whose father was a Gurkha commander, added: “My father served with the 7thGurkhas and I believe it is our duty to continue to support them, ex-servicemen and their families back in Nepal.

“The concert is always breath-taking but this year promises to be extraordinary as it coincides with such a momentous occasion. The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas are stunningly talented musicians and the Northern Voices Choir is amazing. The concert is certainly going to be one to remember.”

Tickets are available from, telephone (01969) 663551, from the Dolphin Centre, or on line at Prices are £15 for the main sports hall seats and £10 for the rear tiers.

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