Phoenix Knights of Harmony thank hospital worker who saved singer's life

The Bolton News: The Phoenix Nights of Harmony barbershop singers in action The Phoenix Nights of Harmony barbershop singers in action

A SINGING group used its vocal talents to give thanks to hospital staff who helped to save a singer’s life.

The Bolton-based Phoenix Knights of Harmony, including Dave Heywood, who has been ill in recent months, received a warm welcome at The Christie Haematology Unit at the Salford Royal Hospital.

Twelve months ago, Mr Heywood was told his chances of pulling through Burkitt’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, were very slim, but doctors carried out treatment and he is back singing with the barbershop chorus.

Mr Heywood, from Bolton, returned to the unit with 13 other singers for an emotional perform-ance and to hand over a cheque for £200.

He said: “I know I am one of the luckier ones, but I cannot thank the staff at the Christie enough for getting me through a very tough time.”

The group, 27 men aged 60 to 82, meets at Astley Bridge Con-servative Club and is now looking for new members to boost numbers, especially younger men.

Chairman Peter Carolan said: “You don’t have to be able to read music — just be able to sing in tune, in one of the four parts. We always help to select the correct part for those who join and, in a chorus line-up, new guys are always placed among the experienced.

“It is great fun. We are not a serious chorus, the cam-araderie and friend-ship makes every event enjoyable and, importantly, we enjoy helping others in our charitable work.”

The chorus was formed about seven years ago and many members have a long history of barbershop singing in both chorus and in quartet singing at competitive levels.

With a repertoire of about 30 songs, new tunes are added regularly and perfected at rehearsal nights on Tuesdays.

In recent years, they have enjoyed tours to Cork, Anglesey and, most recently, a trip to Oxford. A pre-Christmas Free and Easy Evening is being held tonight at Astley Bridge Conservative Club. New members are welcome. Call Mr Carolan on 01204 386006.

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