Charity concert in memory of Ottery pianist

Chris Coppell, a popular pianist from Ottery who died of cancer last year. Her family have been rais

Chris Coppell, a popular pianist from Ottery who died of cancer last year. Her family have been raising money for Hospiscare in her memory. - Credit: Archant

The family of a much-loved Ottery music teacher has organised an evening of show tunes and band marches to celebrate her life and raise money for charity.

Pianist Chris Coppell died in 2011 after being diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer, but at the end of her life she urged her loved ones to raise as much money for Hospiscare as possible.

Her family said it was her wish that others could benefit from the same care they and Chris had received during her illness.

The concert will be the second to take place in her memory, but alongside this her family have also completed an 800-mile bike ride and a bungee jump, raising more than £12,000 for the charity in the past 18 months.

Chris’ widower Graham said: “The idea for the concert came about when our family-friend, Stan Hacking, said he would like to do something in memory of Chris.

“The first concert was themed around different countries we’d visited and that made it a slightly different concert.

“This year it is purely a memorial concert for Chris to raise money for Hospiscare.”

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The evening of music in Exeter will be conducted by Stan along with Barry Parsons, and more than 60 woodwind, brass and percussionists from the Stan Hacking Concert Band.

The musical programme will include the favourites such as Phantom of the Opera, but also a piece of music chosen by Graham called Malaguena, which he said reminds him of Chris.

He said the concert will not be a solemn occasion, and is a memorial concert to celebrate his wife’s life. “It will be bubbly, fun and lively, just like Chris,” he added.

It takes place at St Peter’s School, Exeter on Sunday at 7.30pm, with tickets costing £8 for adults and £4 for under-16s, which are available on 01392 465462 or 01392 447672.

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