Stars Once Again LIGHT THE NIGHT in Support of Bone Marrow Charity
An eclectic group of performers has been announced for the LIGHT THE NIGHT 2012 fundraising concert, to be held at 7.30pm on Monday 22 October at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place.
The concert, which raises much needed funds for the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation, will be hosted by musical theatre star Rob Mills and international musical therapist Jan van de Stool.
LIGHT THE NIGHT is the legacy of Matthew Rennie, a brave young man who fought a three year battle against leukaemia, unfortunately passing away shortly before the 2007 concert. Matthew’s courageous fight inspired his two brothers, musical theatre performers Shaun Rennie and Adam Rennie, and friends Monica Smith and Greg Smith to create LIGHT THE NIGHT through which Matthew will continue to inspire.
Shaun Rennie explained what inspired the idea of a concert as opposed to some other form of fundraiser.
“In 2005 when my brother Matt was still in and out of hospital, I was doing Fiddler on the Roof at the Capitol Theatre. I was spending my day with Matt at the Hospital feeling useless as we watched him fight, and then doing the show at night. The Idea really came from the need to do SOMETHING … ANYTHING!! I thought, I could get my mates from Fiddler and put on a small fundraising concert and raise a few hundred dollars… just to feel useful. Family friends, Monica and Greg Smith, also wanted to do something to help. Monica worked in Event Management for the Charity Sector so we decided to work together… with Monica's experience in event management and my experience and network in theatre… it was a great collaboration!
Each year talented Australian artists donate their time to help raise money for this much needed cause. This year’s lineup include Legally Blonde leading man David Harris, favourites from The Voice Prinnie Stevens and Mahalia Barnes, Melinda Schneider, Triple J presenter and indie singer Brendan Maclean, leading Australian jazz vocalist Emma Pask accompanied by Thirsty Merc bassist Phil Stack, STC resident actor Zindzi Okenyo, drag artiste Trevor Ashley, I Will Survive contestant Tom Sharah, up and coming independent artists TJ Power and Kathy Sgroi, Stephen Mahy from I Will Survive, as well as beloved cabaret stars Tim Draxl and Sheridan Harbridge, along with musical theatre favourites Bobby Fox, Elise McCann, Johanna Allen and Michael Falzon and cast members from the (sadly cancelled) Sydney productionn of musical Next to Normal.
Many performers keep coming back to help out year after year? They explain why.
“I always love to support this incredibly worthy charity, and get to perform with all of my friends. Especially the Rennie family - I have been mates with Shaun and Adam since I was 15, so we have a long history,” Trevor Ashley said.
“I know it to be such a worthy cause that needs attention and requires as many funds as possible to steer towards finding a cure," David Harris said. “I can help contribute to that by being a small part of the concert and It is something that I am very proud to have been associated with the past 8 years.”
Emma Pask told us,“Each year i'm thrilled when i get a call from Shaun Rennie asking me back for light the night ! Some years i'm sure i get in touch with him first, to see if they have a date set yet, and hope that my calendar is clear! Shaun and all his family are such wonderful people, its such a pleasure to be able involved. Its an event like no other i've known - so many talented artists coming together for one night of music and entertainment. Each year Angel Place is filled with so many beautiful people ( audience and performers all together ) opening their hearts to help raise funds for research and awareness for a much needed cause.”
Light the Night newcomer Bobby Fox told us, I’ve known Shaun Rennie for quite a few years and had the pleasure of performing with him on stage for the 1st time this year. When he asked me to sing at this year’s Light The Night concert, I leapt at the chance! Not just because I know Shaun but because of the amazing contribution it makes to the Leukaemia Foundation every year. I’m so pumped to be performing one of my original songs arranged by the Aria nominated Sally Whitwell and the beautiful Acacia Quartet. It’s going to be epic!”
Now in its eighth year LIGHT THE NIGHT has become a highlight on the Sydney entertainment calendar, raising more than $280,000 so far. This year, money raised will fund the LIGHT THE NIGHT Research Grant that supports a promising new Gene Control in Acute Leukaemia project being undertaken by St Vincent’s Hospital’s Haematology Research Team.
LIGHT THE NIGHT is the legacy of Matthew Rennie, a brave young man who fought a three year battle against leukaemia, unfortunately passing away shortly before the 2007 concert. Matthew’s courageous fight inspired his two brothers, musical theatre performers Shaun Rennie and Adam Rennie, and friends Monica Smith and Greg Smith to create LIGHT THE NI