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Piano marathon in Norwich to raise funds for MS Society

PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 September 2012

Norfolk farmer Hugh Alston, pictured, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis seven years ago.
Hugh's nephew Adam Alston is to perform a 12-hour piano marathon at The Forum in Norwich to raise funds for the MS Society.

Norfolk farmer Hugh Alston, pictured, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis seven years ago. Hugh's nephew Adam Alston is to perform a 12-hour piano marathon at The Forum in Norwich to raise funds for the MS Society.

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A young jazz maestro is taking on an epic musical challenge in Norwich to raise money to help people with multiple sclerosis.

Adam Alston will be helping to cast the spotlight on the MS Society as he performs a 12-hour piano marathon at Café Bar Marzano, in The Forum, on Saturday, September 15.

He will be playing from 10am until 10pm to raise funds for the charity which he has chosen to support because his uncle, Norfolk farmer Hugh Alston, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis seven years ago. “The event is for anyone who gets a kick out of live piano, or who just wants to come along for 10 minutes or 10 hours to see what happens,” said Adam, who has composed music for Norfolk-based theatre company Curious Directive and performed improvisation and jazz across the UK.

Adam’s eclectic set will include everything from Dave Brubeck to Fats Waller, The Animals, Herbie Hancok, Rachmaninov and Sinatra. The crescendo of his musical fundraiser will include an hour or two of improvised “film mixing” with Norfolk film artist Jasmine Robinson.

Adam, who is from near Aylsham, said: “Jasmine will be improvising video editing to the piano just as the piano responds to the patching together of footage over the past few decades. For the film mixing, expect melodrama and a large dose of the ridiculous. For the piano – even I’m not that sure of what to expect, but a healthy shot of all things jazzy is certainly on the cards.”

When Adam’s uncle Hugh, pictured right, who lives near North Walsham, was diagnosed with MS it was like a bolt from the blue as there was no family history of MS.

Hugh said: “I had a suspicion that something was not quite right. The symptom that took me to the doctor who diagnosed MS was that my eyes did not always focus together. For several years it did not have much impact on my ability to move about and work my farm but intense pains would come and go sporadically, mostly in my shoulders.”

Hugh now requires a walking frame to move around and struggles with his speech and general fatigue, making managing his farm a challenge. He added: “We urgently need better treatments, especially for those with progressive forms of MS, and Adam is using his talent and energy to make a difference for MS sufferers everywhere.”

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological condition which affects about 100,000 people in the UK. The MS Society funds research, gives grants, campaigns for change, provides information and support, invests in MS specialists and lends a listening ear to those who need it.

To support Adam’s fundraising go to www.justgiving.com/ mspianomarathon

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