16 June 2022

All-women band raises hundreds for York charity Survive

An all-women brass band concert that shone a light on violence against women and girls has raised £600 for York-based charity, Survive.


The sell-out concert was performed by Femmes Fortissimo, an occasional band of around 50 female-identifying and non-binary brass and percussion players from across Yorkshire and further afield. It was held on 2 April at Acomb Parish Church Hall as part of the programme for York International Women’s Week.


The event featured the world premiere of a piece called A New Anthem by euphonium player Tracey McGuire, composed in response to the murder of Sarah Everard who was kidnapped, raped and killed by a serving police officer in Clapham, London, when she was walking home. Sarah grew up in York and the concert was attended by a group of students from Fulford School in York, which was Sarah’s old school. One of the students read a poem, called Enough is Enough, that was also written by Tracey.


Members of Micklegate-based charity Survive, which supports people across North Yorkshire that have experienced sexual abuse, were guests at the concert and invited to speak about the importance of the charity’s work. Survive started in York in 1990 as a survivor-led support group for women who had experienced child sexual abuse. It now supports any adults across North Yorkshire who have experienced sexual violence including rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse as well as grooming, sexual exploitation and coercive sexual control. Last year, Survive helped over 500 survivors rebuild their lives, their relationships and reach their potential.


CEO of Survive, Mags Godderidge, said: “We are so grateful to Femmes Fortissimo for raising funds for Survive. Sadly, sexual violence affects many women and girls in our communities. Money raised at this special event will enable us to support more adult survivors with our specialist trauma-informed services”.


Kate Lock, founder of Femmes Fortissimo brass band, said:

“We were delighted to raise that amount of money for Survive from our concert. As a band we felt strongly that we wanted to put a focus on violence against women and girls through our music. Sarah Everard’s murder was a trigger for that, and Tracey’s piece was the result. It was an emotional and empowering piece to play and put out the ‘Enough is enough’ message that women should be safe from male violence.


“It was important for us to make an impact and the profits of the concert will make a real difference to local adult survivors of sexual abuse. We finished by playing the Gloria Gaynor classic, ‘I Will Survive’ to reinforce the message.”

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