Altrincham opera singer produces Christmas album to fund holiday trip for sick children

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Altrincham opera singer Martin Toal is producing a Christmas charity CD to help fund the holiday of a lifetime for children with life limiting conditions.

Martin, who has a job share role as Head of Modern Languages at St Ambrose College in Hale Barns, has produced his CD in partnership with the choirs of two local primary schools – Woodheys in Sale and Northenden Primary School.

He gave a concert to launch the album at the Avenue Methodist Church on Tuesday, with another to follow next Tuesday at St Hilda’s in Northenden.

The CD is part of the appeal to raise £400,000 in the next two years to send around 75 children, who might not have too many special occasions left, to the Disney and Universal theme parks with Destination Florida.

Martin sharing the stage with Lesley Garrett

The charity sent 75 youngsters this summer and is now starting the campaign for their eight-day all-expenses trip in the summer of 2018.

Destination Florida Operations Manager Paul Bailey said: “We pay for everything: air fares, accommodation, tickets and have six parties each with their own doctor, nurses, physios and support workers.

“Children are nominated usually by their doctors and we will take anyone who has not been before; the only obstacle we cannot overcome is when we can’t get medical insurance, but otherwise we will pay the cost.”

Martin came to fame as ‘The Singing Teacher’ in the early 1990s and has sung national and operatic anthems at many major UK stadiums including Wembley, Twickenham, Old Trafford and the Ethiad. He has also sung for the Queen and at many high profile charity and corporate events nationwide.

(top, l to r): Martin Toal, Woodheys Primary headteacher Laura Roberts and Destination Florida's Paul Bailey, with some of the choristers from St Hilda's
(top, l to r): Martin Toal, Woodheys Primary headteacher Laura Roberts and Destination Florida’s Paul Bailey, with some of the choristers from St Hilda’s

Next year’s itinerary includes singing some popular sea shanties on HMS Victory on St George’s Day and releasing a new album.

He said: “I love teaching and working with young enquiring minds and was a former Deputy Head Boy at St. Ambrose where I have taught for nearly 30 years, but I also have a passion for singing and performing. Destination Florida is clearly a truly wonderful cause and I hope the concerts will launch another successful campaign.”

Tickets for next Tuesday’s concert are available from the schools or on the door.

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