A WORLD-renowned visually impaired pianist wowed the audience which gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wiltshire Sight at St Mary’s School in Calne.

Derek Paravicini and his Quartet were joined by talented musicians from St Mary’s for a concert on Friday, not only to celebrate the vital work Wiltshire Sight and The Calne Foundation Trust do, but to raise vital funds.

Wiltshire Sight supports people with sight loss, and their families, to help them live independent lives.

The Calne Foundation Trust exists to support the present and future generations of pupils at St Mary’s Calne and St Margaret’s Preparatory School, ensure continuing investment in the schools’ facilities, and to provide vital funding for Scholarships, Bursaries and other educational programmes benefitting the pupils of the two schools.

Lady Lansdowne, who attended the evening, said: "As President of Wiltshire Sight and Patron of the Calne Foundation Trust, it gives me great pleasure to be able to celebrate the work of these two great charities in one event.

“I have been involved with Wiltshire Sight for over 30 years and 2018 sees the start of its centenary year. Formed in 1918 to help those returning from the First World War with visual impairments, Wiltshire Sight is now a busy modern charity, supporting anyone in Wiltshire who suffers any form of sight loss. Whilst embracing modern technology and using all that the IT world can give us, Wiltshire Sight remains the caring, supportive charity it has always been. Its work in the community, supporting families and individuals living with sight loss increases year on year and your support for this wonderful charity is hugely appreciated.”

Director of vocal studies at St Mary’s, Bethan Dudley Fryar, said “This concert reflects our unstinting support for local charities and it is always a pleasure to invite the community into the school and share not only the talents of international artists but also the burgeoning musicianship of our pupils.

“Derek Paravicini amazed pupils and the wider community with astonishing virtuosity, proving how adversity can be overcome using music to connect with the world.

“It was a powerful message to us all.”

£10,000 was raised, and will be shared between Wiltshire Sight and The Calne Foundation Trust.