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Colin Harper remembered

The man who has conducted more concerts at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre than anyone else and who was once called a “hit” by the Queen will be remembered in a tribute concert to mark his remarkable life and untimely death.

Colin Harper, founder of the Queensland Pops Orchestra and former military bandmaster, will posthumously help cancer trials at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) through two tribute concerts at QPAC on Saturday 3 April.

“Colin was partaking in a clinical prostate cancer trial at QIMR, but sadly died in January,” said Colin’s wife, Wendy. “Through these two tribute concerts, we hope to raise much needed funds for QIMR to help spur on these trials and save the lives of others.”

The Queensland Pops Orchestra, established in 1984, continually played to packed houses and to rave reviews under the leadership of Colin. The two tribute concerts will maintain the tradition of excellent entertainment and will feature Colin’s favourites, including Highland Cathedral and Nimrod. The cast will feature Pipers and Drummers, Highland Dancers, The Stuartholme College Girls Choir, Fanfare trumpets and well-known soloists.

“QIMR relies heavily on donations and fund-raising events from the community to continue with our research into cancer and 30 other serious and life-threatening diseases,” said QIMR Development Manager, Christine Borthwick. “The proceeds from the two tribute concerts will make a major difference to our unique cancer trials.”

QIMR is currently undertaking human trials using an experimental treatment against cancer called immunotherapy. This therapy is made from a patient’s own cancer cells and immune cells to stimulate the immune system to recognise and kill cancer cells. Unlike chemotherapy and radiotherapy, immunotherapy is well tolerated by the patient as the treatment targets only the cancer cells and leaves good cells unharmed.

“The more funding QIMR can obtain now, the more patients can go through the trials and the faster this new therapy will be available to treat prostate cancer and many other cancers as well, ” said Ms Borthwick.

The Memorial Tribute Concerts for Colin Harper are being held on Saturday 3 April 2004 at 2:15 pm and 8:00 pm at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC. The cost is $60 or $50 (2nd balcony) plus booking fee.