England

Musical dream comes true for teenager injured in fall

Jack Apperley
Image caption Jack is to conduct an 80-strong choir in Handel's Zadok the Priest

A West Midlands teenager who was injured in a fall is fulfilling his dream to be a conductor.

Seventeen-year-old Jack Apperley from Stourbridge fractured his ankles and three vertebrae in a fall from his attic bedroom window in October 2010.

He was treated in Dudley's Russells Hall Hospital which has a scheme that aims to fulfil young patients' dreams.

Organisers arranged for Jack to conduct a choir performing a piece by Handel at Birmingham Conservatoire.

'Very excited'

While recovering in Russells Hall, Jack was asked if he wanted to fill in a form for the hospital's Wishing Well scheme.

The teenager, a keen musician, said he wished he could conduct Handel's 'Zadok the Priest' at the Royal Albert Hall.

His mother, Wendy, said she then got a phone call from organiser Steve Ford who told her Jack would not be conducting at the Royal Albert Hall but he had managed to "fix it" for the Birmingham Conservatoire - a 125-year-old music college that is part of Birmingham City University.

By coincidence Jack, who studies voice, piano and viola, is a junior student at the Conservatoire.

"He wants to continue to study music and he's very seriously considering doing his degree course specialising in conducting so that was fantastic, it was utter disbelief really," Mrs Apperley said.

Jack was due to conducting an 80-strong choir performing the piece at a public concert in the Conservatoire's Adrian Boult Hall on Friday.

"I'm very very excited, I'm very nervous but I'm looking forward to the opportunity, really really looking forward to it," he said.