UPLIFTING songs will be performed by a Basingstoke choir at a fundraising concert in aid of a charity which supports blind people.

Around 150 members of Basingstoke Rock Choir will return to the stage at The Anvil on July 17, to raise money for Living Paintings, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. 

The charity, based in Kingsclere, was formed in 1989 by Alison Oldland MBE, after she gave a lecture about the history of art to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Alison, a former lecturer in art history, had adopted a rejected trainee guide dog and held a series of lectures to thank the charity.

In the audience at the first lecture was Tony Castleton, the head of appeals for Guide Dogs, who was blind.

Alison took great care to describe the images that everyone else could see, and was so successful in doing so that Tony asked her to record descriptions of other works of art for him to enjoy at home.

She realised there was a possibility of sharing her great love of art with people who could not see, and the national, award winning charity Living Paintings was formed.

The charity is the only one in the UK to design, create and publish tactile and audio books for blind and partially sighted people, with titles suitable for anyone from pre-school to adult.

The Basingstoke Rock Choir, which has previously performed sell-out concerts at The Anvil and whose members recorded tracks at Abbey Road Studios in April, will sing a variety of pop, rock and Motown songs, accompanied by dance routines, at the show.

Glen Harvey, leader of Basingstoke Rock Choir, which meets at Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College, said: “I am really excited about our up and coming show at The Anvil. We have performed in many iconic places, but The Anvil is a favourite amongst the members and we are working hard to put on our best show to date with some fab songs to rouse our audience.

"We are also looking forward to supporting local charity, Living Paintings, and raising awareness and funds for the hard work they do for the blind and partially sighted community. I am extremely proud of the choir and it is to be a performance not to be missed!"

Tickets for the show, which starts at 8pm, cost £16, or £11 for under 16s, and are available from Anvil Arts website anvilarts.org.uk, by calling the Box Office on 01256 844244 or from the venue.

Watch the video below of Basingstoke Rock Choir performing Oh Happy Day and Somthing Inside So Strong at The Anvil in July 2011.