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On December 31st 2020, Daring to Dream experimented with its very first online #WinterFestival.

Aware of how much we are all missing live music, and also that going out or having friends or family round was a total ‘no-no’ on December 31st last year, we decided to test out an online festival.

Arranged within days, we were also focused on raising funds in order to transform the Quiet Room in Critical Care at University Hospital of Wales.

So, by connecting with individual musicians from family, friends and neighbours networks, an eclectic and hugely diverse live musical event was put together, with contributions from Western Australia as well as from within Wales and the UK as a whole! Attendees were from Wales, UK, Western Australia, Sweden, Belgium, and France ………. The Daring to Dream 2020 Winter Festival became a global event. Amazing! Poignant and fun!

Top of the bill was Anna Corcoran – who last week won the UK Instrumentalist of the Year with UK Americana Awards 2021. So very well-deserved Anna!

You can follow Anna on

Her contributions included absolutely beautiful renditions of ‘Hallelujah’:

And You’ll Never Walk Alone:

Our other wonderful contributors were:

  • Kevin Phillips, pianist and Musical Director, from Cardiff Bay, providing interludes of carols to suit all tastes.
  • Jan Gillingham and Mariah Gonzalez from Western Australia – Mariah sang her new single and then with Jan and friends performed a heck of a version of ‘Deck the sheds with hunks of holly’ ….. that well-known Aussie carol!
  • Celtic rock and hymns from Rev Carl Gidney and Jane Gidney
  • An absolutely wonderful rendition of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a wonderful world’ by Roxanne Vasconcellos (a San Franciscan who has relocated to Cardiff Bay)
  • Dominic Neville, Musical Director, and tenor, singing acapella.
  • Sarah Chidgey played ‘Walking in the Air’.
  • Carys Holloway and her children performed such fun versions of Jingle bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer too.

We were also delighted that Chris Gough, an intensivist & anaesthetist in Critical Care at University Hospital Wales, was able to join us to support the fund raising Festival!

Chris also outlined to everyone in the event just what it is like within Critical Care / ITU during these challenging times and it was really poignant to hear just how really tough the staff, patients and families are really finding it.

The Daring to Dream 2020 Winter Festival was a really lovely 90 minutes, with such diverse, eclectic, and live music, from different parts of the UK and Western Australia, connecting everyone together, lifting spirits and raising funds.

To top it all, very generous donations from the event have provided the funds for us to transform the Quiet Room in Critical Care – which is really fantastic news.

Below, Dr Nav Masani, explains why such transformations are so important and make a real difference:

“What we are trying to do as a charity is to raise awareness of the impact of emotional health and wellbeing on a patient’s clinical progress, through tangible means. One way in which we are doing this is by creating spaces where patients, their families and medical teams can talk kindly about really tough, and often life or death, issues. To be able to offer that space to patients, carers and also at times to our staff, then it alters the way that those really tough issues are perceived, so that everyone can talk about them more easily – not just the clinical details but also, importantly, about what it feels like emotionally.

Currently the kind of rooms we sit in for these conversations make this kind of real openness and sharing of vulnerability and understanding extremely difficult to act out.” Dr Nav Masani, Consultant Cardiologist, University Hospital of Wales, and trustee of Daring to Dream.

Huge, huge thanks to everyone who so willingly gave their time and skills and such generous donations ……….. helping us transform the Quiet Room in Critical Care, which is now in planning stage! Watch this space for updates!



nav masani and sophie howe

Anna Corcoran