THOUSANDS of people saw a musical extravaganza this weekend at the annual Symphony at the Tower event.

Global chart-topper James Blunt performed at Hoghton Tower on Friday night, while opera star Katherine Jenkins wowed the crowd on Saturday.

The traditional fundraiser, in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice, saw families take picnics and enjoy an alfresco evening listening to a repertoire covering everything from pop covers to operatic arias yesterday.

Katherine said: “There’s not a more perfect way to spend a summer’s evening than outside with family, friends and music.

“I wanted to make the evening as accessible as possible to all and a real family occasion – hence the decision to waive the admission fee for youngsters. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the encouragement of my own family and the exposure they gave me to all kinds of different music when I was growing up.

“I know from my experience as a mentor on Popstar to Operastar that there is enthusiasm for the kind of music I perform among younger people.

“Hopefully hearing it performed live – in such a beautiful setting, surrounded by friends and family, whilst supporting a wonderful charity – will make it even more appealing.”

Former soldier James Blunt, whose hit single You’re Beautiful was released in 2004, had performed the night before.

The Remedy, made up of teenagers Hannah Spurgeon and Elliott Dryden, both from Clitheroe, performed a 45 minute set at the Hoghton Tower concert before James took to the stage, after winning the Reidy’s Home of Music Talent Competition.

Director of income generation at the Lostock Hall-based hospice Lorraine Charlesworth said: “It has been a fantastic event. We had 5,000 people in to see James Blunt.

“It was pouring down but it did not dampen people’s spirits.

“And on Saturday we had our classical event, which attracted around 3,000 people. It was a huge success and it helps to raise money to keep the hospice going.

“We have smashed our targets, but we won’t know exactly how much we raised until we sit down and work it all out.”