Olympic medallist tackles piano challenge for Children in Need

26 October 2012

Olympic silver medal winning modern pentahlete Samantha Murray will swap her epee and laser pistol for an evening dress and piano to perform at a charity concert live on BBC Radio 3 on Monday (29 October) night.

The 23-year-old University of Bath student agreed to learn to play the piano for Piano Season on the BBC with the aim of playing in a concert supporting the charity Children in Need.

And after just a handful of lessons she will perform at the BBC’s Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff at a Gala Concert live on BBC Radio 3.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to Monday night,” said Murray, whose modern pentathlon silver medal at London 2012 was Britain’s last medal of the Olympic Games.

“As an athlete I’m expected to perform well in competitions, but it’s been really nice to learn to do something new and without too much pressure. I’ve found it really refreshing and something I’ve been able to completely immerse myself in.

“It’ been a challenge, but it’s also been very enjoyable,” she said. “The most important thing is that ‘s for a fabulous cause, Children in Need.”

Murray has been taking lessons from Beverley Flanagan, a Bath-based pianist, piano teacher and composer for the challenge – she will have had just six lessons ahead of the performance.

The programme is part of BBC Radio 3’s contribution to Piano Season and will raise money for Children in Need.

Other celebrities taking part in the challenge to learn the basics of the instrument in just six weeks and play in the Gala include BBC Radio 1 presenter Dev, weather presenter Carol Kirkwood and Tommy Sandhu from the Asian network.

Murray has just returned to training after winning her silver medal at London 2012 – Britain’s 65th and last medal of the Olympic Games.

The world number three is originally from Clitheroe in Lancashire but now lives in Bath and is in the final year of studying for a degree in French and Politics at the University of Bath.

The Piano Learners project is Samantha’s second Children in Need commitment since competing at the London 2012 Olympics. She has also filmed a Children in Need Bargain Hunt special where she partnered gold medal winning rower Helen Glover, who learned to row in Bath. That can be seen on BBC1 on 16 November.

You can listen in to the Gala Concert on BBC Radio 3 at 7.30pm on Monday 29 October.  You will also be able to catch it later at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nj808 and you can make a donation online via the Radio 3 website

For further details about Children in Need, including how you can get involved or make a donation, please go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008dk4b

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