Cancer survivor hosts old-time musical benefit

I Remember You will be performed Friday at the Mitchell Street church

Don Williams will be one of the performers in a concert in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Don Williams will be one of the performers in a concert in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Song can sustain during even the most stressful of times, says Don Williams.

It did, in fact, sustain him through three years of on-and-off treatment for prostate cancer.

“I’m a cancer survivor and I have friends who are cancer survivors. The thing that sustained me was I had a mantra … Singing and dancing in the streets,” he said. “I sang that to myself and to others during my three years of treatment.”

While in conversation with a friend, they were struck by the few degrees of separation of cancer. Almost everyone knows someone whose life is affected by the disease. With music’s sustaining powers, they decided to put together a concert.

Williams drew on his history as a singer at the Victoria Conservatory, and several months later I Remember You is set to take the stage Friday, Feb. 27.

The concert in support of the Canadian Cancer Society features baritone Don Williams, mezzo soprano Kiiri Michelsen  and Andrew Greenwood on saxophone.

“I have the best jazz pianist in Victoria in Peter Dent,” Williams said. “They’re all giving their time free of charge because of the cancer benefit.”

They’ll take over the sanctuary at the church on Mitchell Street.

“We wanted a venue that wasn’t too huge and it’s a nice tidy place and we should be able to get 100 people in there… beautiful acoustics,” Williams said.

He anticipates a demographic that will enjoy his repertoire of tried-and-true standards from big names like Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Of course, I Remember You is in the plan, as are Almost Like Being in Love, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Way You Look Tonight, It Had to be You and Unforgettable.

I Remember You will be held at 1355 Mitchell St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission by suggested donation of $10 at the door.