York teacher with terminal cancer records music as lasting legacy

York teacher with terminal cancer records music as lasting legacy

Ste Kenwright with fellow musicians at the recording session

Ste Kenwright with fellow musicians at the recording session

Ste Kenwright at the recording session

Teacher Steve Kenwright records the CD which he will be a lasting legacy

Teacher Steve Kenwright (5765413)

Teacher Steve Kenwright records the CD which he will be a lasting legacy

Teacher Steve Kenwright (5765421)

First published in News
Last updated

A WELL-KNOWN York primary school teacher with terminal cancer will leave a lasting legacy after recording a CD of his music.

Ste Kenwright, 46, from Fulford, was a teacher at Naburn Primary School for 17 years and is a well known musician who has played at venues in the city.

Following a six year battle with cancer, Ste was admitted to St Leonard's Hospice in December where he has taken solace and strength from his music - playing in the carol concert and recording music with his band.

Ste said: "When I became very ill at the end of last year, I decided I wanted to record my music to leave as a legacy, in a creative sense and as a contribution to organisations that have helped me along this difficult journey.

"My love of music prompted conversations with staff and I talked about my wish to record a number of songs which document my thoughts and feelings during my illness; reflections of my life, not with sadness but with accomplishment and pride.

"It's about continuing to live with cancer, pursuing goals, having some control over aspects of your day. And it’s about celebrating life. Something is not diminished simply because it ends."

The CD will help raise money for charities including St Leonard’s Hospice and the Cancer Care Unit at York Hospital.

Ste said when he was admitted to the hospice demoralised from a recent operation and barely able to stand, he and his wife Helen heard carols and went to join in.

When they finished singing he went to borrow a guitar and played some music and when staff noticed how well he looked in such a short time, his occupational therapist Lu found a him a guitar.

Ste, who also previously worked at Fishergate Primary School and was a councillor and chairman of a parish council until he became ill, plays in Ostler's Dog, which plays a mixture of "Americana and contemporary folk with a twist of bluegrass".

Staff at the hospice gave them a designated room and Ste and his band recorded their tracks with the help of a mobile recording unit over a number of sessions.

Helen, Ste's wife, said: “The hospice not only provided the venue, but the nurses made every effort to ensure Ste was well enough to play during these sessions. This involved changing the time of his medication so he was not so sleepy, ensuring he was well rested so he had the energy to play, and fitting his cannula in a different arm so he could still strum the guitar. All these different measures were really difficult to co-ordinate, but they made it look so easy. "

Ste previously played with Beyond the Pale in the early 1990s and later continued to perform locally at the Black Swan folk club and in amateur musical theatre with York Light and New Earswick Musical Society.

Ste said: “I have felt so overwhelmed by the support I have received from the staff here at the hospice. They find out what you want and help you achieve what you can; they treat the whole person and not just the illness. The doctors say I am a changed man. You can call music part of my therapeutic plan - or you could simply call it living."

If people want news of the CD release they can follow Ostler's Dog on Twitter or Facebook @ostlersdog. It will be out as a CD and digital download.

Comments (4)

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5:43pm Mon 12 May 14

Rebeccii says...

What an AMAZING man! He was my teacher at primary school and I have such fond memories of him, many of them music related. He wrote a fantastic song for us when we left in year six and I will never forget it! He is clearly still a lovely man and I wish him all the best and I will certainly be buying a CD. XxxxX
What an AMAZING man! He was my teacher at primary school and I have such fond memories of him, many of them music related. He wrote a fantastic song for us when we left in year six and I will never forget it! He is clearly still a lovely man and I wish him all the best and I will certainly be buying a CD. XxxxX Rebeccii
  • Score: 19

11:09am Tue 13 May 14

Helen Kenwright says...

Just to credit John Vaughn and Paul Robson as Ste's fellow-musicians in Ostler's Dog - and to thank the above commenter for her lovely comment. Ste was very touched. :)
Just to credit John Vaughn and Paul Robson as Ste's fellow-musicians in Ostler's Dog - and to thank the above commenter for her lovely comment. Ste was very touched. :) Helen Kenwright
  • Score: 2

11:23am Tue 13 May 14

MrChuckles says...

I was taught by Ste at primary school and have very fond memories of an inspiring, creative, hard working man. He was a true asset to the school and community. Best wishes to him and his family.
I was taught by Ste at primary school and have very fond memories of an inspiring, creative, hard working man. He was a true asset to the school and community. Best wishes to him and his family. MrChuckles
  • Score: 3

12:01pm Tue 13 May 14

yorkandproud says...

What a brave, brave man. My heartfelt respect.
What a brave, brave man. My heartfelt respect. yorkandproud
  • Score: 1

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