LOMVC’s Annual Charities Concert

LOMVC’s Annual Charities Concert
at Westcliff High School for Boys on 6th May 2017

The LOMVC annual Charities Concert is a win:win event. Charities and other good causes make a profit by selling-on tickets that the choir sells to them for just £1. The people they sell them to, having helped the charity by buying tickets, come along and enjoy an evening of good music. Eight charities and local organisations benefitted this year.
A bit of a glitch only a week before the concert – the Leigh Orpheus’s Accompanist, having an accident, wasn’t able to be at the concert. So a change of roles meant Musical Director Janet Walker became the Accompanist and the choir’s two Deputy Musical Directors took to the rostrum to conduct the two halves of the concert.
What a programme! From Gounod’s ‘Faust’ to Alan Simmons’ ‘Back to the 60s’ and from ‘Siyahambe’ to ‘Christus Salvator’, with a big serving of ‘South Pacific’.

‘Siyahambe’ always goes down well:

Deputy Musical Director Thomas Marshall conducted the first half.

LOMVC during the first half

LOMVC during the first half

Give the guys the opportunity to ‘accessorise’ and their imagination has few bounds. ‘There is Nothin’ Like A Dame’ was just such a piece. The audience were delighted.

The South Pacific came to Westcliff High School for Boys.

The South Pacific came to Westcliff High School for Boys.

In both halves of the concert impressive solos were sung by a good friend of the choir, soprano Vanessa Cozens.

Soloist Vanessa Cozens

Soloist Vanessa Cozens

The second half of the concert, conducted by Deputy Musical Director Dave Smith, began with the marathon 14 ½ minute ‘Back to the 60s’ medley.

LOMVC during the second half

LOMVC during the second half

Vanessa had brought along her own accompanist, Andrew Palmer, who kindly agreed to accompany a piece alongside Janet on the accompanists’ stools and for the second concert in a row ‘Rhythm of Life’ was accompanied four-handed.
The final item on the programme was the popular ‘Christus Salvator’, the ‘Amens’ at the end of which had the audience giving what it was felt would be the final appreciative round of applause of many. But it didn’t take much persuasion for an encore to be suggested and fittingly the choir sang a piece which means so much to so many current and past LOMVC members – ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’.

Audience and choir members alike left with a tune in their heart and a spring in their step.
Again, some much appreciated feedback:
As ever, a brilliant concert.
The choir was on top form and it was an absolute delight to listen to Vanessa sing and Andrew accompany her. Congrats to all concerned” The Leigh Orpheus’s President, Sir David Amess.
We wanted to send our thanks to all the choir members for a wonderful concert on Saturday. What a talented group you are!
Thank you for choosing us as one of your charities and for putting on such a good show – we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
You should all be congratulated for your fundraising efforts for local charities over the last few years.” A charity that was supported by this concert.
Congratulations on another excellent Leigh Orpheus Concert. Although Janet was accompanying rather than conducting she has certainly taken you to a high standard that Tom and Dave were able to exploit through their excellent conducting.
A lovely evening’s music. What a varied programme – something for everyone! Everything was well sung but I must especially mention ‘An American Trilogy’. The combination of the four sections of the choir singing so well, along with Jan’s beautiful accompaniment, was a real treat.
And ‘well done’ for the entertainment of ‘Nothing Like a Dame’ in the first half and ‘People Will Say We’re in Love’ in the second half – both had the audience chuckling.
Altogether a wonderful concert. Thank you.” An audience member
Went to see the choir for the first time last Saturday. Excellent tone & balance to the sound. A really enjoyable evening.” A comment received on Facebook

South Woodham Ferrers Concert

South Woodham Ferrers Town Mayor

Councillor Sam Coley’s Charity Concert 22nd April 2017

For its latest ‘Mayoral Concert’ LOMVC headed off over the River Crouch to South Woodham Ferrers to support LOMVC member, Baritone Sam Coley, this year’s Town Mayor of South Woodham Ferrers. In aid of Sam’s chosen charity, Muscular Dystrophy UK the concert gave his efforts an extra boost, raising £1016.74.

LOMVC in the ‘waistcoats’ version of our uniform for the First Half – don’t we look smart!

LOMVC in the ‘waistcoats’ version of our uniform for the First Half – don’t we look smart!

Ably compered by choir member Eric Smith, both halves of the concert demonstrated the variety of genres and styles of music now being sung by male voice choirs. LOMVC’s ‘South Pacific Trio’ of songs has become especially popular. Here’s one of the pieces:

Supporting the concert in each half were duo George Bone and Josh Brough, and, drawn from LOMVC’s membership, the acapella ensemble ‘Tongue and Groove’. A bit of a ‘family affair’ for Sam as Josh is his grandson and Sam is a member of ‘Tongue and Groove’.

George Bone and Josh Brough

George Bone and Josh Brough

Tongue and Groove

Tongue and Groove

The second half started with what has become a regular and popular item in recent LOMVC concerts – ‘Back to the 60s’. This was followed by George and Josh who sang two pieces from the 80s. The jury is still out on who sang the highest note during the ‘60s’ and ‘80s’ pieces, George or LOMVC! But whichever it was the audience enjoyed them all.

LOMVC in the ‘Suits’ version of our uniform – don’t we still look smart!

LOMVC in the ‘Suits’ version of our uniform – don’t we still look smart!

It was LOMVC’s new Accompanist Kay Duell’s first concert with the choir – and she pulled it off well! For one of the second-half pieces the choir and audience alike were treated to some ‘extreme accompanying’! Deputy Musical Director Dave Smith took to the rostrum while Musical Director Janet Walker joined Kay at the piano to accompany, four-handed, ‘Rhythm of Life’.

Another successful concert for LOMVC! Funds raised for charity. An audience enjoying a good evening’s entertainment. LOMVC’s enjoying singing together. What’s not to like?!

Patrons’ Concert 2017 Review

Always a pleasant way to celebrate the Leigh Orpheus’s extended family, the annual events of the Patrons’ Tea and Patrons’ Concert were again a huge success.
LOMVC wishes to appropriately reward its Patrons for their patronage, and inviting them to enjoy a sumptuous tea was just the start of their special evening.


Some of the LOMVC Patrons enjoying their tea

In the presence of its President, Sir David Amess, LOMVC Chairman and compère for the evening Martin Wood explained at the start of the concert that this evening would be a bit unusual in that the LOMVC’s Musical Director Janet Walker was going to be returning to her previous role of Accompanist, and the choir’s two Deputy Musical Directors would be conducting – Tom Marshall conducting the first half and Dave Smith conducting the second half. It was a strong line-up!


The Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir including its music team for the evening

The programme included a wide range of pieces from the Leigh Orpheus’s current repertoire, the piece at the end of the first half bringing extra smiles to the faces of members of the audience with the choir’s rendition of ‘L’il Liza Jane’

LOMVC concerts are often occasions when there is the opportunity for choir members to perform their own solos; tonight the audience and the rest of the choir were treated to solos by Harry Rowson (Ombra mai Fu), Trevor Davey (I’ll be Seeing You), Jim Ryan (Caro Mio Ben) and an ensemble of five choir members who sang ‘Make them Hear You’ from the show ‘Ragtime’.
The second half of the concert started with the marathon 14-minute-long ‘Back to the 60’s’ Medley. Also in the second half a popular piece making a return to the choir’s current repertoire, having been absent for some years, was ‘An American Trilogy’.

Of course, a key part of this particular concert is the announcement of the four ‘Favourites’ for which the Patrons had voted. Patrons’ Officer Geoff Downing had conducted the poll and counted the votes and to the surprise of some – including in one case that of the Deputy MD and Accompanist – the four choices were announced by compère Martin Wood in ascending order of votes. In fourth place was ‘Christus Salvator’. Third place went to ‘Flying Free’

‘You Raise Me Up’ was announced as being in second place and taking the first place, to the delight of many, as it is a favourite piece of many choir members and has been included in the programmes for many of our concerts, ‘Nkosi Sikelel’I Africa’.
We reckoned the audience had deserved an Encore, and the choir surrounded the audience to perform their final piece.


The Encore – ‘Alleluia Madrigal’

LOMVC frequently receives positive feedback from our audiences, and again on this occasion it came in quickly from those present, including:

Another wonderful concert. Excellent selection of songs all performed
well. The solos were very good, especially the ensemble. Finally, thank
you to the catering team for a pleasant tea.


A really super concert with lots of fun and a great male choir providing lovely music fromthe sixties as well as Verdi and other classics. If you were unable to go you missed treat!

LOMVC member, and current Mayor of South Woodham Ferrers Sam Coley, had hoped to undertake a sponsored free-fall parachute jump earlier in the day to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. Unfortunately bad weather had meant that the jump had had to be postponed, but it gave audience members an opportunity to sponsor Sam and to make donations – for which Sam is most grateful.

The Mayoral Concert

The Mayoral Concert
14th January 2017

As a choir that regularly supports charities and other appropriate organisations in raising funds, LOMVC was particularly pleased to be able to sing at this concert, contributing to the Mayor’s Charity Fund, which this year benefits the Southend YMCA.

In our audience were VIP Sir David Amess MP, President of both the Leigh Orpheus and Southend YMCA, Southend’s Mayor, Cllr Judith McMahon and Syrie Cox, Chief Executive of Southend YMCA.


This concert was something of a first for LOMVC. With our regular Accompanist Jacky unable to be there it was an opportunity for our two Deputy MDs to look after the conducting while our Musical Director, Janet Walker, returned temporarily to the role of Accompanist. Dave Smith conducted most of the concert with Tom Marshall also conducting several numbers.

The programme for the evening had been chosen by Janet to reflect the breadth of LOMVC’s wide repertoire and the audience clearly enjoyed Dave’s interpretation and the choir’s delivery of the male voice music featured during the evening.


Audience members tapped and mouthed along to a number of pieces with the ‘Back to the 60s’ medley being especially well-recognised.


‘Man of the Match’ Dave Smith was in high demand. Before he had known that he would be conducting the concert he had agreed to perform two solo slots. So little chance for him to take a break. Joined by LOMVC’s Chairman Martin Wood, Dave’s performances were very well received. And Tom Marshall not only conducted several pieces but also played bass guitar in some of the choir’s and one of Dave’s pieces.

mayor7 mayor3

A favourite of many male voice choirs, and especially of the Leigh Orpheus, ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’, was as always particularly well received.

Although it was one of the smallest audiences LOMVC has ever performed to, nevertheless the combination of ticket sales, generous donations to a bucket collection and money raised when the choir sang at The Royals at Christmas, means that LOMVC will be sending the impressive sum of £700 to Southend YMCA.

The LOMVC Christmas Concert – 3rd December 2016

The LOMVC Christmas Concert
3rd December 2016

We knew from the applause the audience gave during the evening that they were enjoying the concert. The messages and emails we have received since the concert have more than confirmed that we had got it absolutely right.

“An innovative and enjoyable concert” “Varied and skilfully sung” “A delightful evening” were just some of very many compliments that were paid.

Christmas Carols for everyone to enjoy, performances by LOMVC, the handbells of The Old Chimers, soloists from LOMVC, a poem from the music team and a reading all contributed to making the perfect concert.

Over sixty LOMVC members took part

LOMVC’s MD, Janet Walker, skilfully and enthusiastically brought out the very best in the choir and the various soloists who sang parts of several pieces.

Performing both from the stage, and at one point surrounding the entire audience, LOMVC sang a range of traditional pieces, along with some new items in LOMVC’s repertoire.

The Old Chimers performed in both halves, as well as joining LOMVC in The First Noel/Pachelbel’s Canon.

No Christmas Concert would be complete without the Christmas Sing-a-Long, and of course, those Santa Hats.

christmas-hats-web All the ingredients that together make up a traditional Christmas Concert.

The Welsh Valleys Tour

The Welsh Valleys Tour

21st – 24th October 2016

For this year’s choir tour the Leigh Orpheus had been invited to South Wales by its friends in the Pontnewydd Male Choir and, as well as singing with them, the choir wanted to make the most of the opportunity to sing in interesting places. In total it was a party of over 90 participants.

The first performance on Saturday morning was in the Blaenavon Ironworks. Visitors to this open air museum flocked to hear the choir which put on a 20 minute performance for them. Judging by their applause they liked it. And the folk in charge said how good LOMVC were and requested a return visit as soon as possible!


LOMVC Chairman Martin Wood presents our Certificate of Appreciation to Custodian Alison Hargeaves


Saturday evening saw the Leigh Orpheus join in Concert with the Pontnewydd Male Choir. Two male voice choirs in one evening in addition to a soloist. Both choirs impressed the near-capacity audience with varied pieces from their two repertoires, the highlights of the evening being two joint pieces, the second of which, Gwahoddiad, was sung in memory of those affected by the Aberfan disaster 50 years ago.


LOMVC performing their set at the Joint Concert with the Pontnewydd Male Choir


On Sunday it was off to St Fagans, an open air museum of Welsh Life. Two performances outside the Workman’s Institute with audiences at both of over 100 people.


The choir with Musical Director Janet Walker centre, Accompanist Jacky Atkinson and page turner Liszi Carter on the left

One further performance at St Fagans in the beautiful St Teilos Church. An amazing acoustic and a privilege to be able to sing there.


St Telios Church

On Monday the Leigh Orpheus had been booked to sing at the Welsh National Assembly in Cardiff, The Senedd. First, two sets inside this impressive building.


LOMVC inside The Senedd

And then the Leigh Orpheus’s final performance of this tour, outside The Senedd, with the choir singing lustily out across Cardiff Bay.


LOMVC performing outside The Senedd

Without doubt, another excellent tour. Some of the comments the Leigh Orpheus has been pleased to receive:

From supporters who accompanied the Leigh Orpheus on tour: The singing at the heritage centres was wonderful to hear and the set in the old church was moving as was the closing song on Saturday night

From the organiser at St Fagans: It was our pleasure to have you here – It’s always a joy to hear the sound of a male voice choir in the Museum

From the staff at The Senedd: Your choir sounded brilliant – we received lots of compliments from visitors!

Another successful Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir Tour!


The entire party on tour


The Cedar Hall School Concert

Friday, 9th September 2016

We’ve done it before and we pulled it off again! An impromptu concert to raise funds, this time for Cedar Hall School. Vandals had been to the school during the summer holidays, damaged equipment and caused the deaths of the school’s chickens. An online appeal was set up which soon exceeded its target and demonstrated the warmth and generosity so many people wanted to show to this school for children with moderate learning difficulties. LOMVC decided to show that same spirit by putting on a free concert to raise funds.
And so it was that on Friday, 9th September, just two weeks after the plan was first hatched, that an audience of around 180 people sat down to listen to the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir.
cedar-hall1To the audience’s delight many of the choirs’ most popular pieces were sung. During the first half a group of guys from the choir – The Octet – sang three pieces and in the second half George Ing, a 15 year old young man from Appleton School, played Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude from memory, faultlessly.
Feedback from the audience was, as always, very positive, with the following comment being typical:
“A wonderful, wonderful evening. The choir simply lifted you not only with their voices but also with their obvious enjoyment of what they do. They had me in tears with the beauty of the music as well as toe-tapping and jigging to their 60’s rendition.
The choir now have another Number 1 fan in myself and I can’t wait to see them again at their Christmas Concert.”


There were several ‘firsts’ during the evening! It was the first time the choir’s new bowties had been used at a public performance. It was the first time that The Octet had performed in public. It was the first time George Ing had performed in public. And it was the first time many members of our audience had been along to hear us – we hope they will be back.
And was it a success? Most certainly it was! Our generous audience donated an amazing £1315.96 to the bucket collection as they left – with nearly everyone putting notes into the buckets and with £500 of the total being £20 notes!
Thank you from the Leigh Orpheus and thank you from Cedar Hall School.
Listen to some of the pieces sung during the evening here:

The Brothers in Song Weekend

The Brothers in Song Weekend

Friday, 24th – Sunday 26th July 2016


Our Brothers in Song concert was titled thus as it represented a reunion between the Leigh Orpheus and The Chapel en le Frith Male Voice choir who we had the pleasure of performing with in Buxton in 2014.

We enjoyed being with our ‘Chapel’ colleagues for much of the weekend which started on Friday with a Civic Reception at Porters, included the Brothers in Song concert, an ‘afterglow’ following that on Saturday and finally individual and joint performances at the Fisherman’s Chapel as part of the Leigh Folk Festival at lunchtime on Sunday.

Pic 01 (1)

The Chapel en le Frith Choir at Porters

There was hardly a spare seat to be found at either the concert at Westcliff High School for Girls or the performance at The Fishermen’s Chapel.

Both halves of the Brothers in Song concert involved individual sets from each choir, ending with two joint pieces.

Pic 02 (1)

The combined Leigh Orpheus and Chapel Choirs – over 100 voices!

Pic 03

LOMVC in the first half

Pic 04

LOMVC in the second half

We were trying out a new piece of kit to video our performances, and we are still learning all the settings; here is a ‘not best recording quality’ opportunity to hear and see a recording of just one of the pieces sung at the concert by the Leigh Orpheus:

Our thanks go to Westcliff High School for Girls for the support they gave to the concert and the ‘afterglow’.

We are always pleased to get feedback from audience members and for this concert we received several pieces:

From the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir President, Sir David Amess:

I always enjoy the choir’s concerts but this one was simply outstanding.  I enjoyed the gentle competition between the two choirs, although I am biased in my belief That Leigh Orpheus is still best. I did think the other choir’s MC was absolutely brilliant. What a droll sense of humour. I haven’t stopped laughing since.”

And from two more audience members:

“An enjoyable evening, listening to music sung by Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir and The Chapel Male Voice Choir.  I always love to hear ‘Nkosi Sikele’I Africa’ and particularly enjoyed ‘Back to the Sixties’, both sung by LOMVC.   It is nice to hear a broad range of music so the inclusion of some more “modern” compositions was very enjoyable and I noticed the audience tapping along with their feet!  The Chapel Male Voice Choir’s ‘Nessun Dorma’ was also very good.

The uniforms looked very smart when compared with the previous burgundy jackets which, in hindsight, now seem dated.  Very nice to see the different “looks” – the tie (very smart) with the jacket and trousers, and the bow ties with the waistcoats.

I think the venue was chosen with The Chapel Male Voice Choir in mind – the colour scheme of the hall matched The Chapel Choir’s blue and yellow colour combination.  Attention to every detail.

Thanks for a most enjoyable concert.”

“My friend and I attended the concert on Saturday and were so impressed by the quality and professionalism of both choirs but particularly Leigh Orpheus. The variety of the programme was particularly impressive.

Leigh Orpheus looked outstanding in their new uniforms; the smart suits enhanced by the bright ties are very appropriate and modern. The flexibility demonstrated after the interval by the choir exchanging their jackets for their waistcoats is excellent and I overheard other members of the audience reflecting this sentiment at the end. The uniforms compliment the performance. A high quality and enjoyable concert. We look forward to the next one.”

Similar compliments were paid to us after our performance the following day at The Fishermen’s Chapel where, naturally, we had to sing our pirate song ‘Up With The Jolly Roger’.

Pic 05

We, the Leigh Orpheus, look forward to our next opportunity to perform with our Chapel en le Frith MVC friends.

Charities Concert – Saturday, 28th May 2016

Charities Concert – Saturday, 28th May 2016

Our Annual Charities Concert – a further initiative by LOMVC to support local and national charities and voluntary organisations.

LOMVC singing in the first half of the Charities Concert

LOMVC singing in the first half of the Charities Concert

The first half of the concert comprised a number of pieces that our audiences are familiar with, as well as new pieces the choir has been rehearsing. Both types were equally well received.

Hear and see LOMVC singing ‘Siyahambe’ here

And hear and see LOMVC singing some of the new additions to its repertoire – Back to the 60s – here

LOMVC were joined by number of woodwind instrumentalists who performed individually and as an ensemble. The audience and choir alike were impressed by the calibre of these young musicians all of whom are likely to be gaining awards and winning competitions in the near future.

Charities present at the concert included RNLI, Southend Talking Newspaper, Age Concern and Open Arts.

Equally varied, the second half of the concert wowed the audience with a further selection of popular pieces.

LOMVC singing in the second half of the Charities Concert

LOMVC singing in the second half of the Charities Concert

Through the very popular raffle, a bucket collection at the end of the concert, and ticket sales, a number of charities and voluntary organisations benefitted financially; and the audience showed how much they had appreciated the concert with generous applause.

Another fine performance by the chaps of the Leigh Orpheus, conducted by Janet Walker and accompanied by Jacky Atkinson.

Singing For Life Cheque Presentation

‘Singing For Life’ Cheque Presentation


Ian Adamson from ” Prostate Cancer UK” receives a cheque for £7,000 from LOMVC Chairman Martin Wood at last nights rehearsal. Also in the photo are members of the Cliffs sub committee, Janet and Jackie, and David Wood, MD of Braintree MVC


Here are the cheques that he can actually bank!

Patrons’ Concert – Saturday, 16th April 2016

Our Annual Patrons’ Concert always has a ‘family’ feel to it, and as often happens when family visit we ensured that we provided our patrons with a special tea before the concert.


Some of our Patrons taking tea

A valuable supporter of LOMVC, our President Sir David Amess MP, was able to join us for tea.


LOMVC Chairman Martin Wood and LOMVC President Sir David Amess MP in conversation

Musical Director Janet Walker had put together an interesting and varied programme for the evening. Some old favourites as well as some of the choirs’ latest additions to its repertoire.

By tradition we invite our own choir members to deliver solo performances at our Patrons’ Concert. Trevor Davey’s performance of Shenandoah was a hit with the audience.


LOMVC member Trevor Davey

Our ‘Back to the 60s’ medley, having its first outing in this form, was especially appreciated. And you can listen to the live recording here!


It was no surprise that our compere Martin Wood described another of our soloists as ‘one of the boys’! Vanessa Cozens has sung with us on several occasions and was with us to help us with voice-technique at our recent Repertoire Weekend. A true friend of the choir, Vanessa sang in both halves of the concert to the obvious delight of audience and choir members alike.


Vanessa Cozens

TV Weatherman Francis Wilson, our compere at the recent ‘Singing for Life’ Mass Male Voice Choir concert at The Cliffs, and his wife Angela were able to be in the audience.


Francis Wilson and wife Angela

In the second half of the concert the audience were treated to more favourites, with Vanessa singing for a second time. And Tom Marshall, Father of the Choir being the longest-serving LOMVC member, entertained the audience with two songs, both being entertaining and the second involving audience participation.


LOMVC member Tom Marshall

A piece LOMVC has brought back into its repertoire, Li’l Liza Jane, brought big smiles to audience members’ faces. Listen to the live recording of LOMVC singing ‘Li’l Liza Jane’ here


Finally it was time for the four Patrons’ Favourites, chosen from a list from the choirs’ extensive repertoire and ably organised by Patrons’ Secretary Geoff Downing. The results were a closely guarded secret known only to very few people until they were announced; choir members and audience members alike had no advance notice. Compere Martin Wood announced each before they were sung.

Fourth Place: Softly as I Leave You

Third Place: Rhythm of Life

Second Place: Gwahoddiad

And in FIRST PLACE this year: Christus Salvator

Several of our LOMVC members are in hospital or receiving medical treatment and it was appropriate that we thought of them during the singing of the Favourites.



Another very successful concert, possibly best summed up by the comment sent in by a pair of regular audience members:

“What a wonderful concert. The Choir was impressive from beginning to end. The new items were interesting and came over well. The Soloists were great with a great range of songs from Opera to Flanders & Swann.”

Singing For Life! Concert Review


Singing for Life

Sunday, 31st January 2016

A major charity concert at The Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff on Sea where the Leigh Orpheus was joined by the Braintree, St Edmundsbury and Thurrock Male Voice Choirs and the Elliott Weight Trio, with TV weatherman Francis Wilson as compere. What a treat on a winter’s afternoon! A major concert, aimed at making as much money as possible for Prostate Cancer UK, with an audience of about 1000.

Under the direction of their MD Janet Walker, and with Jacky Atkinson accompanying, the eighty members of the Leigh Orpheus present today started the concert with ‘Gwahoddiad’. They followed that with ‘Flying Free’, accompanied on the flute by Evan Davis, and ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ (the end of which always catches the audience out!). Then ‘She’, again with flute accompaniment and finally for their first set, and with choir members appropriately equipped with pirate accessories, ‘The Song of the Jolly Roger’.
Just two excerpts for those who were unable to be there or want to listen again:

It was the first outing of the Leigh Orpheus’s new uniform. With the help and support of Moss Bros Southend over one hundred members now have a new three piece suit – “very smart” is the usual comment!

lomvc cliffs 7

Next Braintree Male Voice Choir, conducted by David Wood and accompanied by Sue Edwards, sang five pieces: ‘Down by the Sally Gardens’, ‘Nessun Dorma’, ‘What a Wonderful World’, ‘Unchained Melody and finally ‘I Write the Songs’ which had been specially arranged for their 40th anniversary in 2011.

Then, to end the first half of the concert, St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir took to the stage, directed by Mark Jefferson and accompanied by Calvin Goymer. St Edmundsbury started with ‘Aberystwyth’ followed by ‘Sure on this Shining Night’, ‘Angels’ and finally ‘Mustang Sally’.

St Eds 1a

Time for the interval and a chance for the choirs and audience to take a break. And for our dignitaries, who had kindly joined us for the concert, to be hosted for their refreshments by the Leigh Orpheus’s President, Sir David Amess.


The second half of the concert involved all the performers from the four choirs, with the men from Thurrock Male Voice Choir joining the three choirs that had performed in the first half. About 200 men were somehow fitted onto the stage of The Cliffs Pavilion.


What could be a more appropriate start for the Mass Choir than ‘Let All Men Sing’? This was followed by ‘Speed Your Journey’ and ‘Softly as I Leave You’ when Mark Jefferson then conducted ‘My Lord What a Morning’ with Calvin Goymer accompanying. Jan Walker then returned to conduct ‘Morte Christe’ before the choirs took a break and the Elliott Weight Trio came on stage to change the mood and perform three jazz pieces.

Elliott Weight

Then another major change of style as the Mass Choir started the next set with Faust’s ‘Soldiers’ Chorus’, followed by ‘Every Time I Feel the Spirit’ and finally, for this set, ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, conducted by Braintree’s David Wood and accompanied by Sue Edwards.

The concert had been staged to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK and Ian Adamson, representing the charity, talked to the audience about the work of this important charity – especially important to many of the men on the stage, and in the audience, of course.

Then it was time for the Mass Choir’s final set. The Mass Choir sang ‘Rhythm of Life’, skilfully accompanied on the piano, four-handed, by Mark Jefferson and Calvin Goymer. And the final piece on the programme – ‘With a Voice of Singing’ and it’s rousing ‘Hallelujah’ to end the show.

Compere Francis Wilson took to the microphone to undertake the important task of the thanks. Firstly to the three accompanists, including LOMVC’s Jacky Atkinson who had not only accompanied the Leigh Orpheus in the first half of the concert but had also accompanied the majority of the pieces in the second half. Then the Braintree and St Edmundsbury Musical Directors, Mark Jefferson and David Wood, and finally, to even greater applause, the Leigh Orpheus’s Musical Director, who had conducted the majority of the concert, Janet Walker.

Francis had done a fine job for us (as it turned out, outside of his comfort zone of cameras and autocues) and the Leigh Orpheus’s Chairman, Martin Wood, presented Francis with a gift to thank him for his support for the cause and excellent compering.


The audience weren’t going to go home without hearing more and there was, luckily, one more piece to come – again, for choir members, so appropriate – ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’.

The concert had been a huge success with many saying that they would have liked the concert to have gone on for much longer. But there was an additional success to come! As they left, our very generous audience put not only loose change, but £5, £10 and £20 notes into the buckets LOMVC’s Front of House team had at the ready. And the amount raised from this bucket collection? An amazing £1453!! This will be added to the money already previously raised by the Leigh Orpheus, along with the proceeds of the concert itself, so that what promises to be an impressive sum of money can be sent to Prostate Cancer UK for its important work.

Many many thanks to everyone who in any way helped to make this concert such a huge success!