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!

Christmas Concert 2015

Christmas Concert, 5th December 2015


With both the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir AND West Leigh Boys’ Choir on stage, and a capacity audience, it was a packed house for an enjoyable, festive evening, with the Leigh Orpheus’s President, Sir David Amess, in attendance.

The Leigh Orpheus performed using a wide range of musical styles, and including several numbers which will be sung with members of three further male voice choirs at the ‘Singing for Life’ concert at The Cliffs Pavilion on 31st January. The Song of the Jolly Roger, always a favourite, was conducted, as was every piece in the concert, by the MD of both choirs, Janet Walker (in this case dressed as Chief Pirate)

Pirates 01

West Leigh Boys’ Choir performed a range of pieces with skill and enthusiasm, further demonstrating their musicianship through a number of talented soloists and instrumentalists.

The interval refreshments, attractively prepared by the LOMVC Hospitality Team, and including non-alcoholic mulled wine, seemed to be appreciated by all.

The audience joined in enthusiastically when asked, especially during the Christmas carols and the Christmas Sing a Long. Typical of the many comments received are: it was a fantastic concert” and lots of festive laughs & fabulous singing”.  We couldn’t agree more!

With over 130 males on stage, aged between 7 and 85 it was appropriate that a bucket collection aimed to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK. Our hope is that men like those in the choir afflicted with the condition will receive good treatment, and by the time the boys in the boys’ choir get to the age where they are most likely to develop this cancer effective prevention or a cure will have been found. The audience and choir members alike were astoundingly generous with the total of donations coming to £403. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

A compilation of extracts of LOMVC’s pieces sung at the concert can be listened to here:



Rayleigh Baptist Church, 13th November 2015

Eighty member of the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir performed at Rayleigh Baptist Church on Friday, 13th November, helping to raise funds for the BMS (Baptist Missionary Society) Refugee Appeal.

Pic 1
The choir undertaking their soundcheck

Singing a selection of pieces, ranging from longstanding pieces to those getting some of their first outings, the audience were generous with their applause.
Soloist Helen Machacek sang solos in both halves, delighting the audience with her skilled performances.
An excellent evening of musical joy! And huge success in the fund-raising. Including over £200 collected as the audience left, nearly £1500 was raised for the worthwhile appeal.
Extracts from the live recording of the concert can be heard here:


The LOMVC Torrevieja Tour, 18th – 22nd September 2015

A party of nearly 80 took part in this year’s tour which was to the excellent Costa Blanca resort of Torrevieja.
Extra rehearsals had ensured that we were ready for the performances we were to undertake at three very different venues.
Having arranged the performance venues well in advance, and sent posters and flyers to Spain for distribution, two weeks before our planned departure the venue for our main concert was closed down. In double-quick time an alternative venue had been arranged and new flyers had been printed. Five days before the group was due to leave that venue was also closed! But some remarkable folk in Torrevieja – the pastor and volunteers at the Torrevieja Christian Fellowship – could not have been more friendly, more supportive or more welcoming in not only allowing LOMVC to put on a performance there but also staffing the venue, and even providing us with a guest soloist!
Choir on steps of hotel (01)
LOMVC’s first performance on Saturday, 19th September, was at the Sociedad Cultural Casino in Torrevieja. A classic, stylish, opulent club, with nothing like a roulette table anywhere in sight, LOMVC’s performance there was filmed live and shown on the local television station.
Casino (01)

The place was packed out, many were turned away at the door and some were so eager to be there that they passed chairs through the windows from outside. The audience were appreciative, a number bought the choir’s CDs, and a retiring collection raised €230 for local charity Reach Out Extiende la Mano, which works with the homeless and those in need. Reach Out Extiende la Mano

And the choir was presented with a beautiful plaque to mark its performance there.

Casino Plaque (01)
The following evening’s performance on Sunday, 20th September was to take place at the Iglesia de La Inmaculada. To encourage passers-by to attend, LOMVC and our guest soloist Vanessa Cozens, sang to those in the square outside the church.
Iglese Square (01)
In fact there should have been no concern about getting a sufficiently large audience since, as soon as choir members entered the church, immediately following Mass, the church pews were completely full. A superb venue in which to perform with a good acoustic.
Iglese (02)
The audience also enjoyed our soloist’s beautiful renditions.
Iglese Vanessa (01)

And to finish a wonderful evening – a standing ovation!

The last evening’s performance on 21st September, despite the local politics having made it impossible for LOMVC to perform in either of the town’s theatres, was in the excellent 400-seat auditorium of the Torrevieja Christian Fellowship. Some fine folk expressing their faith through their deeds. LOMVC could have wanted for nothing more in terms of the support and help given. Torrevieja Christian Fellowship

Another superb concert with a highly appreciative audience, who made us feel very welcome.

TCF (01)
The audience enjoyed our ‘Up With the Jolly Roger’, as did the choir.
TCF Pirates (01)
Our own soloist, Vanessa, performed as usual both with us and singing her own pieces, and an addition to the programme was the excellent rendition, in Welsh, of ‘Myfanwy’ sung by Pastor Roy Davies.
TCF Roy (01)

Another standing ovation for which we were most grateful. Again, our Front of House team performed their duties superbly, and generous audience and choir members raised an impressive €660 for Apanee, a local charity supporting children with special needs and their parents. Apanee

The last ‘performance’, a tradition for LOMVC, was to sing our farewell to the staff at the hotel where our group had stayed. Hotel Fontana Plaza, Torrevieja

Hotel Departure (01)

They were delighted with our ‘My Lord What A Morning’ and later posted on Facebook:

¡¡Muchísimas gracias al Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir por habernos elegido y traernos tanta energía positiva a ‪#‎Torrevieja‬‬!! Os echaremos de menos!! // Many Thanks to Leigh Orpheus ‪#‎Male‬‬ ‪#‎Voice‬‬ ‪#‎Choir‬‬, for coming to our Hotel Fontana Plaza en Torrevieja with so positive ‪#‎Energy‬‬& ‪#‎Joy‬‬!! We will miss you!!Of course, the Tour was far more than performances. Time enjoying each other’s company; a boat trip along the coast, time in Guardamar and a guided tour on our way to the airport to name a few.

Boat (02) Boat (01)
Guardamar (01)

Many choir members felt that this tour was the best LOMVC tour ever!

There are more tales that could be told – but what happens in Torrevieja stays in Torrevieja!!! (you’d need to be able to access the Member’s Section of our website to know more!)

Apanee receives a donation from Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir

The money LOMVC raised for APANEE at the third concert of our Torrevieja Tour has now been presented to the charity. A lovely response from APANEE. Thanks to them and to our man in Torrevieja, Jarmo Peltonen.

A translation of a link on ‘Objectivo Torrevieja’ reads as follows:

APANEE receives a donation from The Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir

During a modest ceremony which took place this afternoon, the president of the Association of Parents of Students with Special Educational Needs, Torrevieja (APANEE), Ana Garcia Martinez has received a donation from The Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir from Britain. The donation was presented by Jarmo Peltonen , recently appointed as an Honorary Member of the choir.
The donation amounts to six hundred seventy-nine euros and sixty one cents (€ 679.61), and was raised from voluntary donations from the audience at the third concert in our city at the Torrevieja Christian Fellowship on 21 September 2015. The choir had previously performed two concerts in the Cultural Society Casino of Torrevieja and the Tempo Archpriest of the Immaculate Concer5ption.

APANEE’s president, conveyed to Mr Peltonen her appreciation, with the request that her thanks reach each and every one of the members of the Choir.

Apanee receiving cheque

LOMVC Summer Concert 2015

The LOMVC Summer Concert 2015

Friday, 17th July 2015

Another concert where our audience were both generous with their applause and generous with their support.

LOMVC is proud of the opportunities it offers others to perform in public from time to time. Tonight’s concert was no exception with four young local musicians included in the programme.

Chosen from LOMVC’s extensive repertoire, the evening’s pieces included a number the ‘old favourites’ we know our audience always enjoy, and several of our newer pieces, including an early sailing of ‘Sloop John B’.

What a pleasant way to spend a warm summer’s evening! The choir sang well and our four young musicians wowed both the audience and LOMVC members with displays of their musical talent. Samantha and Bethany Dench sang beautifully, Josephine Rapley-Mende played the piano and recorder with impressive interpretation and Joshua Hallett, who had earlier that day taken his Grade 8 Clarinet exam, impressed his audience with his incredible talent.






Often a feature of an LOMVC concert, the guys donned their pirate gear for a rousing performance of ‘The Song of the Jolly Roger’







It was a delight to be able to invite two former members of LOMVC, Charles Benford and Mark St Clair, and Ritchie Davies, a visitor from the Radcliff on Trent Male Voice Choir, to join us in singing our penultimate number ‘My Lord What a Morning’.











Since the concert we have received welcome feedback from audience members, typical of which is:

Thank you to you for organising an enjoyable concert.  The Choir seemed relaxed and sang an interesting programme very well.  The soloists – well what can I say? The singers brought a lump to my throat.  The skill and purity of the singing!  I also enjoyed the cello. 

Joshua’s performances were great to listen to. His skill is astounding.  Josephine, with the recorder, was, as Janet said, able to put across ‘feeling’ with her playing. .

Again, many thanks for a great concert.

The youngest member of our Front of House team, Carmen, and one of the evening’s soloists, Samantha, are students at Westcliff High School for Girls and planning to go on a ‘World Challenge’ to Morocco later in the year. Our audience obviously warmed to this good cause, contributing an impressive £240 to a bucket collection, enabling LOMVC to send them cheques for £120 towards the cost of their adventure.

LOMVC’s Fenland Tour – Saturday 4th July 2015

   Another successful one-day tour for LOMVC

On Saturday, 4th July over 80 choir members, family and friends travelled to the Fens for two performances in two interesting venues.

The first venue was the church within Crowland Abbey.                                                                       Crowlands_Abbey2









Our audience were appreciative with their applause. Some from other choirs had travelled many miles to hear us and were generous with their praise.

choir crowlands1










It being American Independence Day, and Rev Charles Brown, the Priest in Charge, being American, it seemed appropriate that we added ‘Chattanooga’ to the pieces we sang.

After a short break for lunch and refreshments at Crowland it was time to move on to St James’s Church, Newton in the Isle (or rather the Village Hall just along the road). Our hosts there thoughtfully provided us with a cup of tea on our arrival before LOMVC members rehearsed in the church.

choir garden









Then it was back to the Village Hall for everybody to enjoy a sumptuous Afternoon Tea, generously provided free for us by our hosts.

After a short break for lunch and refreshments at Crowland it was time to move on to St James’s Church, Newton in the Isle (or rather the Village Hall just along the road). Our hosts there thoughtfully provided us with a cup of tea on our arrival before LOMVC members rehearsed in the church.

choir Tea1










Then back to St James’ Church for the 6.30 pm performance.

        st james church












Again, our evening performance was appreciated, with a number of very positive comments being made on the night, and subsequently. Typical of them: “That was the best £10 I’ve spent for a very long time, it was so good”

And finally back to our coaches for the journey around the Fens and eventually home, but not before the opportunity to finish off more of the delicious cake in the Village Hall.

 village hall1









Messages of thanks have continued to arrive “Our thanks for arranging another wonderful Tour. The whole day was great and we really enjoyed it”

Our hosts at both venues are thrilled with the funds we helped them to raise. And we were pleased to be able to help the youngest member of our Front of House team, Carmen, who is raising funds to go on a World Challenge. Carmen had put together an impressive range of raffle prizes, LOMVC members and guests were generous in buying tickets, and the result is £270 towards Carmen’s trip.

Click Here to view more photos submitted by Alistair (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them)

Fundraising Concert – Nepal Earthquake Appeal

Fundraising Concert – Nepal Earthquake Appeal, Salvation Army Temple, Hadleigh. 8th May 2015

Performance (01)

“Let’s put on a fundraising concert in aid of the Nepal Earthquake Appeal” was the suggestion. Within just over 24 hours most of the plans were in place and seven days later, at 7pm on Friday, 8th May, we wondered if anyone would turn up at such short notice on this rainy night. 1000 flyers had been distributed, emails had gone out and there had been several Facebook and Twitter posts. But would we get 50 or 100 or maybe 150 audience members? Well, we got 250! – full to capacity with practically every seat taken.

The concert started with LOMVC singing a version of The Lord’s Prayer accompanied by a selection of images on the screen above the choir.

Our audience were attentive and generous with their applause, enjoying both the singing of the choir and the wonderful solo pieces sung by Vanessa Cozens. Feedback has been very positive and donations are still coming in.

Nepal 2 & 4A presentation during the interval showed examples of aid being provided in Nepal, reminding choir members and audience alike of how valuable our support can be.

With the ‘thank you’s’ over the last piece was the very moving Christus Salvator. As they left audience and choir members were generous with their contributions to a bucket collection. Some who couldn’t attend the concert had sent donations.

Our target was to see if we could raise £1000 for the Earthquake Appeal. In fact the concert raised a staggering:


Huge thanks for the very generous donations. An amazing total. All credit to those who were involved in any way in putting the concert on, and another THANK YOU to our lovely audience.

Charities Concert – 25th April 2015

Charities Concert. Westcliff High School for Boys.  25th April 2015.

‘Charity’ is at the heart of LOMVC’s soul.

Practically every concert in which LOMVC is involved helps to raise funds for one good cause or another. Our Charities Concert, a great success last year, gave a range of smaller local organisations the opportunity to raise funds, both by selling tickets we sold them for £1 each for whatever they chose (typically making £6 or £7 per ticket); and, if they were present at the concert by sharing any proceeds made at the concert itself.

The many pieces of positive feedback we have received suggest it was one of our best concerts ever! LOMVC sang several of its favourite pieces as well as giving a first outing to two new pieces, one of them. ‘She’, being dedicated to our past member John Taylor who died last year and who’s wife donated the music to the choir. And we were joined by two superb soloists, jazz pianist Elliott Weight and soprano Zoe Claire Evans.



The excellent audience were both generous with their applause and generous with their money, buying raffle tickets, making donations for refreshments and contributing impressively to a bucket collection. A total of an astounding £650 was raised, shared between the five charities with displays at the concert.

Charity Logos

Mayor’s Charities – St Peter’s Eastwood – Mar 6







Performing to a full house, the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice delighted the audience with a selection of pieces from their current repertoire at the concert at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Eastwood Road North on Friday evening.

Also performing were the school choir of Our Lady of Lourdes School, who delivered their pieces with energy and enthusiasm, and The Two Elizabeths (Elizabeth Dunlop and Elizabeth Upshire) who impressed the audience with their selection of exquisite pieces.

Another opportunity for LOMVC to help raise funds for Cllr and Mrs Chris Walker’s mayoral charities.

Previous Performances

Civic Carol Service – St Aiden’s Church – 18th December 2014

LOMVC’s final performance of the Christmas season gave them the honour of performing three pieces within the Civic Carol Service at St Aiden’s Church.
Following the service members, wives and partners were invited to a drinks reception at Porters along with a tour of the house.
During the evening Chairman of the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir Mick Jacks presented Janet Walker, the Mayoress of Southend and Musical Director of LOMVC, with a further choir donation of just over £2000 to the Mayor’s Charity Fund.

Chairman of LOMVC, Mick Jacks, presents Janet Walker, Mayoress of Southend and Musical Director of LOMVC with a cheque for the Mayor's Charity Fund.

Chairman of LOMVC, Mick Jacks, presents Janet Walker, Mayoress of Southend and Musical Director of LOMVC with a cheque for the Mayor’s Charity Fund.


 Carols for Christmas – Royals Shopping Centre, Southend – 13th December 2014

What a wonderful atmosphere there was in the Royals – with shoppers stopping to listen while we sang our hearts out. Singing a range of popular pieces, including many well-known Christmas numbers, the crowd of onlookers were soon joining in. And the generosity of our audience was evident in the superb £160.40 collected by our excellent bucket-collectors – a further amount we are pleased to donate to the Mayor’s Charity fund.

 Singing For Christmas – Salvation Army Temple, Hadleigh – 6th December 2014

A magical evening of song at the Salvation Army Temple in aid of the Mayors Charity Fund.

The St Michaels School Senior Choir joined the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir for a special highlight of the evening – O Holy Night – which sounded absolutely amazing!


Photos by St Michael’s School – and members of LOMVC.

An outstanding success in so many ways! With the proceeds of this concert going to the Mayor’s Charity fund, the concert itself raised around £1000 for the fund, and the retiring bucket collection a further £500, meaning that LOMVC will be sending a further £1500 to Mayor Cllr Chris Walker.