CALL US NOW 07432 456281

About us

About Us

The Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir is reputedly one of the largest male voice choirs in the UK with over 100 members as well as a large number of Patrons, Sponsors, supporters and friends.

Based near Southend on Sea in Essex, the Leigh Orpheus is a friendly choir, aiming to bring the joy of singing as a performer to men in the area and to bring the joy of listening to as many people as possible.

Through the encouragement and skill of Janet Walker, our Musical Director, and with Kay Duell as Accompanist, we enjoy rehearsing together regularly on Friday evenings, learning new pieces and singing to a high standard. Most weeks there are at least 80 of us at rehearsal. The choir has a wide-ranging repertoire from 16th century madrigals, through traditional male voice choir pieces, to songs from the shows and modern classics.

As charity in our own right, a significant number of our performances are fund-raisers for other organisations. Each year, like many male voice choirs, we undertake concerts and other fund-raising initiatives which raise thousands of pounds for a range of mainly local charities. If you represent a charity and are interested in us performing for your charity, contact our Concert Manager, Neil, on 07432 456281 or complete the form on the Hire Us page.

As well as up to ten concerts per year at local venues we like to be involved in other events. We formed part of the 2000-strong choir which greeted the Olympic Torch when it came to Southend on Sea, regularly sing in The Royals Shopping Centre at Christmas and perform in the summer at the end of Southend’s pier – the world’s longest pleasure pier. We have taken part in the Cornwall Male Voice Choral Festival, and sung with Braintree, Chapel en le Frith, Eastwood, Felling, Pontnewydd, St Edmundsbury, Thanet and Thurrock Male Voice Choirs, the Orpheus Singers, the Sonara Singers and Stevenage Ladies’ Choir. In concerts at The Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, we have performed alongside Aled Jones. Alfie Boe, Lee Mead and The Kings Singers.

Our LOMVC tours are popular and well-attended and each year we travel to venues both in the UK and abroad. Over the past few years our UK tours have been to Cornwall, the Peak District, Lincolnshire and the Fens, the south Wales Valleys, Constable Country and the East Midlands and Lincoln.

Travelling further afield we have toured in Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium where we sang at The Last Post Ceremony at The Menin Gate in Ypres.

The Leigh Orpheus reached its 50th Birthday in 2018 and ensured that, as well as the usual concerts and performances, the year contained a number of special events. A major 50th Anniversary Concert ‘1968 And All That’ at the Plaza Centre in Southend where we were joined by former choir members, by our MD’s school choir and by Natalie Paris, a professional singer on the West End stage and grandaughter of our founder Musical Director. We also used the event to present the prestigious Leigh Orpheus Young Person’s  50th Anniversary Award of £1000 to guitarist Harrison Dolphin.

In June we headed off to Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster to honour our President, Sir David Amess’s, 35 years as an MP and were pleased to sing at this prestigious event, among a range of VIPs, and be complimented by. Mr Speaker himself, John Bercow.

In October our formal 50th Anniversary Dinner at Saxon Hall with guests  Sir David Amess and the Rev Canon David Tudor. Then in November the 50th Anniversary Year Tour – four performances over 5 days in very different venues in the East Midlands; a country church, a community centre, a modern church (on the inside) and Lincoln Cathedral.

2019 has also been a busy year for the Leigh Orpheus: A Red Cross Appeal Concert in January; the Freda Parry Fundraising Concert in March as well as a visit from our Friends the Pontnewydd Male Choir; in April we went off to Poole for the International Male Voice Choir Competition and Gala Concert (fourth-equal place in the Competition); in June another charity concert and then off to Kent to sing with the Thanet Male Voice Choir; and the Leigh Folk Festival in June. We don’t let the grass grow under our feet!

LOMVC during the 50th Anniversary Autumn 2018 Tour

LOMVC sing at Southend on the world’s longest pleasure pier

LOMVC in Torrevieja.

Ethos

Leigh Orpheus is a very friendly choir that, despite being amateurs, aims to perform to the highest possible standard. There is no formal audition, and whatever the new member’s musical ability, the musical director is keen to develop members to sing correctly and blend together as a choir and not a group of individuals. The emphasis is on enjoyment, not only for the participants, but also for the audience. There is an excellent balance between inclusiveness, enjoyment and quality of performance. If you are interested in coming along to see what it is like to sing with the choir complete the form on the Join Us page.

History

The choir was founded in 1968 as an offshoot of the S.E. Essex Welsh Society and became a registered charity in 1999. It aims to foster public appreciation of choral music and to provide opportunities for the enjoyment of singing for its members. In order to achieve these objectives the choir strives to maintain the highest standards in every performance.

Along with ongoing recruitment our ‘Come and Sing!’ recruitment campaigns in 2006, 2008 and 2011 have meant that the choir’s membership now numbers over 100.

Registered Charity

Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir, an amateur choir funded by members’ subscriptions, concert receipts, Sponsors and Patrons contributions and fund-raising activities, is registered as a charity in England, number 1064077.

Members discuss relevant issues at the annual Forum

LOMVC members watch The Blues before performing on the pitch at Half Time

President: Sir David Amess MP

Sir David is the Member of Parliament for Southend West. A long-time supporter of the choir, he took over the role of President in July 2002.

“When I was asked to become president of the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir, I was delighted to accept and flattered that they thought I would be an appropriate person to follow in the footsteps of my colleague, Dr. Michael Clark. Audiences, not only in Essex, but also throughout the country and even abroad, appreciate the quality of this choir. I will endeavour to ensure that the glorious sounds that the choir make are appreciated by an even wider audience.”

Sir David Amess on his Investiture at Windsor Castle on Friday, 17th July. At the Choir’s concert on the same day the piece ‘You Raise Me Up’, and chosen by Sir David, was sung as a tribute to his Investiture.

VICE PRESIDENTS

Audrey Cooper & Mo Coles

LIFE MEMBERS

Paul Lloyd, Gwyn Derrick, Geoff Downing, Alistair Fiddes, Tom Marshall, John Nanfan, Chris Roberts, John Speed, John Stanton, Peter Thomas, Graham Williams, John Wilson.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Chairman: Mick Jacks
Vice Chairman: Jim Ryan
Secretary: Barry McGee
Treasurer: Ian Leonard
Concert Manager: Neil Frost
Publicity Officer (acting): Neil Frost
Membership Secretary: Pam Bearman
Dave M Smith
Richard Cook

MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Janet Walker

MUSIC

Accompanist: Kay Duell
Librarian: Chris Jenkins

CONCERTS

Concert Manager: Neil Frost
Marshall: Alistair Fiddes
Mailing List: Vacant

MUSIC ADVISORY TEAM

Janet Walker, Kay Duell, Tom Marshall, Chris Jenkins, Colin Brown, Dave M Smith.

MARKETING

Marketing Manager (acting): Neil Frost
Webmasters: Ron Circus, Neil Frost, Tony Grellier.

PATRONS

Pam Bearman

FRONT OF HOUSE

Pam Bearman (Manager),
Sue Bridges, Carole Rolphe, Christine Goddard, Gerry Miller, Veronica Palmer

TICKET SALES

Christine Goddard

TECHNICAL AND BACKSTAGE

Alistair Fiddes, Barry McGee, Peter Kenton, David Smith, Sam Coley

FINANCE

Treasurer: Ian Leonard
100 Club: Peter Kenton

MEMBERSHIP

Manager: Mick Jacks

SECTION LEADERS

Tenor 1: Tony Grellier
Tenor 1: Ron Carroll (Asst.)
Tenor 2: Alistair Fiddes
Tenor 2: John Redfearn (Asst)
Bass 1: Sam Coley (Section Leader)
Bass 1: Lawrence Humphreys (Asst)
Bass 2: Malcolm Bridges & Richard Cook (Joint Section Leaders)

UNIFORM COORDINATOR

Pam Bearman

ORGANISATION

Choir Secretary and Charity Commission Liaison Contact: Barry McGee