NOTICES 16/06/2022

For our FINAL rehearsal of the term, Thursday 14th July, we are bringing back “NEVILLE’S NIGHT”

This will be a relaxed request night for choir, partners and friends with colourful summer shirts!

For those who haven’t experienced Neville’s Night before, we all wear the most outrageous summer shirt in our wardrobe. They are judged by the eagle eye of Jenny Rogers and others.  (Do visit a charity shop if you need inspiration!)

A winner is declared for each Voice Section and then an overall winner is chosen.

There may be prizes!

Bring your partner/friend or maybe someone who might join the choir to enjoy this relaxed evening.

Interval drinks, cakes or maybe just tea/coffee. Bring your own please.

Let’s celebrate the end of a very difficult year by signing off at All Saints in style and look forward to returning to Howard School on Thursday 1st September.


  1. The Elmswell Concert raised £3,460.80 for Blood Cancer UK, Sylvia Wilson’s nominated charity. A great evening, well done all.




At the committee meeting earlier this week, all aspects of the proposed event and the feedback from choir members were considered.


The committee decided to cancel the event and instead give a six month subscription holiday to all members who were paying a choir subscription in March 2021.


To take up your subscription holiday:


  1. Monthly standing order payers – please suspend/cancel you next 6 months £10 subscription.
  2. All other annual or quarterly payers – your renewal date will be put back 6 months, if required Andrew Conquest will confirm arrangements directly with you.


Please note there will be no cash refunds.


No costs were incurred in planning or cancelling the dinner.


Thanks to Andrew Conquest for his work in planning the event.




A dinner will be organised later in the year for subscribing choir members and their partners plus Friends of the Choir.


This will be a straightforward evening event like dinners we have had in previous years, at a local venue with the same ticket price for everyone. This will not be a subsidised event. Details to follow.




We are forming a small working group to develop a recruitment plan to be implemented from September.

The group includes Ian Cooper, Glenn Warriner, Mark Jefferson, Graham Poole and Paget Fulcher

If you have a recruitment suggestion that has been successful with other choirs, please send it to Ian Cooper


With our next concert only three weeks away your committee has agreed to add an Eticketing option for purchasing tickets.

We are using Ticketsource, a well known agency that works particularly well with smaller arts organisations.

This is a simple, low cost way of making our tickets available to a wide online audience.

To book online tickets for the 18 June concert please go to:

When an eticket holder arrives at the concert they will need to show either their hard copy or electronic ticket to the door staff. Simple as that. Those going to local shows at The Apex and Theatre Royal will be familiar with the procedure.

Any questions, please contact Ian Cooper. Email:


Chairman: Ian Cooper
Vice Chairman: Glenn Warriner
Secretary: Malcolm Lodge
Treasurer: Andrew Conquest
Membership Secretary: Nick Gane
Concert Secretary: Phil Kemp
Concert Manager: Ashley Seaborne
Librarian: Glenn Warriner
Health and Safety: Ian Cooper








Sunday 4 December – Trinity Chapel Cambridge Concert. 4pm start

Thursday 22 DecemberCarols and Chips at Bury Rugby Club 7pm onwards 





• Memorial Service for Paul Deane (Ex President) at Bury St Edmunds Cathedral probably late 2022.





Thank you so much SEMVC for a wonderful evening concert at Barton Mills Church. We were clearly all there to support the appeal for pancreatic cancer, and were united in our fondness for Shirley and Jim Beardsmore. Shirley had picked a cracking number of pieces for the programme and each one was a delight.


There were such a lot of favourites amongst these gems, but worthy of a special mention has to be Seal Lullaby which was hauntingly beautiful. The Choir and accompanying musicians provided a stunning version of this piece, which I had never heard before. The humming, phrasing and dynamics were superb. I have played this piece every day since! Bridge Over Troubled Water was very emotional after a very touching introduction, and Aberystwyth was fantastic with the addition of the organ, and was a very moving rendition also.


The Choir remain constantly focussed. The words were clearly executed and the dynamics were sublime. In my opinion the way the Choir ended all their pieces with extended final notes and very varying dynamics, put them apart from many other choirs. It is clear that this Choir is very disciplined, but there is such a love and passion throughout the pieces, that the audience is taken along with the Choir’s songs and the fluidity of the conducting. It was very refreshing to see the conducting being shared, and people moving round to play different instruments, which continued to show the Choir’s versatility.


The soloist David was brilliant, his voice was so clear and powerful and very well balanced with the rest of the Choir. A special mention of the accompanists must also be made… they were absolutely superb. The piano, guitar and organ were faultless, and added so much to the richness of the Choir’s interpretation of their pieces. Mark’s relaxed style of interjecting between pieces was both humorous and heartfelt, and made the audience look forward to each piece too.


Many many congratulations SEMVC you did yourselves proud, and Shirley would have been delighted with the whole evening.


Best wishes

Wendy Fincham


It’s been a long time since we sat in the audience and really appreciated the quality of the voices in SEMVC. We usually drag our children, Natasha and Ben along to brass music concerts, so tonight was about expanding their musical appreciation, to include the world of the male voice choir. It was also a treat for them to see their Grandad, Tony Farr, singing alongside other members of the Kedington mafia! Loaded with sweets and snacks, we squeezed in amongst a near capacity audience at St Peter’s church, Sudbury in anticipation.


Leigh’s first half programme began with the very impressively sung Welsh hymn ‘Gwahoddiad’, and lead onto ‘You raise me up’ where they were joined by Vanessa Cozens. It was a shame that we didn’t hear more of Vanessa. Unfortunately, she became a little swamped by the powerful male voices in the last verse. Leigh then went on to entertaining us with a medley from South Pacific. We particularly enjoyed the costume additions to ‘There is nothing like a dame’. Natasha thought Elvis was very cool!


SEMVC then took the stage. Now usually, your Chairman (being vertically challenged – genes he passed to his son…) is hidden from view, and is rarely seen. But not tonight! The grandchildren had direct line of sight, and we were absorbed by the quality and control of the singing. The much-anticipated Cantique de Jean Racine resonated in the fine acoustics, but didn’t quite reach the level of performance we were hoping for (this is a particular favourite of ours and so I guess we critiqued this a little more than the others). Tempo and tuning issues just took the shine off what otherwise was a great performance. However, this was more than made up for with the rest of the first half which concluded with a toe-tapping, finger-clicking performance of Amen, this one definitely got the audience jigging in their seats!


A really impressive performance from joint choirs of Rhythm of Life concluded the first half, how did you all manage to get your teeth around those words so precisely? A bunch of grown men looking very smart and serious, singing ‘Doo Bee Doos’ was a real treat. We partook in the lovely spread of refreshments that were offered to us at the interval – we particularly liked the Cathedral City cheese bites – Thank you J.


A beautiful rendition of Bridge over troubled water opened the second half. SEMVC controlled the dynamics throughout and showed total concentration from the whole choir. Wait, was that a guitar we heard? We’d forgotten that Simon ‘the Schirminator’ was accompanying tonight, and that is not meant as a negative comment. His subtle accompanying skills, along with those of Calvin on the keys, provided the perfect foundation from which the choir could express themselves. And express they did with a couple of Burt Bacharach pieces – which had just the right amount of cheese, and would have made Cilla proud. Their programme finished with Kings of Swing, a nice medley for the audience to hum and sway along to.


Leigh’s second half programme opened with some very Magnificent men entertaining us in their flying machines (and one with a pair of goggles). They concluded their programme with a selection of songs from the sixties, taking Billie back to being a young lass, listening to her mum singing her heart out to these songs whilst dusting and hoovering!


All too soon the finale was upon us. Some poignant words by Mark Jefferson reminded us all why we were there, and the concert concluded with An American Trilogy, a very moving tribute to those who have lost their lives in battle.


Congratulations to both choirs, their conductors and accompanists for a very entertaining yet moving concert. Both of our children were enthralled throughout, enjoying the livelier numbers, and appreciating the quieter ones. In fact, Ben found parts of the concert so relaxing he fell asleep towards the end!We promise not to leave it so long next time …


Paul, Billie, Natasha & Ben Farr, November 2017.

SEMVC in concert with Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir, Saturday 18 November 2017


As a choir member of late ‘more in the breach than in observance’, and having heard tell of some recent developments in performances, I was looking forward to seeing the results when I attended St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir’s concert in Stratford St Mary on 30 September 2017.


The first half of the concert started on what to me was happy and familiar ground: some well-remembered Welsh hymns and standards, including a fluid performance of Eric Whitaker’s ‘Seal Lullaby’ (a personal favourite) and an ever-dramatic Morte Criste.


The ringing in of the changes came in the second half, which introduced an expanded accompaniment, with electric guitar and bass joining the choir’s piano instrumentals. The piece ‘An American Trilogy’ was well chosen to introduce the new sound, and, played with sensitivity, this blended very well with the choir and piano accompaniment.


St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir is fortunate to be supported by the combination of quality musicianship and sense of fun which is brought by director Mark Jefferson and accompanist Calvin Goymer. This was well in evidence in the performance of ‘Rhythm of live’, performed by the choir with enthusiasm but not lacking care and clarity despite the conductor taking a seat at the piano, while Mark and Calvin entertained with an ebullient accompaniment.


Another introduction new to my ears was a selection of songs from Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It is not easy for a choir to achieve the relaxed-sounding approach to rhythm and timing which this style demands, and fight against the temptation to revert to rigid ‘march time’, but SEMVC have clearly made strides; and again the smooth guitar accompaniment complementing the choir well and helping to set an easy feel. I particularly enjoyed ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart,’ which hit all the right notes.


Credit must also go to violin soloist Elena Lyutserina, ably accompanied by Steve Cook, whose selection of pieces brought a pleasant contrast of mood between the choral performances. The combination of violin and ukulele was a surprise but worked very well – in the Russian pieces, I wondered if I could hear the strains of a balalaika through the uke.


My thanks go to Mark and the choir for an enjoyable evening and for making an ‘occasional member welcome. Also to Tony Farr – for his patience while I collected my thoughts.


Matthew Satchwell


On a chilly Saturday evening in November we were treated to some warming singing by the choir. The concert started with one of my personal favourites, Every Time I Feel the Spirit, always a jolly opening to any concert. A traditional mix of lullabies and songs typically associated with Male Voice Choirs followed.


The first half concluded with another of my favourites, African Trilogy. I think this song has been a big success for the choir over the last few years, quite a departure from usual choir repertoire. It is always lovely to hear the solo voice of David Sadler coming over the top of the other voices.


In the second half we heard some new music, a collection of well known Burt Bacharach songs, which I am sure will become a mainstay of the choir’s repertoire in the future. It was the first time I had heard another new piece for the choir, Up Town Funk, and although I was not expecting to like this, it turned out to be one of my favourites for the evening! You never know what SEMVC will serve up next!


The evening was more than ably complemented by ‘Classic Femme’, a ladies quartet of the highest standard, singing in perfect harmony and joining the men in some joint numbers.


Debbie F


I am absolutely delighted that the proceeds from the brilliant concert come to £1,567.25, a fantastic result. Sincere thanks of LWHS trustees go to John Sparkes, whose idea it was to hold a fund raising concert, and who very kindly sponsored the Choir. It was such a superb performance, which was most favourably commented upon by everyone I spoke with.


Andy Sheppard, LWHS


Having missed several rehearsals due to holidays, it was delightful to have a good reason to relax as part of the audience at our joint concert with the Suffolk Constabulary MVC at St Gregory’s Church, Sudbury.
Knowing our repertoire very well, I had expected to find listening to these sections of the programme rather frustrating due to not being part of the action. How wrong I was. Being able to hear all parts equally in the lovely acoustic of the Church was a wonderful experience and gave me a much better understanding of the music we perform. Even items that I have previously found ‘less inspiring’ to rehearse and perform suddenly sprang to life. Fully appreciating the voices alongside ‘Uncle’ John’s beautiful sensitive playing were a real treat.
Noting from the programme that the Suffolk Constabulary were performing some numbers that we include in our own concerts, once again it was great to hear how their voices blended so well despite the small number. The arrangement of Nothing Like a Dame differed from ours, both in lyrics and musical arrangement, added additional enjoyment.
Given that the concert marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, ending with communal singing of a medley of wartime songs formed an ideal conclusion to the evening – although I was slightly distracted by the amazing accompaniments improvised by Calvin.
Paul Davis (Bass)