AGM July 2019: Concert Manager’s Report

AGM 9th July 2019


I accepted the reins of Concert Manager a year ago and have thoroughly enjoyed this new role.

During the second half of the choir’s 10th Anniversary Year in July 2018, our special guests were Hadleigh Salvation Army Band as we held a most enjoyable concert supporting the Salvation Army Charities.

In September, we were back in St Margaret’s in Leigh with a ‘Post-disaster Support’ concert for Nepal’s Kumbeshwar School.  Joining us again were Southend Wind Orchestra and Southend Band and the choir’s wonderful cake-makers provided some delicious cakes for all to enjoy in the interval.

In October we were guests of Leigh and Southend Salvation Army Bands in a concert of ‘Celebration and Remembrance’ at Leigh Wesley Methodist Church. A most enjoyable event and a pre-cursor to our own ‘Festival of Remembrance’ with Southend Wind Orchestra and Southend Band in November.  2018 was the 6th Festival for us all and we were privileged to have Military Personnel, Standard Bearers, Cadets and Uniformed Personnel from various local organisations together with several VIPs all coming together in support of the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Royal British Legion.

In December we enjoyed two concerts on a Christmas theme.  The first as guests of the DaCapo choir as part of Bob Chilcott’s ‘On Christmas Night’ and the second our traditional ‘Christmas Celebration’ with Southend Band at Westcliff High School for Boys.  Joining us on this occasion was West Leigh Boys’ Choir.

2019 has given us the opportunity to work with two new musical groups.  Firstly, in February Colchester’s ladies choir Iceni were our guests at Hadleigh Salvation Army Citadel and in March at Kings Road United Reformed Church we welcomed London Metropolitan Brass.  Both of these organisations are keen to have us join them in their localities during 2020.

In April we joined forces again in St Margaret’s Leigh with Southend Band and Southend Wind Orchestra to raise emergency funds for the ‘Cyclone Idai Appeal’.  Everyone, from the venue to the professional music team and all the groups came together to give their time freely to raise a considerable amount of funds.  A very big thank you and well done to all concerned.

May has become our popular time to go off on a ‘Choir Tour’. We headed off from Benfleet towards Swansea in Wales on what proved to be a somewhat elongated journey time-wise! Thankfully this did not spoil our most enjoyable weekend as we sang and socialised together.  Our concerts on this occasion were with Talgarth MVC in Brecon and Swansea MVC at the City Church in Swansea.  We were made most welcome by both choirs and are planning to invite them to Essex for concerts in 2020.  Our final performance of the weekend was at Swansea’s Waterfront Museum where we so enjoyed singing in the wonderful acoustics of the large foyer to an appreciative audience. 

At the end of June, just prior to the AGM, we will be staging a first for us – a ‘Summer Proms’ and at a new venue for us too, St Michael’s in Leigh. Our President Sadie Nine will be joining us as compere and with plenty of audience participation and flag-waving it promises to be a most enjoyable event, raising funds for the Royal British Legion on Armed Forces Day.

I would like to say a big thank you to all who have joined ‘Marion’s Team’ to assist in various capacities at the concerts throughout the year.  From the guys in the Front of House Team to those assisting with the refreshments, from the technical support to the ticket and programme sellers and all those helping to set up and clear the various venues as we stage each concert. Thank you all, for your assistance and enthusiasm, you make all the difference. 


Marion Orchard

Concert Manager

18th June 2019