Suffolk Police Male Voice Choir to Entertain Ipswich Shoppers

Suffolk’s boys in blue ready to belt out some Christmas tunes for shoppers

A top male voice choir which has performed at the iconic Royal Albert Hall will be belting out some Christmas classics at a busy Ipswich shopping centre.

The Suffolk Constabulary Male Voice Choir, who were selected to perform at the British Police Symphony Orchestra’s charity concert this year, will be spreading festive cheer with a two-hour set at Sailmakers Shopping Centre on Friday (December 20) from 10am-12pm.

The 30-strong choir, which consists of former police officers and civilian members, will also be raising money for Fresh Start New Beginnings – an Ipswich charity that supports child victims of sexual abuse.

They will be getting shoppers into the Christmas spirit by singing a stocking full of festive favourites, including White Christmas, Merry Christmas Everyone and Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, as well a mixture of traditional carols.

Stephen Wade, who is the secretary of the choir and the third longest serving member, said: “Hopefully we can get people into the festive spirit. We really enjoy going to Sailmakers, getting our Christmas jumpers and hats on, and joining in the fun.

“We’ll be singing for two hours and I’m sure we’ll get a few people stopping and listening to the Christmas songs and carols.

“Hopefully people will enjoy it and put some money into our charity box. This is the third year that we’ve supported Fresh Start New Beginnings who are doing great work to help children affected by sexual abuse.”

The Suffolk Constabulary Male Voice Choir, which was formed 51 years ago, performed at the Royal Albert Hall back in May as part of the British Police Symphony Orchestra’s 30th anniversary celebrations, helping to raise nearly £25,000 for charity.

The concert, which was presented by TV star Nick Knowles, featured more than 600 performers drawn from police services throughout the UK.

Stephen said: “We were invited along with various police choirs and it was a wonderful experience. There was quite a variety of music which is exactly what our choir is about.”

Sailmakers Centre Manager Mike Sorhaindo said: “We’re delighted to have the Suffolk Police Male Voiuce Choir back again to entertain our shoppers and make sure we’re all in the Chirstmas spirit.

“We really have had a fantastic line-up of carol-singers and choirs this December and it’s bound to be a special atmosphere in the Centre on Friday night and I’m sure our customers will enjoy it.”

The choir, whose members are aged from 50 to in their 80s and come from across Suffolk, are always open to new recruits.

Stephen said: “Membership of the choir is open to all men and there is no audition. All that is required is a love of singing.

“The choir sings a wide range of songs from Welsh hymns to music by Queen. There is a real diversity to our repertoire. If anyone is interested in joining they are welcome to come and speak to us on the day.

“Being part of the choir is not just about the singing element. We are all friends as well.”

Also pencilled in to perform during a month of Christmas choral performances at Sailmakers are Funky Voices this Thursday and VIP’s Acapella Chorus on Saturday.

The charity Fresh Start New Beginnings was set up in 2012 to provide a therapeutic service for children and young people up to the age of 18 years who have reported being sexually abused, and to offer support to their families.

The aim of the charity is to help children and young people make sense of the confusion they feel and to teach them coping strategies to deal with the difficulties they face. For more information visit fsnb.org.uk.

For more information about the Suffolk Constabulary Male Voice Choir visit suffolkconstabularymalevoicechoir.co.uk.

For more on what’s happening at Sailmakers Shopping Centre go to sailmakersshopping.co.uk and to facebook.com/SailmakersShopping.