We are a vibrant and friendly group who meet every Tuesday in Worthing, to sing a wide range of music from Mozart to folk songs, Show Tunes to traditional Sussex Songs. Over 40 strong, (and still recruiting) with ages ranging from 20 to over 80, we sing in harmony with a real sense of fun, and love to entertain audiences all around Sussex and beyond. In addition to our public concerts, we also sing for a number of different charities.
If you have been in the audience at any of our recent events and would like to join us, click on How to Join and get in touch
(Clicking on the name of an associated organisation will take you to their website)
22nd February 2020
The Sussex Gruffs were the first act of the day at the Worthing Rotary Hobbies and Leisure Exhibition. We performed five songs finishing with 'The Rhythm of Life' which seemed to be particularly appreciated by the crowd of people who had stopped to listen. For the rest of the day, members manned our stand and gave out our cards printed on the reverse with some of our forthcoming events.
17th December 2019
This is the long awaited event in the Gruffs calendar. We put together a light-hearted mix of song, verse and readings to delight our audience in our last festive public concert of the year entitled "Gruffs at Home".
This event is unusual in that the choir members pay their usual subs but guests can enter free of charge. As this was the last public performance of our outgoing Musical Director (see Musical Director page for more details), the audience was swelled yet further.
A great evening of entertainment followed and then everyone was offered drinks and nibbles - the mulled wine and mulled punch being the highlights. This event is becoming something of a tradition for us, so watch out for the date of next years "Gruffs at Home".
30th October 2019
We took part in the Charity Concert organised by Worthing Rotary Club at Bohunt School. We performed alongside several school choirs and solo artists. The audience seemed to be at the full capacity of the venue and we hope that a large sum was raised to benefit the local charities being supported by The Rotary Club this year.
12th October 2019
We have just put on our 10th anniversary concert at St Paul's Church in Chapel Road. Apart from us singing, we were joined by Heather Jeffery, Evie Carter and the Sussex Knucker Band to produce an evening of "high quality entertainment" - to quote from some of the feedback we have received.
As usual our MD Howard Wilkie directed the choir and his wife Theresa sang the solos parts of the Rogers and Hammerstein medley. Our Deputy MD, Lucy Goldberg, led us for three songs, making her public debut with the Gruffs. Jenny Jeffery accompanied everyone superbly and the Knucker Band got everyone's toes tapping.
The church was almost entirely full with a near capacity audience and a great evening was had by all. At the end of the evening a presentation was made to Peter Ramsey, who was our founding MD, to thank him for all the work he has done with the Gruffs.
On Sunday the 14th September 2019, the Gruffs took part in the Mayor's Charity Concert, benefitting the three Charities supported by the Mayor in 2019. As well as our own contribution, a multitude of talent was on display including an Elvis Impersonator, Dancers, a Comedian, and Pianists.
Our Assistant MD, Lucy Goldberg, played a medley of show tunes on the piano to great acclaim.
A capacity audience at Worthing Assembly Hall had a great evening of entertainment. All in all, it was a very successful evening, raising several thousand pounds in the process.
The Gruffs performed two sets of 8 songs at the Craft Fair at the Sussex Prairie Gardens on Saturday 13th July. Lucy, our Musical Director for the day, did a fabulous job and we were thrilled with the result. As we sang just in front of the café, there were plenty of seats for our audience and their applause was very well received by the choir.
On the 31st May, we appeared as one of the acts in a concert in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association at Bohunt School Broadwater starting at 7 pm. We are delighted to report that the joint efforts of all the Performers helped to raise just over £1200 for a very worthy cause.
Although not normally detailed in this section (as they are not public concerts), it is right and proper that we should mention the work done by our MD, our Accompanist and all of the choir in our outreach work. In the course of May 2019, we shall be giving concerts at five local residential homes. In some venues, the whole choir is in attendance but in others, only a smaller choir can attend due to pressure of space in some venues.
On Friday 26th April, after several months of preparation, Pelynt Male Choir from Cornwall arrived on tour in West Sussex. We teamed up with them to give a concert at West Worthing Baptist Church to raise funds for the work undertaken by the church.
Both choirs sang a selection of songs from their repertoire, separated by contributions from Pelynt's soloist Arthur Kinver, singing Cornish folk songs and the Gruffs were delighted to welcome back Teresa Wilkie to sing all the solo parts of the Rogers and Hammerstein Medley. After a fantastic concert, the final section included both choirs singing Morte Christe and Trelawny. The audience must have been impressed as they gave a considerable amount of money to a retiring collection - over £500 was raised!
Our next step is to visit Pelynt in Cornwall - watch this space!
On the 15th February, we were delighted to take part in the third Worthing College "So Sing" event at the college. This was our second appearance and was slightly challenging for us as neither of Musical Directors was available. Jenny did a sterling job of accompanying the choir and we sang four numbers from memory. Former and current college students and pupils from Springfield and St Mary's Schools made up the remaining acts of the evening singing to a full theatre. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience - many thanks.
Saturday 1st December 2018
We were one of the choirs performing on Saturday at a concert at St Mary's Church in East Preston - the other was The Messengers Gospel Choir from Shoreham-by-Sea.
After a rousing first half from the Messengers, the Gruffs performed nine numbers from our Christmas repertoire, finishing our half of the concert with a favorite carol, joined by the Messengers and the audience. All in all, it was a fantastic evening of entertainment.
Our Annual Concert at the Shoreham Centre on Saturday 17th November.
This was our 2nd concert at Shoreham, and as last year, we sang to a packed audience. The Gruffs sang a selection of 9 songs from their current repertoire and were joined by our special guests, The Songbirds Ladies Choir from Crawley. The Songbirds, with their MD Joanna Eames sang a wide variety of songs ranging from Abba to Frozen, West Side story to Jazz Swing. The Gruffs joined the Songbirds for a lovely spiritual, called Maliswe, and then at the close of the evening, we sang a combined version of Chatanooga Choo Choo. We love singing with the Songbirds and we think this was one of our best concerts yet.
Blake Charity Concert 10th November at the Pavilion Theatre Worthing.
This was an important event for us. In aid of Chestnut tree House, the Pavilion Theatre was packed. Starring was Blake, a very popular three man group, who have had many hits, and performed all over the world. We were asked to close the first half, and sang a medley from Rogers and Hammerstein, then a very poignant song called Shining, finishing with Chatanooga Choo Choo. - A great experience and one we shall remember for a long time.
Concert at St Andrews Church West Tarring.
On Saturday 13th October we shared this concert with the Solent Male Voice Choir. Solent was our Musical Director Howards previous choir, so it was a special night for him, and as it happens, our audience. The combined voices of over 60 men singing Morte Christe in that church, was an amazing sound. “Sent shivers up my spine”, said a member of the audience - us too.
We look forward to a return visit to Solent Male Voice choir shortly.
Concert at St John the Divine in Worthing
We contributed a big part of this concert on the 2nd June, alongside the Regnante School of the Performing Arts. A select but enthusiastic audience were treated to songs form the shows as well as old favorites from the Gruffs and our guest Soloist, Teresa Wilkie. Regnante performed several pieces from the Musicals and the mix was enjoyed by all. The proceeds will go towards maintaining the fabric of the church building.
Concert in aid of the Worthing Churches Homeless Project
Our first public concert of the year was held on the 24th March at All Saints church in Findon Valley. We were joined by our friends from Crawley 'The Songbirds' and between us presented an evening of music ranging from Elvis to Musicals and from Popular to African. Many thanks to the Songbirds for making the journey south in such numbers. The proceeds of well over £500 were donated to WCHP.
On the 9th of February, we sang on stage at the Worthing College Sealight Theatre as part of their "So Sing" event. Many amazing performers appeared at the same event, ranging from current and past students and from our age range down to Bramber first school. All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event and all the Gruffs who attended had a fabulous time. Many thanks to our hosts, Worthing College for organising the event.
Our Christmas Concert at Worthing College
On the 19th December we held our Annual Christmas Concert at our new rehearsal venue in the Sanditon Suite at Worthing College. Although some of the choir were unable to attend due to the bout of winter coughs and colds going round, nearly 30 members put on a festive performance for some 80 audience members. They were ably assisted by Teresa Wilkie who performed solo and also a duet with Howard, our MD.
Hot mulled wine and mince pies were served afterwards and a good time was had by all.
Our Shoreham Concert on 11th November
An audience of nearly 150 joined us for an evening of lovely music at the Shoreham Centre. The Gruffs performed 16 songs from their latest repertoire and were joined by guests from Worthing College, who sang three songs beautifully in the first half. Our other guests, Amy Marchant and her sister Hannah Williams sang music ranging from love songs to show tunes - all of which was very well received by an enthusiastic audience.
Not forgetting the importance of the date of the concert, the Gruffs sang a medley of songs from the First World War which also included a Solo by one of our number "We are the D-Day Dodgers", taken from the Second World War. This was a very poignant moment of remembrance in an otherwise joyful occasion.
NSPCC Charity Concert
On Saturday 30th September we performed at East Preston Village Hall, with another choir, Coastline Harmony. The event was organised by the NSPPC to raise funds. Each choir sang a selection of songs in the first half, excellent cakes and other sundries were available in the interval, and then in the second half Coastine Harmony sang again, followed by the Gruffs and the evening concluded with both choirs and the audience singing Sussex by the Sea.The concert was very well attended and we were delighted to hear the event raised over £800.00.
St Symphorians Church Concert
The latest in our series of annual concerts in aid of the 'Roof repair' fund of St Symphorian's Church was a great success tinged with sadness. The choir were accompanied by Teresa Wilkie who sang beautifully and the choir weren't bad either! A sizeable ammount was raised towards the repair of the church roof.
The sad part is that we will no longer be rehearsing at the church every tuesday evening as we have now moved to our new rehearsal venue at Worthing College.
A great Concert with like-minded colleagues
We have just spent a very successful evening at The Church of the Resurrection in Drayton near Portsmouth. The concert was to raise funds for our colleagues in the Solent Male Voice Choir. Both choirs sang three sets of three songs and we were joined by a Tenor Horn soloist from the ranks of the Solent MVC (picture below).
A raffle was organised and drinks and snacks served at the interval. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Two very successful concerts!
We have just performed in two concerts in just three days.
The first concert was in Worthing and in aid of the Mayors charity. There were five other choirs who were all extremely good. The evening opened with a truly delightful choir from Chesswood school, calling themselves the Disney choir as 64 of them were about to descend on Disney World. They were followed by the Rowland Singers, JuSSt voices, and after the interval we performed, followed by the Emery ensemble and the Worthing Scout and Gang show.
Two days later we were performing in Crawley with the Songbirds, an all ladies choir. We sang with the Songbirds at one of our concerts last year and this was a return visit organised by them. Playing to a packed audience, and raising over £500 for their chosen charities, this was a very successful partnership and I suspect there will be more concerts in the future.
The Sussex Gruffs Male Voice Choir has helped to raise significant amounts of money to promote venues or organisations.
We have also sung at Weddings and other types of celebrations and are available for performances throughout the Sussex area.
To discuss booking us for a performance, please click on contact us and either send us a message using the form or ring our secretary.
If you would like to be kept informed of our next concert or would like to reserve tickets, please click on contact us and let us have your full name, email address, contact phone number and details of how many tickets you would like putting aside on the door.