Sussex Gruffs Male Voice Choir
To see details of past and future events, please scroll down the page
Our Musical Director and two choir members were interviewed on the Mark Carter show on BBC Radio Sussex on Saturday 14th October. To listen to this interview click on Performances and choose the first YouTube link.
We are a vibrant and friendly group who meet every Tuesday in Worthing, to sing music from a variety of genres, including popular songs, show tunes, classical music, traditional Sussex Songs and Jazz. We welcome people of all ages, who would like to experience the many health benefits that are associated with being in a choir. 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
Events in 2024 will include:-
Come back soon to get details of our next concert.
Events in 2023 have included:-
Gruffs Away from Home on the 19th December
Our end-of-year performance for friends and family (usually held at our rehearsal venue) had to take place elsewhere this year. So we were pleased to perform at the lovely Offington Park Methodist Church instead - a big thanks to all our supporters who turned out to watch the choir singing lots of festive songs from our extensive repertoire.
The performance was followed by mulled wine and mince pies, and our collection at the end of the evening raised £154.65 for local homelessness charity Turning Tides. A great way to round off another brilliant year for the choir - well done all, and see you in 2024!
Christmas Carol Concert at Lancing College Chapel on the 17th December
The Gruffs were delighted to join forces, once again, with Inspirations Community Choir from Rustington, to perform at this stunning venue, in aid of the fantastic local charity Care for Veterans. Tickets for this concert had sold out a couple of months ago, meaning the choirs performed to a congregation of over 500!
The service was wonderful, and included eight songs from the choirs - four joint-choir numbers, and also two songs from each choir individually. It was a joyful afternoon, and both groups created a fantastic sound. The event raised £8.5k for the charity, and we are honoured and proud to have had the opportunity to be involved in such a prestigious event. An unforgettable experience! Our performances from the concert will shortly be added to our Youtube Channel and the Performances Page of this website.
Annual Concert at the Emmanuel URC on the 15th October
The Gruffs were proud to present their annual Autumn Concert at this fantastic venue once again. As at last year's concert, our loyal supporters ensured we 'sold out', and this created a great buzz around the event. The Gruffs performed a wide range of songs from their extensive repertoire, which included some brand new songs, as well as quite a few pieces from the choir's back catalogue. Our support act was Viva Strings - a brilliant violin duo, who performed music from around the world, amongst other genres. The whole afternoon was a great success, and the audience feedback has been wonderful.
Prairie Gardens Craft Fair on the 16th July
The Gruffs’ annual outing to the Prairie Gardens was a beautiful day if very windy.
Our Musical Director was in need of an extra hand as she was fighting the wind, trying to keep her music in place, keeping her hair out of her eyes and conducting at the same time.
Despite these difficulties, our 45 minute set of songs was well appreciated by the audience and we have had a potential new member come forward as a result. As in previous years, the choir enjoyed tea and some gorgeous cakes afterwards. Roll on next year!
NAC Thames South Group Choral Showcase on the 20th May 2023
The Gruffs teamed up with Songbirds from Crawley and the Rowland Singers from Worthing for this informal occasion. Over 85 singers from across the three choirs performed for each other a variety of songs from their respective repertoires, including some lovely solos, duets, and small-group numbers.
The quality of singing was fantastic, and all choirs were accompanied by our brilliant Jenny Jeffery on piano. The event concluded with everyone singing a wonderful rendition of You Raise Me Up. We look forward to future collaborations!
To listen to this version of 'You Raise Me Up' Click on our Performance Page.
Joint Concert in Crawley on the 25th March 2023
Our first big concert of the year was in St Mary’s Church, Crawley with the Songbirds Ladies Choir and the Choir of St Francis of Assissi Primary School. A large audience heard items from all three choirs culminating in the joint performance of a song written by a local singer which was performed with great enthusiasm. The concert raised money for two Charities working with the homeless and young people in the Crawley Area and was thoroughly enjoyed by both participants and the audience.
Events in 2022 have included:-
Gruffs at Home: 20th December 2022
Our final performance of this year was 'Gruffs at Home' - our annual, informal Christmas performance at Worthing College, for our friends and family. The room looked fantastic, with festive decorations, and the choir dressed enthusiastically in Christmas jumpers! Steve opened the evening with a poem - a brilliant reimagining of Good King Wenceslas, themed around the Gruffs. The choir then performed a variety of songs from their Christmas repertoire, both old and new, and also enjoyed singing The Twelve Days of Christmas (complete with actions and audience participation!). Jenny and Lucy performed two surprise Christmas duets, which were also well received by our packed-out audience. Everyone enjoyed their mince pies and mulled wine afterwards, and we were delighted to raise £189.30 for Prostate Cancer UK. Another excellent evening to round off a really successful year for the choir.
Joint evening with Inspirations: 13th December 2022
The Gruffs spent their usual 'rehearsal' evening with Inspirations (Lucy's other choir). We all sang some festive-themed warm-ups to begin with, and then both groups performed their respective Christmas repertoires for each other. Afterwards, we all sang some festive songs together, which included a hilarious rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. We all loved the evening and everyone said how great it was to perform for each other in a relaxed and supportive environment. Bring on some more joint events next year!
October fundraising concert: 22nd October 2022
The Gruffs' annual fundraising concert was a great success, with a sold-out audience, and a brilliant performance from our guest act, Worthing SIlver Band. The Gruffs sang a wide range of songs - some favourites from our existing repertoire, as well as a variety of new songs that the choir has been working hard on over the last few months. The audience feedback was excellent, with many commenting on the professionalism of the evening. Thank you to our loyal supporters, as well as the many new attendees we had. This concert was professionally filmed and we look forward to sharing some footage with you all soon.
Joint Concert with 'Inspirations' - 5th August 2022
What a fantastic joint concert we had in Littlehampton on Friday night, with Lucy's other choir, Inspirations. A sold-out performance with a wonderful and varied repertoire from each choir individually, and four fabulous joint numbers (one of which was an epic Rodgers & Hammerstein medley lasting 15 minutes!!).
Our audience was very supportive, and also enjoyed listening to Bob and Alan reading out lots of comments from members of both choirs, about what singing together means to them. A very enjoyable and successful evening all round.
Sussex Prairie Gardens Summer Fair 17th July 2022
The Gruffs enjoyed their annual outing to the beautiful Prairie Gardens in Henfield, where we performed a 45-minute set during their arts and craft fair. Everyone sang brilliantly, despite the tough conditions (almost 30 degree temperatures. and a small gazebo that couldn't quite shade all our members...!)
The audience was very appreciative, with some people interested in joining the choir as a result. We all enjoyed tea and cake at the cafe afterwards, and very much hope to perform at the Gardens again next year.
Platinum Jubilee Beacon Lighting - 2nd June 2022
The Gruffs performed on Worthing Promenade as part of the Lighting of the Beacon celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee.
We sang a 20-minute set, as well as the specially-written Song for the Commonwealth, which was sung by many choirs all over the world at exactly the same time. We were also joined by the Lancing Brass of the Royal British Legion Band, the Town Crier and various local dignitaries including the Mayor, Henna Chowdhury. There was a huge and very enthusiastic audience, and we received some brilliant feedback, including comments that the choir was 'stellar', 'amazing', and that people were 'moved to tears' by our performance.
Concert with the Songbirds 21st May 2022
The Gruffs hosted their first joint choir concert since lockdown, collaborating with the Songbirds Ladies Choir from Crawley, to raise money for West Worthing Baptist Church and Superstar Arts. It was an absolutely brilliant evening, with both choirs performing a wide range of songs from their respective repertoires, as well as joining forces for five joint choir songs (all of which were only rehearsed together for the first time a couple of hours before the concert!) We performed to a totally sold-out Church, and the praise and feedback from audience members has been fantastic. We raised around £600 to be shared between the two organisations, and hope it won't be too long before we can perform with the Songbirds again!
14th April 2022
The Gruffs performed a range of music at the Highdown Gardens Visitor Centre - this was our first performance of 2022 and we were lucky to have lovely sunny weather and a very appreciative audience.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we hope to return there again in the future.
Here are just a couple of photos (including one taken from the M.D.'s Rostrum).
Events in 2021 have included:-
(Clicking on the name of an associated organisation will take you to their website)
Christmas 'Open House' Concert 21st December 2021
The Gruffs were delighted to perform their first indoor concert since February 2020. We performed a range of Christmas songs and carols, which included five new festive songs that the choir had only learnt in the last couple of months. Bob Grange amused our audience with his 'Tale from the Flight Deck' and Jenny Jeffery, our accompanist, performed a wonderful piano solo. The evening was compered by Lucy, our MD, and everyone in the choir sang brilliantly. The evening was well-attended by friends and family, and an extra thank you must go to Paul Wilkins, who decorated the tables and organised the mulled wine and mince pies afterwards (an essential part of this event!)
Sussex Prairie Gardens NGS Open Day
12th September 2021
We had a delightful afternoon singing at the beautiful and picturesque Sussex Prairie Gardens on their Charity day for The National Gardens Scheme (with cream cakes and tea as a thank you). Fabulous!!!
The Choir's first outing after two difficult years was "just what the doctor ordered". Everyone came away with a renewed sense of achievement, in high spirits and so looking forward to our next concert.
Events in 2020 have included:-
Worthing Rotary Hobbies Exhibition
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.
Events in 2019 have included:-
Gruffs at Home 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".
Worthing Rotary Club Charity Concert 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.
10th Anniversary Concert
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.
Worthing Mayor's Charity Concert
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.
Sussex Prairie Gardens
NGS Open Day
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.
Motor Neurond Disease Charity Concert May 2019
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.
Joint Concert with Pelynt Male Voice Choir 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!
"So Sing" Event 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.
Events in 2018 have included:-
St Mary's Church Concert 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.
Events in 2017 have included:-
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 amount 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.
If you love singing, and could be interested in joining, see our HOW TO JOIN page which will give you all the information you need, then contact our Secretary, Paul Wilkins, electronically via the Contact page for more information.
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 send us a message.
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.
To return Music from a former
Choir Member click here.