The Old Songs

A 4-part World in Harmony

Past Dates

Past Events – 2020

Saturday 7th March 2020
The Delphi Centre, Sudbury
Sudbury Festival of The Arts - Music Competition
This was an entertaining afternoon for the packed audience at The Delphi Centre. It was so good to hear the multiple entries from The Voice Squad. This is a group of talented children and young adults based in Bury St Edmunds.
We entered two classes, Barbershop and Adult Choir, and scored a Distinction in each.

This is a useful warm up for our National Convention entry in Harrogate at the end of May.

Saturday 29th February
The Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe
Colneis Lodge 8298 Ladies Night
The Elizabeth Suite at The Orwell Hotel was packed, with over 180 brethren, wives and families of Colneis Lodge, gathered to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a Masked Ball.

The VIPs, Ipswich's own Barbershop Chorus, was hired to entertain the assembled brothers, family members and guests.

Their first set, sung as guests were arriving, provided many examples of their craft, although careful not to impede the many conversations as folk greeted each other and found their places.

After dinner, guests replete and refreshed, the music from The VIPs was warmly received and provided a fitting introduction to the Ladies Song, performed for the assembled wives and partners by Alan Herring, Chairman of The VIPs, and Brother Andrew Watkins, Bass singer and PRO for The VIPs.

Past Events – 2019

Saturday 21st December
The Buttermarket, Ipswich
Entertainment for Christmas Shoppers
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Photo courtesy of Karen McAllister - Thanks Karen!

Four twenty five minute sets in three hours with a 10 minute walk alternating between The Buttermarket Shopping Center and Sailmakers Shopping gave us all a nice little work out in readiness for the Christmas excess!
But we did provide some good Barbershop for the small crowds that stopped to listen, and might have signed up a few interested singers too.
More on our Facebook page ...

A big thank you to Isaiah at Velocity Worldwide and Natalie of Cushman and Wakefield for making us welcome. And thanks too, and get better soon, to Stuart who had a fight with a pot plant the day before and came off the worse for wear. He did all the organising our side and still missed out on the fun. "Take more water with it" is what I say

Tuesday 17th December
The Norton Dog
The VIPs Christmas Meal with all the trimmings and a song or two!

Tuesday 10th December
Woolpit Village hall
An evening's entertainment for Woolpit WI.

Tuesday 3rd December
Kesgrave Sports and Social Club

In Concert for Heartbeat East Suffolk
in aid of The British Heart Foundation

16 of us had a great time entertaining about 120 members of Heartbeat East, packed into Kesgrave's Sports and Social Club on Tuesday afternoon. Half a dozen songs in each half, interspersed with Bob's inimitable Northern humour, produced rousing applause and quite a few good laughs (unusual for Bob!). They fed us sausage rolls and cake in the interval, washed down with copious mugs of tea and coffee. and Paul even won the box of chocolate biscuits in the raffle (He didn't pass them round tough - pity.)
For anyone who hasn't come across Heartbeat East, it is amazing how many people have some connection with Cardiac (Heart) problems of one sort or another. Heartbeat is a self help group started by people in Ipswich and East Suffolk in October 1987 to provide support and information to those within the region who have heart problems. With over 800 members, a weekly programme of activities and monthly meetings with speakers, there is no excuse for having nothing to do in the Ipswich area!
Find out more about them at

In Concert with Stellar Acapella

at The United Reform Church, Stowmarket

Friday 29th November 7.00pm

It was great to share the stage with Gaynor Schofield's "New" Ladies Choir. Their music consists mostly of Acapella arrangements of popular songs, interspersed with solos from some of their very talented singers, some with beautiful piano accompaniment.

The VIPs supplied some of our old favourites and a group of new songs including one we hope to take to Convention next May.

Reports from the organisers, Gipping Rotary Club of Stowmarket suggest that the funds collected in aid of The British Heart Foundation exceeded £1,000, so thank you to all who braved the cold.
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photo: Neil Stidwill
The event was ably hosted by John Player who provided his own special brand of humour for the evening. Despite appearances, I don't think he had designs on Peter's job as MD for The VIPs!

The VIPs on Facebook here carries several video snippets for you to see and hear.

And you can find
Stellar Acapella on Facebook here
Concert Video

Gipping Rotary Club, who organised this event in aid of The British Heart Foundation, made a video of the concert and have been kind enough to post a video of highlights on YouTube. You can view it free here. If you can beg or borrow a pair of headphones you will find the audio quality much better than iPhone or Laptop.

In Concert with

Bury St Edmunds Male Voice Choir,

In aid of Tear Fund

Saturday 2nd November 7.00pm

This was our first time singing in the beautiful old St Mary's Church in Bury St Edmunds. The Male Voice Choir gave us a varied selection from their wide repertoire of sacred works and songs from the shows, some of them accompanied by the magnificent church organ. Our little chorus felt rather small by comparison, but we rose to the occasion and managed to fill the church with our own brand of music which appeared to be well received.

Concert – Cockfield Village Hall

An evening's entertainment for
Cockfield WI

Thursday 3rd October

This was a lovely event where The VIPs, resplendent in their Purple uniform gathered to help Cockfield WI celebrate the 90th Anniversary of their founding.

The Risby Singers – Charity Concert

Saturday 20th July

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All Saints Church, Barrow

We sang at this event as guests of The Risby Singers Under the leadership of Sally Bauer. They are a Community choir with plenty of enthusiasm, and sang an interesting and varied programme.

A quick check at the end of the evening revealed that aproximately £800 had been raised for The Samaritans, principal beneficiary for the event.

Newmarket Community Choir – Charity Concert

Friday 12th July

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All Saints Church, Newmarket

One of our Lead singers, David, used to sing with The Newmarket Community choir. Hence the invitation for us to join them for one of their regular concerts in the town.

For some of us, the enjoyable evening was extended with a busking session at The Bushel, a nearby hostellry happy to host our brand of entertainment.

36th Ipswich Scouts Group - Annual Fete

Saturday 6th July

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Sprites Playing Field

On a chilly June day, we were lucky to get one session in the dry.

The rest of the afternoon was spent sheltering from the rain and singing to ourselves under a gazebo, watched by a few hardy souls under umbrellas!

Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts

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The VIPs with our awards

After several really enjoyable weeks before Christmas 2018, we competed in the Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts on the weekend of 9th - 10th March 2019.

We were hoping to compare our performance with more conventional groups in the Adult Choir class (40) as well as the expected Barbershop Chorus class (55). Sadly this didn't happen, as the other groups pulled out of the competition. However, we gave the judges a creditable performance of two songs in each class and came away with two cups, one “Distinction” and one “Outstanding” certificate as a result.

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