Community Concerts

Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra’s COMMUNITY CONCERTS
Could you organise an SPO Community Concert in your village or community?

Suffolk Philharmonic Community Concerts

Needham Market Community Concert Bramford Community Concert

What is a Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra Community Concert?

A one-hour informal concert given by a small ensemble of our players, typically four, with lunch or tea provided, in a community venue.

Who is it for?

The purpose of an SPO Community Concert is to provide access to great music to people who might not otherwise encounter it because:

  • They are less mobile and can’t or don’t want to travel to events
  • They are older and don’t want to go out in the evenings
  • Classical music is not part of their experience
  • They are deterred by the cost

Who comes to them?

It is likely that an event of this type will appeal to people who already have a love of music and hear it from time to time;they of course are welcome too, but it is axiomatic that we try to reach people for whom it will be an unusual, or even a first-time experience.

What do the audience experience?Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Lifts to the event, and home again, for anyone who needs them, provided from a trustworthy local volunteer.
  • A personal welcome and introduction from Leslie Olive or another member of the SPO leadership team.
  • A concert by a quartet of musicians playing music carefully chosen to be attractive without “dumbing down” for about an hour.
  • A finger buffet lunch following the concert.
  • A simple souvenir, such as an SPO pen, as a memento of the occasion.

The Lunch

A finger buffet lunch is provided by local people, who donate their time and the ingredients used. They also make up the team to prepare, serve, and clear up.

How much are the tickets?

We aim for these concerts to be free of charge. This is achieved by a combination of business sponsorship or grants to cover the unavoidable costs, local people providing and preparing the lunch, parish councils providing the venue free or at a reduced rate, and so on. After the first event, in Rattlesden, some members of the audience said there should have been a retiring collection, so we plan to do this in future.


The SPO contact (usually Leslie Olive) will bring feedback cards or forms and encourage everyone to fill them in (using SPO branded ballpoint pens which the audience can take away with them.) Forthcoming SPO main concert The Community Concert is absolutely an event in its own right, but it should also be an opportunity to point towards a forthcoming SPO main concert and highlight opportunities for easy access to it.

Recent feedback from an attendee of our community concert in Needham Market was published in The Needham Market Newsletter, which is produced by Needham Market Town Council.

Dear Editor

I have just returned from an amazing concert given by the String Quartet of the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra in the Community Centre, 12 noon, Tuesday, 29th April.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!… for giving us the opportunity to experience such heavenly sounds. I was held in rapture throughout the concert, a truly memorable event which I’m glad I accepted the invitation to attend. It was totally free and included a magnificent buffet lunch. To those who didn’t read their newsletter carefully, they missed a real treat! From a very grateful reader.

Signed: M.S.

Voluntary Local Organisers – could this be you?

The success of this vision depends entirely upon our finding voluntary local organizers. This can be an individual working with an informal group of friends, or an established organisation, club, or institute.

The Volunteer Local Organiser undertakes the following responsibilities:

  • Audience creation – Publicity using word of mouth, features and notices in village and church magazines and newsletters, simple posters and flyers. The target is to have the hall comfortably full.(Note: The SPO can provide a simple poster/flyer template for you to photocopy, also wording for village magazine articles etc.)
  • Stewarding and venue management – Making sure the hall is ready, open, heated and lit, “all systems ‘go’” in good time, there are stewards to put and put away chairs and assist the audience as necessary, and closing up after the event.
  • Creation and distribution of tickets – Useful to have tickets numbered with a simple serial number (can be done by hand) to keep a track of how many people are coming. Making sure the tickets are readily available.(Note: SPO can provide a template for tickets, or actual tickets as you prefer.)
  • Lunch oversight – organising a local team who will donate their time and the ingredients.
  • Being the point of contact for the SPO link person.
  • Contact with the body responsible for the Village Hall: it is helpful to the project if the body responsible for the hall will donate its use for this event without charge.
  • …and sorting out any loose ends either personally or by touching base with the SPO link person.

To discuss organising an SPO Community Concert in your village, contact Leslie Olive, Founder & Artistic Director.

Email Leslie Olive or write to him at: 3 Rectory Meadow, Rattlesden, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP30 0RE or call 01449 737766.

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