Community Concerts

An SPO Community Concert is free.

It includes lunch or tea, all free.

It happens in daylight in your village hall or community centre.

A group of our top musicians introduce and play their favourite pieces.

Often, lifts are available. It's fun, friendly, and welcoming.


Our partners include the Suffolk Rural Coffee Caravan.

One of our team of Community Concert presenters, Principal Flute Anna Noakes brings music alive for our community audiences - when she is not recording film scores for blockbuster movies or playing with the full Suffolk Philharmonic.

"You have healed a very troubled soul"

 Audience feedback 

Try a Suffolk Philharmonic Community Concert

  • Community Concerts are FREE of charge (music, food and drink, and more.)

  • The music is attractive and entertaining.

  • Being so close to players is fascinating.

  • Free lifts are often available to and from the venue.

Community Concert Venues and Dates for 2021

We are working on venues and dates now, and information will appear here during September 2020. We hope to provide Community Concerts in the local authority areas of East Suffolk, Mid Suffolk, West Suffolk, and Ipswich during 2021.

We have discovered:

that SPO Community Concerts contribute wonderfully to combating loneliness and isolation.


When we started the entire SPO programme in 2012, we had in mind for our Community Concerts people who are less mobile or unable to travel far to events, or who are hesitant to go out in the evenings, or for whom classical music is simply not part of their experience, or who are deterred by the cost of tickets.

We very quickly learnt that there is something else. Loneliness. We learnt that Community Concerts help to address and combat the terrible scourge of loneliness. We know this from audience feedback which has amazed us by its strength of feeling, which has increased our determination to serve as many communities as we can with the transforming power of music superbly played.

What do the audience experience?

  • Lifts to the event, and home again, for anyone who needs them, provided by 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 or afternoon tea following the concert.

  • A simple souvenir, such as an SPO pen, as a memento of the occasion.

The Lunch or tea

A finger buffet lunch or afternoon tea is provided - all completely free of charge. Often, our partners from Suffolk's Rural Coffee Caravan look after this part of the event, and sometimes provide other services too.

How much are the tickets?

There is no charge Tickets are free. We are funded by grants from local authorities, grant-making trusts, personal donors and business sponsorship. 


The SPO contact 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.) 

The Community Concert is absolutely an event in its own right, but it should also be an opportunity to point towards a forthcoming SPO concert and highlight opportunities for easy access to it.

Bring a Community Concert to my neighbourhood

Our Community Concerts are most successful when they have a good link into their neighbourhood - someone who really wants it to happen!


To start a conversation with us about a visit, email and let us know of your interest. We will be glad to work with you to create an event which will serve local people and provide an occasion when, for some at least, loneliness and isolation might perhaps seem just that little bit less overwhelming. 

Where we have been so far

Our vision is to serve the whole of our largely rural county of Suffolk - and beyond - providing opportunities for the whole community, including in particular older people and children. Many of our Community Days bring together music-making in the village hall with workshops for children at their schools. This outreach work has taken us to venues from Eye in the North to Stoke-by-Nayland in the south, and from Exning in the west to Trimley in the east, including:


Bury St Edmunds (Hardwick)


East Bergholt










Needham Market






Trimley St Mary


Would you like to support this work? Please click the "Support us" button to go to our Support pages.

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Some photography courtesy of Wandering River 

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