Meet our Honorary President: Suzi Digby

Suzi Digby - our honorary president

Incredibly passionate about singing, both from a musical perspective and for its ability to transform lives, Suzi has an international reputation as a choral director and conductor.

In 1993 Suzi founded the Voices Foundation. Working in infant and primary schools in deprived areas throughout England and Wales, the Foundation aims to transform children and the ethos of schools through singing, helping children socially, emotionally and intellectually. Also reaching out to schools internationally, close to one million children have benefited from the scheme.

Suzi also founded the chamber choir Voce in 2003. Comprising experienced singers in their twenties and thirties, they perform frequent concerts and tour abroad regularly. With a very high standard expected of her singers, she aims for Voce to become one of the finest chamber choirs in Britain and they are already well on their way.

In 2007 Suzi received the OBE for services to music education. In 2008 she acted as a judge on the BBC show Last Choir Standing, and in 2009 Suzi accepted the position of Honorary President of Sing a cappella!, the British contemporary a cappella society.

Introducing our national executive

The Singacappella Executive in 2009

11 October 2009. This will be remembered as an historic date for Sing a cappella! - and not just because of the retro numeric progression of 11/10/09! On this auspicious date the inaugural General Meeting was held in the boardroom of The Betjeman Arms at St Pancras International station.

A constitution was adopted and a National Executive Committee elected: Jean Digby as Chairman; Bob Bissett, Treasurer; Tom Digby, General Secretary; Belinda Magee, Membership Secretary; Cathy Davies, Events Co-ordinator; Ian Tolley, Website Manager and Kate Bissett, Minutes Secretary. All were current members of the steering group. One vacancy was left unfilled – that of Public Relations & Marketing Officer. If there’s anyone out there who might be interested in filling this important role, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We can let you have a job description.

Suzi Digby (no relation – honest!) was adopted as our Honorary President by a unanimous vote.

A motion resolved that individual membership subscriptions would be fixed for the year to the date of the first AGM in October 2010. The rate would be £5, but discounts would be offered against future events to those who subscribe. One of our members present at the meeting, Mick Kett, using his experience as Director of Membership Development of BABS (British Association of Barbershop Singers) made some useful suggestions about membership services. At a meeting of the newly elected National Executive immediately following this General Meeting, a possible scheme for group membership was discussed. A proposal will be put to affiliates before the first AGM in October 2010.

Also at this National Executive meeting, it was resolved to co-opt David Robertson of Serenata as an ordinary member of the NEC.

Update: During 2010, David Robertson left the NEC and was replaced by Angela Evans of Vox Concordia. In 2011 we eventually found someone – for the first time –who would take on the role of PR & Marketing. (Hooray!) Jill Barnes from Just A Cappella had her first NEC meeting on 20 March. So we grew to nine members, representing five a cappella groups.

The story so far ...

On 27 January 2008 six groups of a cappella singers (96 singers in total) from varying musical styles came together for a day festival of quality coaching, and singing to each other. They enjoyed the experience so much that it was agreed that a British a cappella organisation should be brought into existence so that there could be more of the same! Since then, two more festivals have been organised, the latest on 7 March 2010.

This website is being developed to serve Sing a cappella! – the name adopted for the new society at the inaugural general meeting in October 2009. We also adopted a constitution and elected the first national executive committee at that meeting.

The society's aim is to support groups singing in harmony and singing predominantly a cappella, from duets through to large choirs and choruses. We hope that Sing a Cappella! will be of particular appeal to those groups or musical styles for which there is no support organisation currently in existence. Barbershop choruses and quartets have their own associations in the UK which offer all this and more for them. College groups are similarly supported by The Voice Festival UK.

The initial challenge continues, ie. to discover just who is out there singing a cappella either in mixed voice groups or in all men or all women groups around the UK. No-one really knows. We had 37 groups affiliate to us early on, but we suspect that it's just the tip of the iceberg.

We also have had a scheme for Individual Membership since the beginning, but at our first AGM in October 2010 we also introduced a scheme of Group Membership, whereby both the group and all of its singers are members . The drop downs from ' Join' in the main menu of the site will take you to the membership area, where you'll find a full description of benefits and costs.

Alongside the October 2010 AGM, we introduced a different kind of workshop which was based on the individual rather than on singing groups. We all enjoyed Suzi Digby's enthusiasm and expertise and, by sheer co-incidence of course, it also provided us with a well attended first AGM!

The launch of Sing a cappella!

On March 29th 2009, Heathrow’s Concorde Club saw the inaugural event of this brand new society for a cappella singers. As was pointed out by one of the participants – ‘we now have lift off!’ For a longer description of the 2009 Sing a cappella! workshop day, click here.

Besides bringing together all types of a cappella groups to share and enjoy this special performing art, another objective of the steering committee was to make this workshop day a launch pad for the new society. We hope to go on to facilitate similar, more extensive events, and provide a forum for all aspects of a cappella singing. We have had messages of encouragement from Suzi Digby, Gareth Malone, Ben Parry and Michael Welton on behalf of The Magnets, and the committee is now planning the next event for Autumn 2010.

Our mission and aims

OUR MISSION

Sing a cappella! exists to bring people together in harmony, to enrich lives through contemporary a cappella singing, and to educate both the public and singers in the a cappella art form.

We aim to serve and inspire the UK a cappella community involved in performing contemporary unacompanied vocal music, whatever their style.

OUR CONSTITUTION

If you would like to see this, and/or print a copy, please click here.

WEBSITE

We have built a central point on the Sing A Cappella! website for supplying information about, and discussion of, new music; legal matters; performing rights; constitutions and other organisational support; insurance deals; singers wanted; choral groups wanted; publicity materials; recordings; coaches available/wanted; and similar matters. Support there also take the form of databases of affiliated and member groups, of arrangers and coaches, all with contact details. Another important area is offering assistance with musically related IT problems, including music notation software and learning aids using computers. There is a full communications facility within the Members' area of the site for open discussion between all members and for private discussion within member groups.

EVENTS

We want to organise more events like the very successful workshops we have already organised since 2008, and help groups to organise similar events in their locality. We plan to offer reduced rates for members. On the Members' Home page of this website we have a poll which we'd like you to consider completing. This will help us plan for the future.

If this sounds like an organisation you'd like to be part of, either find out more at Join on this website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or, if enquiring about individual or group membership, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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