Meet the committee

The committee of trustees is the  ‘governing body’ for the choir. They have managerial responsibility to ensure that the choir operates within the law, according to its governing document, and in a fair and transparent manner. They take responsibility for the financial dealings of the choir and are accountable for allocating funds and monitoring expenditure. They ensure that the choir works towards its stated aims.

Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of each trustee position.

Chair – Margaret Seaby
Margaret Seaby
In 1999 I was very nervous going to the inaugural rehearsal of Manchester Community Choir. It was a really enjoyable experience, wonderful songs – take a listen to some of our song clips on this website! It is a welcoming open access choir with friendly singers – their comments can be read here too. There are around 100 other singers and it is a great feeling singing in harmony together!

I joined the committee to put something back into this community choir which has given me so much pleasure in singing. I was just re-elected to serve a second year as Chair of the Trustees.

After twenty years in the choir I have so many songs in my head and still look forward to learning new ones! Hope to see you at our next rehearsal or performance, with our gifted new musical director Rose Hodgson.


Secretary – Tudor Owen

(Tudor is standing down from the role of Secretary at the 2020 AGM and standing as a general Trustee). 

I joined the Choir on its tenth anniversary in 2009 and joined the Committee a year or so later. I was initially the Treasurer, then the Events’ Co-ordinator and I’ve been the Secretary since December 2018. I see this job as primarily about communication, whether that’s representing the choir to the outside world or keeping the membership informed of choir developments. Plus some less exciting duties too, like arranging committee meetings and keeping our official documents up to date. It’s all part and parcel of the group effort to make sure that we can knock ‘em dead at our ten or so gigs a year. It’s great when you’re on stage with 60 or 70 other singers and you look out and see a packed audience enjoying our singing and giving us a rousing reception. It makes all the hard work worthwhile!

Treasurer – Jenny Sewart
I joined the choir in January 2014, trying to keep myself sane whilst doing an emotionally exhausting architecture degree, and also as part of trying to rediscover the person I was before having children. It was a bit daunting to sing “naked” (i.e. without any sheet music) but has actually proved more fun and engaging to learn by ear! I have been a dedicated member of the choir since, singing in most concerts and reveling in going to the Street Choirs Festival every year.

I loved having Liz as our musical director and learning so many techniques and tricks to make our sound better and better – I love being immersed in everyone’s sound and harmonies. Now that I have more free time, I have volunteered to take on the treasurer role and become part of the committee for 2019 – I am really excited by our new director, Rose’s choice of new songs and looking forward to helping out and giving something back to the choir that has provided me with such a happy space.

Events Coordinator – Maria Yagudina
Jo Melzack

I have always enjoyed singing (in the bathroom, at parties, karaoke clubs-you name it)! Singing in a choir, however, remained just a dream (having very little practice in the music school, to my utter dismay)!

Until I was fortunate enough to learn about the Manchester Community Choir and decided to join it without further ado in September 2019! And I am extremely glad I did as everyone made me so very welcome and at home! I eagerly await every single rehearsal as it makes me be right in my element, and proves to be infinitely inspirational!

Delighted to be on the Committee, assisting Jo and the team with events. And I look very much forward to all the exciting plans this year has in store for us!

Jo Melzack
Jo Melzack

Jo is standing down from the Committee this year, at the 2020 AGM. Many thanks to Jo for all her substantial service in the many and varied roles she describes here.

I’ve been singing with the choir since Jan 2013 and have absolutely loved it from the first day, our MD enabling me to be a far better singer than I ever imagined. Singing isn’t about having a great voice, it’s the joyous, uplifting feeling of voices working in harmony – the choir becomes something greater than the sum of its parts! I joined the committee in January 2014 and started by helping out generally, working in various sub groups and organising events and for three years was the Chair. I’ve now taken on various responsibilities, liaising with the tea team and Robert the minister at Didsbury Baptist and working on our events with Maria. What I like about being on the committee is the collegiate way of working, everyone talking things through together and coming to a consensus about what’s best for the choir.

Lizzie Gent

I joined the choir in September 2017, thanks to the encouragement of one of the altos. I have always really enjoyed listening to any kind of choral music but never thought I could sing, so it has been a delight and a revelation to discover I can. I love it that learning the songs uses parts of my brain I don’t normally use – like starting a new exercise routine. So rehearsal nights are really good work-outs! I have also really enjoyed all the performances. This year I have taken over Membership Welfare, and I also look after the rehearsal registers and help organise events – especially those involving liaison with the Central Library, where I work. I really enjoy being part of the committee, where I’m Deputy Chair, and helping the work of running the choir.

Carolyn Pugh
Carolyn Pugh
I joined in 2001 petrified and did a lot of miming! Community choir is fun and I especially enjoy singing with other people, as it’s not competitive, just singing with your neighbour. Choir lifts my spirits and I’ve made lifelong friends.

I currently take the minutes at meetings and then write them up with bad grace!

Steve Campbell
I joined the choir in 2001, shortly after it was formed, feeling very insecure and out of my depth. Since then I have come to enjoy singing and performing music in a variety of different settings, and MCC has been the start of it.

I’ve had a number of roles on the committee, including membership secretary and treasurer (twice!). I’m currently involved in updating the choir’s web site and other IT-related matters and provide a home for the choir’s PA system and banners.

Annie O’Malley

I joined MCC, the same year as Carol Donaldson was selected as the MD,  in 2003. I had always enjoyed singing, though that was mainly with friends, never in a choir. I was hooked from day one and I can’t believe I have now been singing with MCC for over 15 years. I have met some lovely people and had a lot of fun along the way, so here’s to the next 15 years! I am now helping Lizzie with membership matters.

Lynne Elliott

I have discovered that the enjoyment of singing for me is about the beautiful sounds and harmonies that our voices make when they rise up together in the space in front of us, but it is also as much about how we join together in the fellowship of producing those sounds. It is a shared endeavour and a shared joy (and occasionally awe) in the sound we make collectively.

I felt at home as soon as I walked into my first choir rehearsal in September 2019 because I was given such a warm welcome by so many different members of the choir and that made me feel it would be fun to join the committee and get more involved. And it is! I really admire the dedication and commitment of my fellow committee members most of whom have been with the choir a long time and it is a pleasure to work with them and learn about how the choir operates.

Lesley Hoyes

When I joined MCC in September 2011 it was the first time in over 40 years that I had sung in a choir. I loved it from the day I joined, attending as many performances as I could and every Street Choirs festival. When we hosted the SCF I was happy to join the organising team and was pleased with how well we worked together (and dealt with the many challenges!)

Joining the MCC committee in late 2019, I hope to repay the choir in some small way for the years of pleasure and friendship it has given me. I enjoy the Committee’s supportive and positive approach and am looking forward to many more years of singing with Rose and our great choir

Cath McBain

I joined the choir in 2017, with a desire to focus on something outside of work and meet people from different backgrounds. Being part of MCC has proved to be a tremendously enjoyable and uplifting experience. I love the choir’s ethos and its choice of music. I’m far from being a gifted singer but the way the music is taught is completely inclusive.

I initially joined the committee because I am part of the Tea Team – engaged in the vital function of providing teas and coffees at Sunday rehearsals. Although we can’t do that right now, I’m committed to supporting the choir as a Trustee, helping to ensure that others can experience the pleasure that singing and choir membership bring me.