Christmas may be several months away but we have a very special competition taking place over the next 3 months. We are delighted to be working in partnership with our great friend British composer Douglas Coombes MBE to offer your choir the opportunity of being the lucky recipient of a commissioned piece of choral music especially for your next Christmas concert. Douglas will work in full consultation with the choir director to create a beautiful choral arrangement to compliment the voices in your choir.

HOW TO ENTER – Send us your favourite photograph (or video clip) of your choir singing together by the 26th June 2020, the more unique the better, to and we will select our favourite.

T&Cs: Closes Friday 26th June 2020 at 11.59pm. Winner will be notified by Facebook message or e-mail. The prize will be valid for a period of 6 months from the date of the winner being announced. All photos and videos will be published on our website and social media pages after the competition deadline date.


Douglas Coombes MBE

Douglas Coombes is well known to music educators and choral practitioners in the UK and beyond. He is a prolific composer, choral clinician and conductor. As a music educator, over a period of 20 years, he wrote, produced and broadcast two BBC Programmes for Schools – Time and Tune and Singing Together through which he helped teachers and children develop a love for and an understanding of music. Douglas was also responsible for many original worship songs and all 250 arrangements in the three Come and Praise books published by the BBC. He has been the music consultant for the annual BBC TV Songs of Praise School Choirs of the Year competition, and Chairman of the panel of adjudicators for the Barnardo’s Choral Competition since its inception and is Chairman of the panel for the Schools Music Association of Great Britain Awards Scheme and meets countless young people and adult singers in the UK and abroad in the course of his workshops and conducting clinics. He frequently conducts massed choral events for young people at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican, London, which generate substantial sums for Barnardo’s. In-service teachers’ courses, as well as conducting and writing for the New English Concert Orchestra, three adult choirs and many choral and orchestral commissions, also feature in his very full schedule. He has been the director of The Amici Singers since it was founded in 1978, and has been an adjudicator since 1968. In November 2010, Douglas was delighted to accept an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Gloucestershire University and he was also honoured to have been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2012 for Services to Music. In October 2019 he was elected Fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge University in recognition of his work with the college’s Charter Choir. As well as on-going work with Homerton Charter Choir, he is now conductor of The Homerton Singers, a choral society based at the college, encompassing staff, students and local community – in addition to his women’s choir (The Amici Singers) and an a cappella chamber choir (The Ensemble of Friends). As a composer he writes and arranges for the choirs and orchestras that he conducts, as well as taking on commissions – the most recent being a through-composed cantata called The Bravest Man, for two baritones, two narrators and SATB chorus on the life and exploits of the renowned lifeboat coxswain, Henry Blogg of Cromer, Norfolk.


Sound Escapes did a fantastic job on arrangements for our tour . Would thoroughly recommend Jo to any choir looking to travel . All feedback has been positive from everyone who travelled . The extra care at meeting us at the coach and check in to ensure things ran smoothly went above and beyond .
Don OakleyMalmesbury ChoirOxford 2023
One of the best tours we have ever undertaken – musically, socially and geographically. Would heartily recommend Sound Escapes to any group considering a tour.
Carole Lindsay-DouglasAmici SingersWeston-Super-Mare 2023
Jo and her team came up with a fantastic itinerary for our choir and planned everything to the last detail. We always felt we were in safe hands and that they were on the end of a phone to help us with anything we needed. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Rosie SayersChairperson for Sing It Loud Community Choir
As a Chorister, and eventually Head Chorister in our local church choir for eleven years, Jo was talented, dedicated and could always be relied on to work to the utmost of her undoubted abilities. I would expect that she would apply the same attributes to her professional life
P BuckmasterChoral Director

In May 2020 we were due to tour the Stirling area in Scotland and due to the current coronavirus pandemic we took the difficult decision to call off the tour. I’d like to give our thanks and praise to Jo and her team for all the planning and preparation she had done to put the itinerary together – she was able to provide us with an excellent range of stunning concert venues, plus some great suggestions for our leisure time, and we look forward to working with her again soon.

Sally ColesSecretary, Cantamici
From cathedrals and abbeys, churches and stately homes, all steeped in centuries of history, some in Roman Towns others in quintessential English ‘picture postcard’ villages, every choir and musical ensemble should spend a tour exploring the United Kingdom and Ireland. Whatever part of the country you to choose to visit, by working with a knowledgeable team of people who know the regions inside out from both a tourism and musical perspective, you will be guaranteed the richest of touring experiences
Tim KnightBritish composer and Choral Director
Fantastic tour in Bonnie Scotland, enjoyed by all who went, singing and non-singing. Brilliant organisation from Jo who really made it all look so easy.
Kate HymansTour organiser for Masterworks Chorale
Brilliant tour, expertly organised. Kindness and compassion. Nothing was too much trouble. Colin, our driver, was a complete gem and so knowledgeable about the isle. Lovely hotel staff where nothing was too much trouble
Felicity CourageChoir Director, Courage Choir
Care and attention to detail of the highest degree. The planning with Jo Porter was detailed and meticulous, with nothing being missed, and although she was not involved in the accommodation arrangements, she nevertheless checked it out and acted as an intermediary.
Robin SpencerChoir Secretary, Phoenix Choir
You’ve been patient and kind all the way through this, Jo – especially with it being the first international tour I’ve done, and with all the unforeseen changes to the travel arrangements, so thank you to you and the team.
Sarah MonteithChoir DirectorResound ChoirParis 2023