The Choir was set-up as a “Singing for Pleasure” group in 1994 by Tony Moore, a community worker at Waltham Abbey Community Centre, Essex. Tony is now retired & is still the Choir’s Public Concerts Manager.
The group currently consists of about 35 men who thoroughly enjoy themselves by singing to the public. We rehearse weekly and have an active programme of monthly concerts. Our wives/partners are our greatest critics!
In 1998 we received a grant from the Millennium Lottery Fund towards equipment and uniforms that enabled us to entertain the elderly in day-centres and residential homes in the area.
The repertoire is varied and very easy on the ear! We mainly sing popular songs, songs from the shows, a little bit of church music and popular opera, written between the start of the last century right up to this year! We are affiliated to the National Association of Choirs and Making Music.
Our new Musical Director, Virginia Firnberg, joined the Choir in October 2014. She studied piano and composition at the London College of Music gaining an LLCM in 1985; and an MA in Piano and Composition from Michigan State University (USA) in 1994. Virginia has always had a strong interest in vocal work, having written many pieces for the voice and accompanying singers on the piano to earn her living throughout both degrees. As a choral director Virginia led the Hackney Community Singers 1 & 2 from 2002-5 and was arranger and sometime musical-director for Ekhoz A cappella group.
In addition to her musical accomplishments, Virginia is a poet! Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: FLOATING CAPITAL, an anthology of new poets from London (Potes and Poets Press).
Accompanist Jane Kenton has been with the Choir since 1999. She gained an ALCM in piano from London College of Music in 1988 and is also piano accompanist for ‘Broxbourne U3A Choir’, ‘Lea Valley U3A Choir’, and the ‘Evening Chorus Choir’. She teaches the piano to children and adults and plays the church organ for Sunday services in Chingford. In the 1990s she played the piano accordion as a member of ‘Fairkytes Accordion Band’ in Hornchurch.
Dave Pearson also accompanies the Choir with his Bass Guitar, adding an extra dimension to our music.
We are also privileged to welcome as guest artistes the distinguished international soloists Roland Gallery on classical guitar, and Alicia Hunt on the flute.