Saturday 1st December 2012

After 71 years making music in the borough Ilford Choral Society has decided, with great regret, to close.  A combination of declining membership and rising costs means that the Society can no longer afford to put on concerts. 
The Society has a distinguished history.  Many singers who went on to become big names in the musical world appeared as soloists with the Society at the start of their careers, including Kathleen Ferrier and Janet Baker.  In 1943 the Society took part in a live broadcast for the BBC, and in 1957 recorded items for the soundtrack of a film about the history of Ilford.
The Society’s final performance will be on Saturday 1st December at St. Margaret’s Church, Balfour Road, Ilford, at 7.30 pm.  The programme will include excerpts from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah, as well as carols and other seasonal music.  Members hope that it will be a joyful celebration of the Society’s achievements, and aim to go out on a high note.

Saturday 21st January 2012

St. Margaret’s Church, Ilford.

The Society’s 70th anniversary celebration was a great success. We were pleased to welcome
ten former members and guests who joined us to sing Rutter’s When Icicles Hang and Vivaldi’s
Gloria, plus a chorus from Mendelssohn’s Elijah as Elijah was the work performed at the Society’s
inaugural concert in January 1942. The church was packed with our families, friends and
supporters, and we thank them all for helping to make it a memorable occasion.

We had two excellent soloists – Julia Wilson-James who has sung with us many times before, and
Chloë Treharne, making her first appearance with the Society. We were accompanied by the Ilford
Chamber Ensemble: Bradley Winand and Isobel Giles (violins), Rebecca Skelton (viola), Susan
Cooper (cello), Jenny Small and Alan Bell (flutes), and David Sheppard (organ and piano), all of
whom made a distinguished contribution to the concert.

We were delighted that the Caterham High School Chamber Choir was able to join us to sing three
items, under their director John Garner.

After the concert performers and audience adjourned to the church hall for refreshments, and after
a certain amount of wine had been consumed the committee gave a somewhat bucolic rendering
of a traditional Yorkshire tune, with new words by Tony Stephens, in honour of Duncan Paterson,
conductor of Ilford Choral Society for 37 of its 70 years.