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ECS Members' Notice Board

This page shows information on the music to be performed at the next and subsequent concerts and choir news past, present and future.

You can discover how to contact, and who are, your section representatives and members of the ECS committee on the Reps & Officers' page

You can find the ECS diary showing the programme of rehearsals and events scheduled for this term and, as far as is planned in the future in the Members' Diary

A group of Eltham Choral Society     
sopranos during a sectional rehearsal

Click for the latest news bulletin circulated to members

or the previous one can be found here.

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ELTHAM CHORAL SOCIETY 2017 Music Notes for Proposed Concerts

....... Upcoming concerts with known programming giving details on works, scores, rehearsal files etc....

Saturday 6th October 2018, Eltham Park Methodist Church

Singing Day

Rutter: Requiem

Saturday 15th December 2018, 7.30pm, Holy Trinity Church

Christmas Concert

Handel: Messiah Pt.1 and the Halleluiah Chorus

A cantata from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

A work by Finzi (t.b.a.)

Check here for the Society's
code of conduct and protocol
for concert performances.


Discount for ECS members at ChoraLine

A 10% discount for ECS members is now available at ChoraLine on rehearsal CDs and MP3 downloads and vocal scores. All items can be purchased on the website or over the phone. When ordering online, members just need to enter ELTHAM into the discount code box and click the green arrows on the shopping basket page of the website in order automatically to receive a discount and see the amount saved.

For example this reduces the cost of a ChoraLine rehearsal CD to £10.79. This is obviously more expensive than the free downloads available, but the quality and ease of use of the Choraline cannot be faulted. MP3 downloads of the CDs are slightly cheaper.

ChoraLine also stocks a range of vocal scores, choir folders, unique singing sets, and other items of interest to choral singers all of which will receive the 10% saving by using the discount code. They are also happy to take orders over the phone (0845 304 5070) and still give the 10% saving.


ECS News

....... Latest News for members of ECS ....

A. Eltham Choral Society Concert at Holy Trinity Church - Saturday 7th July 2018

On the day that the England football team fought their way into the semi-final of the world cup, ECS performed Jenkins' The Armed Man for their Summer Concert. Max had the following thoughts…..

Thank you all for a super concert on Saturday. The highlight was the Jenkins, but in general you coped very well with a bulky programme. Swept along by the excellent players and feel-good factor created by England’s victory, the Armed Man was sung confidently, beautifully, powerfully and sensitively, to suit the music. You all communicated well, and appeared immersed in the different characters of the music. This made the performance emotionally charged and captivating. The soloists all produced atmospheric and touching renditions. The Bainton came over well - thank you for your patience and hard work throughout the term on this - I hope you felt it was worth the effort, and won’t forget the piece. The Treseder and Ireland were strong and confident, and the Guest a moving tribute to the dead. Not sure about you, but I loved the Barber too.

Thanks to Andrew for excellent accompaniment.

All in all, you deserve a good break!

Andrew and I look forward to seeing you in September for Rutter’s attractive Requiem, before we tackle well-loved choruses from Part I of Messiah, extracts from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and carols.


B. Eltham Choral Society Concert Tour 2018

The tenth Eltham Choral Society concert tour to Lisbon took place from Tuesday 29th May to Friday 1st June 2018

It was a very successful and enjoyable tour with concerts at Sao Vincente de Fora, Lisbon (30th at 7pm) and Basílica dos Mártires, Lisbon (31st at 4pm)

An excursion was arranged to the Unesco World Heritage sites of the Belém Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Jeronimos Monastery and many of us visited the the hilltop fortifications of Castelo de São Jorge with its spectacular views across Lisbon.

You can find a few pictures of the event in our picture gallery

C. Eltham Choral Society Concert at Southwark Cathedral - Saturday 17th March 2018

Those that braved the weather on Saturday had a most enjoyable afternoon and evening of music. Max had the following thoughts…..

Thank you all for your superb contribution to Saturday’s concert. In the afternoon you were highly engaged and alert, allowing a potentially tricky rehearsal to proceed very smoothly. The sound was even better in performance, with exquisitely beautiful singing in the Agnus Dei, impressive ensemble in the Sanctus (and the Libera recitation) great emotion and drama in the Dies Irae, and all along exceptionally committed singing. Alongside an excellent orchestra and stellar soloists, many people felt the choir stole the show. I wish you could all have heard it from where I was - I think you would have been amazed!.


You can find a few pictures of the event in our picture gallery


Past Concert reviews

....... What the Press had to say about some of our past concerts ....

Eltham Choral Society Reviews


Review from the SEnine Click for Full Report


Review from the The Kentish Times, July 6th 2001

Choral society works wonders.

Amateur and professional community-based choirs around the country add a great deal to our cultural and social heritage. But for many the problem of finding enough singers to maintain an acceptable balance between the male and female voices is a constant battle. I could only wonder how Eltham Choral Society still manages to perform demanding works with such professionalism and beautifully rich sounds and harmonies when I heard its recent concert at Holy Trinity Church.

For 25 years the choir was conducted by Miriam Coe and her influence was remarkable. Now a new conductor has been appointed: Nicholas Jenkins has an excellent musical pedigree and is a fluent, expressive conductor.

The main work of the evening was Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, a theatrical, musically inventive, and a darkly passionate musical evocation of 13th Century secular poems. Untouched by religious overtones, they can be simply described as a celebration of ribald encounters with wine, women and song. Very difficult to conduct and sing, this was an outstanding performance. Disciplined throughout, the choir handled the work with passion and great drama. The conductor kept supreme control, the percussion excelled and the soloists, Rebecca Bottone (soprano), Mark Milhofer (tenor) and Mark Chaundy (baritone) sang with great professionalism. Mark Milhofer's handling of the strange mixture of tenor and alto pitches in his own very short solo section was a triumph of expressive creativity.The musical accompaniment was provided by pianists Tony Baldwin and David Battersby and a five-strong percussion section.

The concert opened with Bach's popular Brandenburg Concerto No.2. Without any real reflection on the pianists, the arrangement made a travesty of the work. However, the piano accompaniment for two of Verdi's choral works was excellent and the choir particularly excelled in the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco.

Roy Atterbury


Review from the Kentish Times, 9th November 2000

A concert in the Chapel of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich attracted a near capacity audience for what was very much a celebration of local culture.

The Eltham Choral Society was joined by the Ascension Choir from Blackheath, the children's choir from St Ursula's Convent School in Greenwich and the Kidbrooke School's Choirs in a performance of Michael Tippett's oratorio A Child of Our Time. The orchestra was the Music Sinfonia of Trinity College, an institution shortly to take up residence at the Royal Naval College

While Tippett's work has sometimes been criticised for Socialist overtones, it remains a most powerful musical denouncement of racial intolerance. The negro spirituals used in the piece to underscore the torment of oppressed races are not only a highly moving element of the oratorio, they are an acknowledgement by the composer that nothing he could compose would match the simplicity and beauty of their melodies and words.

Under their conductor, Miriam Coe, (musical director of the Eltham Choral Society), the choir gave a performance that fully captured the complex mixture of hatred, passion and disquiet that is inherent in the oratorio.

The soloists, Mary Seers, Patricia Williams and John Bowley and the impressive narrator, Brindley Sherratt, added further quality to the memorable occasion.

The concert opened with Andrew Morely conducting the two popular works by Aaron Copland. The Fanfare for the Common Man provided an ideal opportunity for the brass section of the Sinfonia to show off its skills to great effect while the orchestral ballet suite Appalachian Spring was played with warmth, colour and vitality.

The concert was supported by Greenwich Council and the New Millennium Experience Company as part of the Time to Celebrate events

Roy Atterbury


An Autumn concert visit to Felpham near Bognor was enjoyed by all who went. The following review appeared in the parish magazine:

Saturday 26th September was a damp, miserable day, but for those of us who attended the Eltham Choral Society concert in St. Mary's, the event was enough to wipe away the memories of those leaden skies.

The church provided a warm and inviting backdrop as the choir started their programme with the first half, a well balanced mixture of music and readings, old and modern, on an autumn theme. The music ranged from Handel, Mozart, Purcell and Vaughan-Williams to modern composers Maxwell-Davies, Jenkins and Taverner. The readings from Keats and Betjeman were well chosen and complemented the music perfectly.

The second half consisted of a hastily rehearsed recital of Faure's Requiem as the original programme included Vivaldi's Gloria which is due to be performed next month by our own choirs. Unphased by this, the Society showed their professionalism and talent by delivering a stunning performance of the piece that on its first hearing had been thought to be "too lively" for a requiem.

Shelagh Eastwood whose clarity and range filled the vaulted ceilings and lifted the spirits, performed the soprano solo, Pie Jesu. The organist, Tony Baldwin, showed us new heights with his accomplished playing, never masking the singing, only complementing it.

Miriam Coe, the musical director, joined the Society 23 years ago to escape the tribulations of 2-year-old toddlers. As she led us through the programme, her enthusiasm and vitality focused the eyes and ears of both choir and audience,

Comments following the performance were full of praise. Hopefully we will be able to arrange a return visit so those who missed this stunning evening can have a second chance to enjoy the Eltham Choral Society.

Robert Baker


Review from the The Kentish Times, April 9th 1998

Society May Have Hit the Ton

Last Saturday the Eltham Choral society's 90th Anniversary Concert at Holy Trinity Church was not quite the occasion I expected.

It was certainly the 90th anniversary of the Society's first performance of Haydn's the Creation which took place at the same church in Southend Crescent, on April 27, 1908. However, a subsequent review of the concert in the Times of the day made it clear the choir was already well established in the community. Indeed, an earlier report refers to the ECS performing at Eynsford in 1907. In the absence of any other historical records, therefore, this latest event could well have been a celebration of the choir's 100th anniversary which would have given the event greater importance. There is obviously no way of comparing the quality of the 1908 and 1998 ensembles but there is no doubt that the present choir is of an exceptional standard and, with almost 70 singers, it brought great passion and a supremely delicate lyricism to Haydn's work.


The musical director of the ECS is Miriam Coe who conducts without a baton but uses restrained yet commandingly delicate hand movements to coax some inspired reactions from both the choir and the orchestra. The rising phrase in the last section of the second part was an object lesson in choral discipline as well as purity of sound. The 35-strong orchestra was bolstered by a fine organist in Tony Baldwin who is also assistant musical director of the choir. He not only provided a further depth to the orchestral playing but never once allowed his potentially powerful instrument to conflict with the perfect balance that was maintained overall.

In Susan Hendrie (soprano), Alan Jolly (tenor) and Paul Keohane (bass baritone), the society had brought together singers with great expressive skills who blended perfectly in the duets and trios. I was fascinated by Alan Jolly's tenor voice that had a gentleness and expression which had an odd affinity to the pure alto - but clearly in effect rather than pitch.

Haydn's work is not only great choral music, it is also fascinating in the way it heralds a new area of music. Written when the composer was at his zenith at 61, there are times when the brilliance of Mozart and the romanticism of Brahms, Beethoven and others are reflected in an orchestral approach which then slips almost into a near chamber mode. Seventeenth and 18th century music all seem to come together and the interpretative skills brought to this fascinating range of contrasts by all concerned made the concert an event to remember.

Roy Atterbury


Other Choirs and Organisations

....... News of events and activities of other choirs and organisations of interest to members ....

Item - EXPIRES: Sunday September 9 2018

Brandenburg Sunday Series

Brandenburg Singers Conducted by Max Barley at The Grange Wellington Hotel 71 Vincent Square London, England, SW1P 2PA. Sunday September 9th, 2018, Time: 5.30pm


Including works by Bruckner, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Rheinberger and Stanford and arrangements of Harold Arlen’s Over the Rainbow and Billy Joel’s And so it goes.

Tickets £18 £5 (children)

call the box office on 07528 776625 or book online via ticketsource

In the first of our 2018 Autumn Sunday Series at the Grange Wellington Hotel, guest conductor Max Barley directs the handpicked Brandenburg Singers in this concert of a cappella choral favourites spanning the centuries. The programme will have a particular emphasis on Romantic and turn-of-the-century works by Bruckner, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Rheinberger and Stanford, with the lighter second half to include arrangements of Harold Arlen’s Over the Rainbow and Billy Joel’s And so it goes.

Join us for the perfect Sunday treat — a relaxing, early-evening concert in beautiful surroundings. And for full indulgence, book in early for the Grange Afternoon Tea — or even an overnight stay!

For further details consult....Brandenburg's website

Item - EXPIRES: Saturday 22nd September


Choir of the 21st Century presents a selection of German and English choral and vocal music conducted by Max Barley at St Giles in the Fields, 60 St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LG (Tottenham Ct Rd tube). Saturday 22nd September. Time: 7.30pm


For the Fallen - Guest
Wie liegt die Stadt - Mauersberger
A Shropshire Lad - Butterworth
Lord, let me Know Mine End; My Soul, there is a Country; There is an Old Belief - Parry
Sleep - Gurney
Friede auf Erden - Schönberg

Tickets £15 at the door

Parry’s Songs of Farewell, completed in 1916, meditate on the transience of life, amidst the backdrop of Parry’s own failing health and the Great War. Parry is believed to have suffered multiple small heart attacks on a weekly basis in his final years, adding poignancy to the line at the end of Lord, let me know mine end “O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength”. As well this exquisite extend eight-part writing, CC21 will sing Parry’s elegant setting of Henry Vaughan’s poem, My Soul, there is a Country, which so beautifully depicts heaven and ‘sweet peace’; and There is an Old Belief.

Rudolf Mauersberger, not a household name among English audiences, suffered the loss of eleven choristers as Kantor at the Kreuzkirche in Dresden in the Bombings. His setting of Lamentations text, Wie liegt die Stadt (How Desolate lies the City) is a highly-charged outpouring of grief, and a gem of the repertoire.

Continuing the theme of peace, the choir will finish the programme with Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth). Schoenberg wrote this in 1906 when he believed that "pure harmony among human beings was conceivable”. The breakdown in tonality in his later works seem, to some extent, to reflect the composer's despair at world conflicts, chiefly the Great War. Schoenberg’s early work, Friede auf Erden, a setting of the poet Conrad Ferdinand Mayer, displays outstanding late-Romantic harmony, with the influence of Wagner and Mahler clearly discernible.

Interspersed with the choral music will be solo songs: George Butterworth’s (killed in the Battle of the Somme in August 1916) well-loved setting of AE Houseman’s Shropshire Lad; and Ivor Gurney, who was so profoundly affected by the Great War.

If you would like to come to this concert, please let me know, and I can make sure there is a ticket for you to pick up and pay for on the door.


For further details consult....Choir of the 21st Century's website

Item - EXPIRES: Sunday September 29th 2018

BACH FEST - A Celebration Concert of popular works by J.S.Bach

The London Octave Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Musical Director: Miriam Coe at St Margaret's Church, Lee Terrace SE13, Saturday 29th September 2018. Time: 7.00pm


Soloist:Simon Standage

Tickets £10 (under 15, free)

Available from or at the door

The concert, entitled BACH FEST, came about as a result of a very dear friend reaching a very important birthday in her life and wanting to celebrate the occasion by singing the Bach Magnificat in D major. We have both invited singers we have performed with over the years to form a choir for a day, to rehearse not only the Magnificat but also the motet, Jesu Meine Freude (Jesu , My Joy) to perform to an audience in the evening. In addition, the well known, and local violinist, Simon Standage has agreed to not only play the Bach violin concerto in A minor, but to also lead the orchestra for the Magnificat too. His response, when asked what his fee would be, was to say that if we gave any profits from the concert to a local charity, he would wave his fee. This applies to the rest of the performers too.

The chosen charity is Age Exchange, in Blackheath, a local charity that works with the elderly, particularly those with dementia and their carers.

The concert starts at 7pm (many of the performers have long distances to travel home) and should be finished before 9pm. The tickets cost £10 (same price for all, but under 15s are free) and can be bought from myself, Andrew or at the door of the church on the day. We can also put tickets aside for you to be collected and paid for on the day.
Here's hoping that as many of you as possible will be able to join us.