Alyth Choral Society celebrates 30 years
Written by Movement for Reform Judaism Wednesday, 02 May 2012Alyth Choral Society occupies a unique position in the Jewish musical scene, being the only Jewish choir that gives its members the opportunity to perform the great oratorios, many of which are based in biblical tradition, and other standard works. The choir also enjoys performing Jewish music, art song, works by prominent British composers and works from stage and screen.
On 17th April ACS performed extracts from Halévy’s La Juive. This opera enjoyed enormous popularity when it was composed in the 19th century and it was quite a challenge for the choir. However, the performance was very well received and deemed a huge success. The two further concerts planned for 2012 are a Jubilee Celebration (8th July) and a Chanukah Extravaganza (9th December). The 2013 season will commence on 17th March with Mendelssohn’s Elijah when the choir will sing with full orchestral backing.
As well as giving performances each year on its home ground at Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue), the Society has also sung at venues in Germany, the Netherlands and the north of England. It has also performed to great acclaim at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields and St Paul’s Cathedral.
ACS was founded by Viv Bellos in 1982, for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah to mark Alyth’s 50th anniversary. Since then, it has had many works composed for it, including by its honorary composer, Julian Dawes, and ACS premièred Dawes’ Death of Moses and his oratorio Ruth.
Viv stepped down from her post as music director of ACS in 2010 but continues her close association with the choir as its president. Michael Etherton is now music director of the choir.
Alyth Choral Society is a mixed-ability choir and it offers a warm welcome to new members. The choir meets at Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue), Alyth Gardens, London, NW11 7EN, to learn and rehearse for two hours each Tuesday evening in term time.
A warm welcome awaits anyone who would like to sing with ACS.
More information about the choir and its future performances can be found on the Alyth Choral Society website, or contact Gill Epstein at
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