About the choir

The St. John of Jerusalem Festival Chorus is a community choir which has been performing major choral works in Hackney since 1997.Performances have included works by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Britten and Vivaldi; for a full list click on this link: Past Concerts. The choir has also taken part in opera concerts at the Hackney Empire, concerts in Glasgow and Paris, and a music festival in Paris. We rehearse and perform at St. John of Jerusalem Church and, although we are not a church choir, members have also sung in church events, including the annual carol service. For additional information see our “About” page.

Members also organize and take part in social and fund-raising events, most recently a quiz night and a Burns night supper. See our “Events” page for fuller information.

We are developing a social media presence. We have Facebook and Instagram accounts, @festivalchorushackney, and hope to add Twitter.

We are twinned with Chœurs Résonances Suresnes (Suresnes being twinned with Hackney) and have performed with them in London and Paris, most recently in Verdi’s Requiem. See our Past Concerts page.

Join us!

Your choir needs you!

We are always keen to attract new members. Our normal rehearsals are from 5.30-7 PM on Sundays at St. John of Jerusalem church, Lauriston Road, E9 7DL. The next term will begin on September 12th, 2021. Before that we will hold a workshop on July 11th, followed by a outdoor bring and share meal: places are limited to 30. Check out our Join page and contact the Choir Secretary to find out more.


Covid-19 update

Although from March 2020 to May 2021 we were unable to rehearse in person, we continued to have rehearsals on Zoom. We were then allowed to rehearse outdoors (round the church porch). It is not possible to sing together on Zoom due to the delays in sound, but with the help of our répétiteurs, Louisa Lam and Will Gardner, we broke new ground by recording ourselves separately at home. Louisa and Will then transformed the recordings into those which you can view on our Past concerts page. We also recorded, together with members of our French twinned choir, the first movement of the Vivaldi Gloria RV 589: to view it, click on the video on the left. We then performed the whole work as a small concert (limited to 30 singers and 80 audience) in our usual venue on June 27th and are looking forward to resuming normal rehearsals in the autumn.

We were also lucky enough to be able to sing carols in the open air, in socially distanced groups, in December just before London went into Tier 4. It was wonderful to be able to sing together again and we managed to raise funds for Hackney Winter Night Shelter.

Our musical director, John Andrews, produced a short history of opera which you can still find here: John Andrews’ videos.

We look forward to seeing you again when the distancing restrictions are fully lifted (scheduled for July 19th)

Future concerts

Our next concert is planned to be on December 12th and will consist of
Felix Mendelssohn Hymn of Praise
Fanny Henschel-Mendelssohn Cholera Cantata
Fuller details will appear here in due course.