Lewisham Choral Society is a large, lively community-based choir, with over two hundred singers. Founded in 1950 at Lewisham’s parish church as St Mary’s Singers, the choir has grown in size and ambition over the past 70 years and is now one of the largest performing groups in South London. The Society is a member of Making Music – the National Federation of Music Societies.
We are a performing choir, staging four concerts a year and taking part in other choral singing events and collaborations when opportunities arise. Under the professional direction of Dan Ludford-Thomas and his deputy Nico de Villiers, the choir’s repertoire ranges from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first – Spem in alium by Tallis and Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 through to contemporary works by Arvo Pärt, Cecilia McDowall, Will Todd and Eric Whitacre. The full extent of our repertoire can be found here and our members have added their favourites.
The mainstream choral tradition is very much there with performances of the Requiems of Mozart, Verdi, Brahms and Fauré, and Bach’s St John Passion. In March 2012, Lewisham Choral Society joined with the Hackney Singers to perform Handel’s Messiah at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. We were back at Royal Festival Hall – again with Hackney Singers – in March 2015 for the Mozart Requiem, in March 2017 for Bach’s B minor Mass and in March 2019 for Mozart’s Great C minor Mass. Our other concert venues including Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Fairfield Halls, and – closer to home, at New Cross – Goldsmiths Great Hall.
The reputation of the choir for delivering excellent performances has led to invitations from professional arts organisations: notably at the Young Vic where our singers made up the off-stage chorus in productions of Jonathan Dove’s Tobias and the Angel and Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. The four-hundred strong choir at the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony included a hundred LCS singers -an unforgettable occasion. In May 2015 we took part in a charity performance of Will Todd’s Mass in Blue at St John’s Smith Square in support of the Rainbow Trust.
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[Images: Trevor Jarvis; Daniel Sambraus]