We are Streatham's oldest choir. Since our foundation in 1921, we have entertained local people with high quality choral and orchestral music, first as the West Streatham Choral Society, then as the Streatham Philharmonic Society, and latterly as the Streatham Choral Society. In its first incarnation the Society sang with its own orchestra. In the 1960s we became an ILEA-supported evening class but when responsibility for education was passed to each London Borough, our members decided to re-launch the choir as a self-governing organisation relying on subscriptions and income from concerts. We receive no grants or sponsorship and are completely self-financing. 

We pride ourselves on being a friendly choir and some of our members have been happy to sing with us for 20 years or even longer. Many no longer live in Streatham but nearly all of them have either lived in the borough some time in their lives, married here or formed other lasting connections with the area that makes singing with us special to them.

Numbers vary from year to year but the choir is usually around 70 strong. This allows us to tackle a wide repertoire. We use professional soloists and often also a professional orchestra for our orchestral concerts.

Our aim is to continue to provide high quality music for the enjoyment of those people from all over South London and beyond, who like to sing or enjoy equally the pleasure of listening.

Back to Bach was my first Streatham Choral concert. I think it will not be my last! I took my seat in St Leonard’s church to find out more. After a few words from the new Chair, Heloise Anderson, Streatham Choral, ably assisted by the Burley Ensemble, were off. First up: Jesu bleibet meine Freude. This is an old favourite for most of us. Streatham Choral kept it fresh and their enthusiasm for the piece showed through in the fine dynamics they brought out. And it really tuned me into Bach for the rest of the programme. Next: Wachet Auf. I didn’t know this piece so well and enjoyed Streatham Choral’s interpretation of it. I was really impressed by the tenors singing Zion hört die Wächter singen. I love it when one of the sections of a choir is given the chance to shine and the Streatham Choral tenors certainly grabbed the opportunity!

The choir started the second half with Elgar’s They Shall Not Grow Old to commemorate the end of the Battle of the Somme. For me this added a different musical dimension as well as poignancy to the evening. And finally: the Magnificat in D. Streatham Choral clearly enjoyed singing this too. The fugue at the end was fantastic: great to hear the different voices interweaving confidently and enthusiastically. We also heard a lot of the soloists in the Magnificat: lovely voices and well matched. The only downside was that it meant we heard less of the choir than I would have liked. Next concert, please!