Tuesday, 02 April 2019 17:58

Spring Concert at St. Michael's

Last year, the Celebration of Spring took place in sleet and cold. This year, the weather gods repented and provided a beautiful warm day full of sunshine and joy for the joint spring concert of BJC and BYV at the newly renovated St Michael's and All Saints in Penge. As usual, the choirs had a varied program of songs over time and place. BJC sang "In Summer - Olaf's song" from the film Frozen, from 2013. They also performed a song by Swedish national poet Bellman (1740-1795), "Come, Dearest Brothers", translated and accompanied by choir parent Martin Trojer. Two members of BYV performed an American Shaker song from the 19th century, "Simple Gifts" by Aaron Copland, as a solo song with flute accompaniment, and BYV sang several songs from the Beckenham local Carey Blyton's Sweeney Todd, written in 1977. 

What a glorious way to conclude the spring term and prepare for the Easter holidays! Both Choirs return to sing after Easter on April 24th.

Ali has uploaded several videos on our BJC facebook account, pop over and have a look. There are also some of her photos at the bottom of this post. If you have photos or videos you'd like to share, please contact Kicki.

Here's a message from John:
Saturday’s concert was a classic example of our local, “everyone was involved” sort of event.  Beckenham Junior Choir was highly committed and learnt how important it is to watch the conductor, while Beckenham Youth Voices went from one style of song to another without batting an eyelid: country and western to church anthem to Irish ballads.  We had a good variety of solos and also a large quantity of pianists, as well as people on violin, ’cello, oboe and flute.  There was almost 100% attendance from both Choirs.  It was good, as ever, to have a group of adults joining in two items, which improved the four part harmony!

 It was great to have a large audience and thanks to everyone for their support.  Thank you too to the many individuals who did their bit to make behind the scenes, to let the event flow along so easily.

St. Michael’s Church in Beckenham is a lovely building, light and spacious and a pleasure for performing music and we were made very welcome by the clergy.   

Photos courtesy of Ali Holder.
Monday, 21 January 2019 14:45

Evensong at Rochester Cathedral

On 12 January, Beckenham Youth Voices and singing parents travelled to Rochester for an afternoon of music at Rochester Cathedral. BYV participated in the evensong as part of a choir led by John Webber.

John's message to BYV: Several members of Youth Voices had a great afternoon at Rochester Cathedral and gave their all.  Complicated music which everyone handled to the best of their ability. We were all very proud of Sabrina, who sang difficult solo music with great determination and set a high standard.

Photos below courtesy of Ali Holder.

Thursday, 29 November 2018 11:59

One of Our Lions Is Missing!

The second instalment of the lion opera was performed at the Penge Congregational Church, on 17 November. It was a lovely family performance, followed by drinks and cake. All the children performed beautifully, and it was a lovely evening. We are very fortunate that the composer, James Olsen, travelled down from Cambridgeshire to play the piano for the performance, with John Webber directing the choirs.

A big thank you to all the children, and all the volunteering parents who helped out with costumes, lighting, directing, baking and marketing. Without your help, these performances would not be possible. 

Scroll down for the videos that James Olsen has published about the rehearsals for the Lion Opera, part 2.

Also, if anyone took pictures on the evening, we'd love to see them! Please email Kicki.

 A few words from John:

Our second opera with James Olsen was a HUGE success!  Well done to all the singers, especially those who were also acting as well.  Jenny and Karen did a great job in getting everyone to such a high standard and a lot of people used weekend afternoons attending special rehearsals for the acting.  Lots of other people helped “behind the scenes” and their hard work made a big difference  -  thank you all!

James’s music grew on us and we loved his very personal sense of fun.  I learned some Very Long Words from James’s script and I am sure that other people did, too!  Thanks to him for his time and boundless energy.



Wednesday, 14 November 2018 19:29

Rehearsal fever!

On a clear and beautiful Wednesday evening in Penge, rehearsals are well under way for the sequel to last year’s hit production, One of Our Brothers is a Lion! by James Olsen. The sequel is called One of our Lions Is Missing! 

This time, instead of bandits, the best friends Donkey and Lion encounter wild lions. There’s a kidnapping, and, of course, the best thing in the world (according to Lion): ham sandwiches.  No opera is complete without ham sandwiches.

Don’t miss the one and only performance of this splendid production for all the family, this Saturday at 7 pm at the Penge Congregational Church. 

Sunday, 22 July 2018 12:53

Happy Summer Holidays

It's been a great year with Beckenham Junior Choir and Youth Voices, with many amazing concerts.
Here are a few words from John and Niamh at the end of term. Scroll down for photos from the summer concert, kindly shared by Sue O'Neill.
Happy summer and we look forward to seeing you all again in September!

Dear All,
Well done to both our Choirs in the concert at St. John’s Church, East Dulwich!  We had our usual mix of songs, folk songs from various places, popular songs from different periods, more classical pieces and two excerpts from a specially written opera.  There was lots of enthusiasm from the singers and we had a good number of people who came especially to hear us and who were local to East Dulwich, not just Choir families.
It was lovely to see our newest members taking part, some for the first concert ever!  I heard several very positive comments from people who were excited and impressed.
We also raised £238 in the cake sale! Well done everyone!
I hope you have a lovely summer,

Dear Choir Members and Families,

As the end of term draws near, I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks for all the efforts you’ve put in to make our choirs such a success this year.
If you’re a singer, you’ve worked hard to learn your words or music, have performed at concerts, and made new choir members feel welcome.
If you’re a parent, carer or grandparent, you’ve supported us by ensuring your child is at rehearsals and concerts, knows their words, has their uniform. And many of you have offered your time on the Committee and /or organised rehearsals, put up posters, baked cakes ... even sung with our choirs!
So, a big ‘thank you’ from me!

This year Beckenham Junior Choir and Youth Voices have performed beautifully in Beckenham, Penge, Denmark Hill, East Dulwich, as well as at the Balgowan School fair, making us all very proud. We have welcomed many new members to both choirs, all of whom have worked hard to learn their words ready for the June concert. You all did really well.

A special thanks to Mark and Chris at Lancaster for their support behind the scenes with printing, publicity and guitar playing. Another special thank you to Stuart Kale for his continued support preparing our children for solos, and a big, big thank you to John Webber, our wonderful musical director. We have a fabulous committee and wider group of parent helpers. Thank you Jenny, Joanna, Kicki, Claire, Lorraine, Karen, Ali, Michaela. Your support is invaluable!
That’s all from me for now. I wish you and your family a restful summer and look forward to seeing you in September.

Here are some lovely photos from the June concert, kindly shared by Sue O'Neill.
If you have any photos or videos you would like to share, please email Kicki.
Saturday, 17 March 2018 15:48

Spring Concert Rehearsals

Who would have thought that we would manage to arrange both our spring concerts on snowy days this year!

Rehearsals are well underway for this evening’s concerts at Holy Trinity on Lennard Road. 

The light falling through the windows is spectacular and the choirs sound lovely. Come and listen this evening at 7 pm!

Monday, 04 December 2017 12:08

BYV's Autumn Concert

Beckenham Youth Voices kicked off the BJC & BYV 25th anniversary in style with an autumn concert at Beckenham Baptist Church in October. It was a fun and varied repertoire, with some great solos. It was lovely to see so many young talents accompany the choir on various instruments. The parents even queued up to sing along on two anthems - we're looking forward to hear more even from you at the carol singing at Sainsbury's on December 16th!

Here are some lovely photos from our resident photographer Nick Charles:


Saturday, 02 December 2017 15:56

Christmas Carols at Balgowan Primary School

BJC and BYV did a guest appearance at the Christmas Fair at Balgowan Primary School today. It was a lovely afternoon and a wonderfully busy fair. 

Looking forward to singing Christmas Carols at Sainsbury’s next!

A few words from Niamh:

Dear BJC and YV,

Thank you all so much for coming to Balgowan today. You sang beautifully and were a wonderful advert for our choirs.

Special thanks also to James and Jenny for their conducting and playing, to Nehara for her lovely accompanying, and Sabrina for her wonderful solo.

Keep up the good work, and see you all on Wednesday!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:38

Lion Opera Photos from Broadstairs

Happy Summer everyone!

Before the holidays start for real, we've got some exciting footage from the performance of One of Our Brothers is a Lion! in Broadstairs. As always, if you have any photos you'd like to share, please get in touch!

First out, James Olsen has published his latest vlog entry, a fabulous synopsis of the Lion! opera, showing footage from both the concerts. Scroll down to the bottom to see it.

We've also got some great new photos by our photographer in residence, Nick Charles:

And a couple we posted last week, by Kicki Frisch:


Monday, 03 July 2017 20:43

Summer Concert & Lion Opera

We had a wonderful concert in Broadstairs on July 1st!  A terrific event again and everyone was fully involved.  It was good to see our newest and youngest singers giving their “all”!  There was some great acting and singing in James Olsen’s opera, “One of our brothers is a lion”.  Thanks also to the parents who helped so much behind the scenes.

Once more the weather was typical of Broadstairs.  It was especially good to have time on the beach afterwards, instead of rushing off.

We also had the chance to thank Elizabeth Beroud for her sterling leadership as Chair of the two Choirs over the last eight years, overseeing several important occasions, including marking 21 years of the Junior Choir in 2014.


A few words from web admin:

Don't forget that the annual picnic replaces rehearsals this week.

It's been a privilege to edit the web site this year. A big thank you and well done to everyone for a wonderful year 2016/2017! We're so proud of everyone who has made this year a great memory. The choirs live off the parent volunteers and member's fees, and you've all been wonderfully generous with your time and money this year, thank you so much. (In case anyone should be as forgetful as myself and hasn't paid the term fees yet - I hope it's only me - please contact Niamh.)

Scroll down for a few photos from the concert in Broadstairs. Nick's professional photos will appear on the web site at the end of the week, so stay tuned! If you have photos you'd like to share, as always please contact Kicki.

Happy Summer!

Photos from the performance in Broadstairs of One of Our Brothers is a Lion!

Copyright Kicki Frisch



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Get in touch

We would love to hear from families who would like their children to join in the choirs and sing with a lively and non-competitive group of young people.
Contact us and arrange to come along there are no auditions, anyone aged 6 - 17 can join our choirs.

Tel: 0208 650 9164

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