Thursday, 18 May 2017 22:18

Lion Opera! Dress Rehearsal

Only one more day to go to the premiere of One of Our Brothers is a Lion! Yesterday was dress rehearsal day, and nerves are beginning to show - sure it'll all be fine for tomorrow's performance though!

The very busy James Olsen, not only composer, but also pianist, vlogger and photographer, has already published a short but sweet video clip and some photos on his web site,

We've also got some pics by Donkey's mum, Kicki Frisch.

Enjoy - and don't forget to rehearse your lines for tomorrow!

Photos, copyright James Olsen:


Photos, copyright Kicki Frisch:


Monday, 15 May 2017 10:38

Lion Opera Trailer

Less than a week to go to the premiere and the choir is bustling with activity!

Here's a trailer for the opera, featuring music and rehearsal pictures. 


On Saturday 11 March, Beckenham Junior Choir descended on the church of St. Michael and All Angels in Penge to start of the concert season of 2017. It was a lovely, much appreciated tribute to Spring by the children.

The composer James Olsen talked a little about our upcoming opera, One of our Brothers is a Lion, and showed off the beautiful lion and donkey masks for the opera created by our talented parent, Michaela. 

Michaela has asked for scrap materials to create the lion mane with and to make it a personal mask with contributions from everyone in the choir - so if you have any remnants of materials, ribbons, etc. in orange, yellows or browns that can be used for a lion's mane, please bring them along to choir practice!

Jenny raised much-appreciated additional funds for the opera through her cupcake sales, so a big thank you to everyone who contributed by baking or eating cake!

If you have pictures from the concert that can go on the web site, please contact me.

Our next concert is on April 1st, when BYV return to St. George's Church on Beckenham High Street for a morning of song and music.

If you have the possibility, we would much appreciate if you could print out a few posters and hang e.g. in your local shop, cafe or school. Please click on the image below for a printable version of the poster.

byv april 2017 poster small

Click on the image for a link to the printable version.

Monday, 06 March 2017 17:28

One of Our Brothers is a Lion

We have some exciting news! 

BJC and BYV are about to sing in an opera entitled One of our Brothers is a Lion! that is being written especially for them.

Composer and former BJC pianist, James Olsen is writing an children’s opera for BJC/BYV to be premiered at our concert on Saturday 20th May. The story is based on the medieval legend(from the Legenda Aurae by Voragine) of Saint Jerome who removes a thorn from a lion’s paw; the lion becomes his companion and makes a home inthe monastery, only then to get into trouble when the brothers think he has eaten the monastery’s donkey…

And... we need your help to make this amazing opportunity for our children happen!

Fund raising

We need to raise a total of £5,500 to cover the opera commission and staging expenses. Although timescales are short, we believe that this is such an amazing opportunity that between us all we can do it! Thanks to the generosity of our friends and supporters, we have already exceeded our initial goal of raising  £2,000 by the end of February!

Please contact us if you would like to contribute, or if you have any fundraising ideas.

For more information, see the brochure containing all the information about the project.

Save the dates
  •  Saturday, May 20: first performance of the opera for BJC and BYV (please note that this is a new date for BYV).
  • Saturday, July 1: second performance in Broadstairs.


On Saturday 2nd July, the church of St. Michael and All Angels in Sydenham hosted Beckenham Junior Choir;the junior choir of St. John's East Dulwich; Beckenham Youth Voices and some choir parents - in a varied programme of singing and instrumentals. (The adults were quite well-behaved!)

This from John Webber:

DR-3"The concert in Lower Sydenham was a very exciting one, with SO MUCH to include, as we have an enormous number of talented people.  There was, as ever, a wide variety of songs.  As Elizabeth Beroud said at the end, 'we went all around the world: Africa, Ireland, the Caribbean, America, Germany and different parts of Britain…..and we covered music of many different centuries.'

This is the end of a term in which the Junior Choir has gained eight new members.  We look forward to a much needed holiday period and the chance to start back in September with the songs still ringing in our ears!

Best wishes for the Summer holidays ahead and new members are welcome to join us in September"

John Webber

 DR-397There are some photographs here by David Roxby - who kindly photographed the choirs and musicians and by Mary-Anne Fiorini

Our final BJC/YV meeting of the academic year will be this Wednesday, July 6th, when we meet for a picnic at Croydon Road Recreation ground (near the bandstand) from 6pm. Please bring food and a picnic blanket. If the weather looks bad I will send out an email late afternoon with possible alternative arrangements.

If you have not already handed in your named folder, please bring it on Wednesday and hand to John.

Also, if anyone has photos from Saturday's concert that they would be happy to share on our website (password protected) please let me know.

Choir resumes on Wednesday September 14th , 6.00pm for BJC and 7.20pm for BYV.
There will be details of autumn/winter concert dates shortly before the new term resumes.

BJC parents, if you have not already added your names to our Doodle rota for September, please do so ASAP. Let me know if you need the link again. I will be sending out the final dates next week.

Many thanks, and have a glorious summer.

BJC/YV Secretary

Oh, and one final request from John:

The St. John’s Junior Choir will sing a few pieces at their Church on Sunday next, July 10th. at 11.30a.m. Four will be absent, including the three most senior members…..BUT I can’t alter the date of the concert!  It would be terrific if a few of Beckenham Junior Choir would be willing to join them!   Please let me know: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 8650 9164.  I have attached song words: if you can practise the first three, from “Singing in the Rain”, it would be even better!  You just need to know v.2 of “Make ’em laugh”, the chorus of “Singing in the rain” and the second part of “You are my lucky star”.  (They will be on YouTube.)   It’s at St. John’s Church, Goose Green, East Dulwich, SE22 9AT




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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

Child Protection Policy

We in Beckenham Junior Choir are committed to a protection policy. Staff and volunteers in this organisation accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm.

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Matchfunding for the choirs

BJC/BYV have an HMRC assimilated charitable status.
If you or a close relative, work for a company that offers matchfunding,
the choirs could benefit financially at no cost to yourself.
Please check this list of organisations to see the companies listed.