The London Forest Choir was established in 1950 in Walthamstow, North East London, and it has been based in the area ever since. With a membership of around 80, we are a diverse group with a common love of choral music.
We offer new singers a warm welcome and the opportunity to take part in choral concerts in London four times a year, plus various other events and weekend trips away both abroad and in the UK. There is a thriving social side to choir life including drinks after Monday night rehearsals, choir social evenings and other events.
The Choir’s repertoire ranges widely from staple works such as Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Handel’s Messiah to more unusual and rarely heard works by composers such as Jonathan Dove and the Choir’s music director Jonathan Rathbone. It recorded Richard Maunder’s new edition of Mozart’s Requiem under its former music director Murray Stewart, and in 2009-10 the Choir released a CD of its repertoire, Where’er You Walk, to celebrate its 60th anniversary season.
Jonathan Rathbone took over in September 2002 as only the Choir’s fourth music director in its history. The highlight of the Choir’s 2018-19 season was a performance of Britten’s War Requiem, performed jointly with South West Essex Choir in Walthamstow Assembly Hall to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War. The season also featured Mozart’s Requiem and a concert of songs of love and loss, including Jonathan Rathbone’s new choral arrangement of Schumann’s Dichterliebe. In November 2018 the Choir visited Strasbourg to join a French choir in singing Jonathan Rathbone’s Christmas Truce on Armistice Day.
“I enjoyed the performances, and the sheer variety was terrific. It must have been difficult to rehearse so many pieces …. the tone was lovely and the momentum and pulse of the individual pieces was convincing.”
The Art of Song, 20 November 2021