Music Director: Robin Osterley
Honorary President and chorus master: Vivienne Bellos LRAM, ARCM
Accompanist: Kelvin Thomson
Composer in residence: Julian Dawes
Vivienne Bellos MBE, LRAM, ARCM
Viv Bellos trained at Dartington College of Arts and the Royal Academy of Music. A finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Award of 1974, she made her debut Wigmore Hall recital in 1975 and has appeared as a soloist in all the major concert halls in London. As Director of Music at the North Western Reform Synagogue from 1980-2015, Viv founded the Alyth Choral Society, the Alyth Youth Singers, Alyth Kids Choir and the young adults’ choir Pandemonium, as well as the the youth drama group, Alyth Academy of Performing Arts. In 1986 Viv was appointed music consultant to the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain, a post she held until 1998. She introduced music seminars and choral festivals and for two years ran a Jewish Music Fair, now held annually at Alyth, as well as running workshops throughout the movement. Viv is the founder of the Alyth Centre for Jewish Music. Viv teaches singing and from 1999-2003 was music director of the Zemel Choir, the first woman to hold this post. She has worked extensively with Julian Dawes performing many of his song cycles, notably Songs of Ashes at the Czech Embassy in 2005 for Holocaust Memorial Day.
Robin’s early musical activities encompassed playing percussion and piano and an enormous amount of singing.
As a chorister he has many years of experience, having sung with the Philharmonia Chorus and the London Symphony Chorus under such conductors as Giulini, Abbado, Previn, Svetlanov, Davis and Hickox.
Robin spent 16 years as Chief Executive of Making Music, formerly known as the National Federation of Music Societies, the UK’s leading association for amateur musical organisations. Additionally he has held a number of posts in the world of music, and he is now Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, an influential organisation representing the interests of charity shops throughout the UK.
As a conductor, Robin was Music Director of a ladies’ chamber choir in North London, has been Music Director of Stevenage Choral Society since April 2001 and is now MD of Alyth Choral Society. His repertoire is wide ranging, with interest in composers from Bach to Britten and beyond. His musical experience also includes coaching singers, playing percussion in amateur orchestras and drums in a trad jazz band, and teaching piano. He is married, with two sons and two grown-up daughters, and lives in a village just outside Ware, in Hertfordshire.
Kelvin is a professional musician with extensive experience as a music director, vocal coach, session musician
(on piano/keyboards) and composer and arranger in music theatre, film, TV and radio. Originally from South Africa, he has lived and worked in London since 1981.
His opera The Silence of the Bees: A Science Opera was premièred at the opening of the Royal Holloway Science Festival in March 2013. Boojum for bassoon and orchestra has been nominated for a British Composer Award 2013 in the Making Music category. His incidental music for Theatre Counteract’s production of An Arrangement of Shoes was performed in Bangalore, India, in 2011.
Kelvins recent West End associate conductor credits include Zorro (2008-9) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (200912). He is organist and director of music at the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Friern Barnet.
Julian was born in 1942. He began his musical training in Birmingham and continued at the Royal College of Music in London. He has worked extensively as an accompanist and teacher, holding posts at the Drama Centre, London, Birmingham University, the Arts Educational Schools in London and The Oxford School of Drama. He has directed the music for numerous theatre productions and was for five years musical director of the Cherub Company, London.
His cantata The Death of Moses for narrator, chorus and chamber ensemble, and his oratorio Ruth, for soloists, chorus and chamber ensemble were both first performed in London by the Alyth Choral Society to high acclaim.
Julian has recently completed a song cycle, setting poems by William Blake, for the mezzo soprano/piano duo Martha Jones and Joseph Ramadan, a sonatina for recorder and piano written for the young Israeli recorder player, Inbar Solomon and a suite for harpsichord and string quartet. He has completed a commission for Alyth Choral Society, Shirat Hayam (The Song of the Sea), for chorus, cello and chamber ensemble, for première in December 2013.
Chair: Sandra Wiener
Vice-Chair : Barbara Segal
Secretary: Linda Perez
Membership: Gill Epstein
All are contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org