People

Alison Smart Fisher

Music Director and Conductor Alison Smart Fisher

Alison has always sung! After a Cambridge degree in Classics, Alison worked in publishing and sang in the choir of  the Tower of London. Then came a lucky break with a season in the West End as singer/percussionist in the Peter Hall company’s production of The Merchant of Venice. She then had a wonderful time touring the world with The Sixteen and other early Music Groups before going on to take postgraduate diplomas in singing and music education at RNCM and TCM.

She was appointed to the BBC singers as a soprano in 1995 and enjoyed 22 years with this high-profile ensemble, giving concerts across the UK and around the world. Alongside this she established a solo career in oratorio, recital and opera.   She has created several solo CDS including New French Song (all new commissions). She has taught singing privately and in schools all through this time and also directed choirs in  religious services and concerts. These includes collaborations with Alyth Synagogue and New North London Synagogue. She was Musical Director of De Merc Chamber Choir 2016- 2021.

Alison is delighted to be appointed as Musical Director of Alyth Choral Society. ‘It is exciting to start a new chapter in the musical life of this long-standing Choral Society. I look forward to making music with them and planning future concerts together.’

The choir is actively recruiting, so please contact Gill Epstein (membership) for more details.

Accompanist Tim Hooper

Tim Hooper

TIM is a conductor, organist and pianist. He studied music at Oxford University, where he was Organ Scholar at St. Edmund Hall. Whilst at college, he was the conductor of several college choral societies and the Oxford Sinfonietta; performances included Elgar The Dream of Gerontius in the Sheldonian Theatre.
Tim is currently the Music Director of Bournemouth Bach Choir and Hutton & Shenfield Choral Society (Brentwood, Essex). Alongside these he is the conductor of the Cardiff University Symphony Chorus and of the Chamber Orchestra at City University of London.
His large choral repertoire ranges from all the major works of J.S. Bach through to Walton Belshazzar’s Feast and Britten War Requiem.
Alongside conducting Tim enjoys accompanying and regularly plays the organ at St Mary’s Church in Finchley.

Honorary President : Vivienne Bellos LRAM, ARCM

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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.

 

kelvin Accompanist: Kelvin Thomson

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.

Kelvin’s recent West End associate conductor credits include Zorro (2008-9) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (2009–12). He is organist and director of music at the Parish Church of  St John the Evangelist, Friern Barnet.

 Composer in residence: Julian Dawes
Julian DawesJulian 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.

Committee

Chair: Sandra Wiener
Vice-Chair : Barbara Segal
Secretary: Linda Perez
Membership: Gill Epstein
All are contactable on alythchoralsociety@gmail.com