About us

/About us
About us 2017-07-10T10:36:16+00:00

The Hampstead Chorus is a friendly, un-auditioned local community choir based in North West London We offer communal music-making for those who would like to take up choral singing and for those have sung in the past and would like to resume.  The Chorus is directed by Simon Walton, a highly accomplished and inspirational singer and musician, assisted by Heather Tomala, a talented pianist and répétiteur.

The Chorus, which was established in 2008 as the UCS Centenary Choir, is closely associated with University College School where it is based, although it today comprises singers from both within the UCS community and the wider Northwest London area. You can find out more about our history below.

We welcome interest from singers and audience members alike.  The Chorus holds two large scale concerts in the Autumn and Spring, usually with professional soloists and a full professional orchestra, and a less formal one at the end of the summer term, accompanied by our annual Summer party.  Our performances embrace a wide range of choral repertoire that includes established major works and other well-known music.

New members are always welcome. We do not audition new singers and not all new members can read music, though they often learn to do so during rehearsals.  Rehearsals consist of sectional sessions in which each voice part learns its notes, followed by full choir sessions in which we learn to sing together and to improve the sound we make.  If you can sing in tune and are enthusiastic about singing, we would love to meet you.  For more details of rehearsals and forthcoming concert programmes, please refer to the Choir Members page.

In addition to its regular concerts, the Chorus holds an annual Come and Sing events to raise money for our charity partner, Marie Curie Hampstead Hospice which provides care and support for those with terminal illnesses and their families.  We also hold an annual off-site weekend event: recent years have seen the Chorus visit colleges in Oxford and Cambridge and, in 2017, King’s College Chapel in central London.

Our history

Our history

Our history

In the autumn of 2007, John Bradbury, then Director of Music at UCS and now a Patron of the Choir, decided to mark the 100th anniversary of University College School’s move from Gower Street in Central London to Hampstead with a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Parents, staff and old Gowers were invited to participate in the choir and rehearsals began in January 2008.  A very successful performance took place in April 2008.

The concert was intended to be a one-off event but everyone enjoyed the rehearsal and performance experience so much, the choir continued and became known as the UCS Centenary Choir.

After ten successful years, during which the choir has held many concerts and other events, it was very clear that we had become a permanent part of the local musical landscape.  So we decided, as we approached our tenth anniversary season to adopt a new name to reflect the wider choir membership, encompassing singers from both within the UCS community and the wider North-west London area.  The name Hampstead Chorus was chosen.  At the same time, the choir applied to become a charity.