Hampstead Choral Society

Although according to local archives the Hampstead choral society gave its first classical season in 1879 Martindale Sidwell is generally credited with its revival in 1946 and continued as its conductor and musical director until 1981. The Society, which was frequently reinforced by singers from Martindale’s other choirs, professional and amateur alike, performed regularly at the Royal Festival Hall as well as Hampstead Parish Church.
Gill Halifax has contributed a programme from 1976 which can be downloaded as a pdf file from a link on this page. It contains much valuable documentary information including a brief history of the Scociety from 1946 - 1976 and a list of works performed. It also contains a list of personnel of the London Bach Orchestra from that concert.
We have transcribed an excellent complete performance of the Christmas Oratorio from 1972 andwe have alsocompleted the editing of a recording from 1973 of the second half of the Christmas Oratorio, both take from BBC broadcasts from the Royal Festival Hall. The soloists in both are Ian Partridge, Tenor (Evangelist), Felicity Palmer, Soprano, Alfreda Hodgson, Contralto, Alexander Young, Tenor, John Carol Case, Baritone.
A sample from the first concert is of John Carol Case with John Wilbraham as solo trumpet.
A second sample from the 1973 recording demonstrates just how good the chorus was at that time.

 

 
The choral society in rehearsal at the Royal Festival Hall with members of the London Bach Orchestra, date unknown
  A view of the Choral Society performing the St Matthew Passion at the Festival Hall in 1955. Ralph Downes is at the organ and the soloist to Martin's right is John Carol Case. Photograph from Jane Harrington.
Click on the cover to download the programme as a pdf file.

Far right - a letter from 1955 to members asking for their annual subscription and inviting certain members to re-audition. Those invited to re-audition are asked not to pay their subscription until the outcome of the audition is known. Click on the letter to read the text.
  Recordings
blank cover Hampstead Choral Society, London Bach Orchestra. Leader Jack Rothstein, Conductor Martindale Sidwell
Johann Sebastian Bach - Christmas Oratorio BWV248. Ian Partridge, Tenor (Evangelist), Felicity Palmer, Soprano, Alfreda Hodgson, Contralto, Alexander Young, Tenor, John Carol Case, Baritone

A private recording of good quality of a concert at the Royal Festival Hall broadcast on Radio 3 in 1972. Transcribed to a two CD format, MSLCD012.

blank cover Hampstead Choral Society, London Bach Orchestra. Leader Nona Lidell, Conductor Martindale Sidwell
Johann Sebastian Bach - Christmas Oratorio BWV248, part two only. Ian Partridge, Tenor (Evangelist), Felicity Palmer, Soprano, Alfreda Hodgson, Contralto, Alexander Young, Tenor, John Carol Case, Baritone

A private recording of good quality of a concert at the Royal Festival Hall broadcast on Radio 3 in 1973. Transcribed to CD format, MSLCD016.