Standing Ovation At Memorable Concert To Mark Retirement Of Alistair Jones

Tributes paid to Conductor and Musical Director of the Chiswick Choir for 31 years

Special Concert To Mark Retirement Of Alastair Jones"


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A memorable concert took place last Saturday at St. Peter’s Church, Southfield Road. After 31 years and an estimated 100 concerts, Alistair Jones, Conductor and Music Director of the Chiswick Choir gave his final concert, a stirring and emotional performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ fittingly accompanied as ever by the Chiswick Orchestra.

The soloists for the evening had first sung with the choir some years ago when they were students at the Royal Northern College of Music, Laura Sheerin, Soprano. Hanna-Lisa Kirchin, Mezzo Soprano, Bo Wang, Tenor and Louis Hurst, Baritone.

Alistair has always gone out his way to encourage young musicians and it was wholly appropriate that they should came back for his final concert. Their now more experienced and mature voices sang the recitatives and arias with precision and most engaging expression.

This great work brought out the best in the choir, confidently singing the more challenging sections with an expressive range of dynamics. After the interval emotions swelled to gave us a stirring rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus and the final Amen. This left the audience and choir drained and cast a spell that was only broken by the applause and the standing ovation given to Alistair and the soloists.

The evening finished with a reception in Alistair’s honour. Michael Kron, a former Choir Chair paid tribute to Alistair and particularly his passion and knowledge of music. He noted that
“During the last 30 years, the members of Chiswick Choir have been exposed to, and had the benefit of, an extraordinary phenomenon. We have had a partnership with a musical force of a special kind, and have had dealings with, a person who is utterly possessed by an overwhelming desire to give shape and expression to a passion and a gift that is within him, that makes for a very special kind of experience for us.”

A number of presentations were made to Alistair by members of the Choir who had joined the Choir before Alistair arrived. His status with the Choir was acknowledged by conferring on him the title Conductor Emeritus.

The current Choir Chair, acknowledged the generous support of over two dozen Chiswick businesses that sponsor the Choir and the welcome given by the recently refurbished St. Peter’s Church and Hall. He was looking forward to the next concert of the Durufle Requiem and other 20 Century French music under the directorship of the Choir’s new Conductor Hilary Campbell.

The Choir always welcomes new singers and enquiries about membership can be made through the Choir’s website.

Bookmark and Share