The Meljon Singers

The Meljon SingersThe Meljon Singers

The Meljon Singers, explains Danielle John, are a 30-strong chamber choir with a wide ranging repertoire who perform largely in east London, south-east Essex, central London... and Italy.

In 1990, a few talented amateur musicians got together to sing, just for the fun of it. Asked to put on a concert in aid of a church restoration project, the group brought in a conductor and started rehearsals. A new vocal ensemble was born, taking its name from two of its founding members, Melanie Spark and John Enever. 2010 marked the choir's 20th anniversary season and saw numerous celebrations. They are very much looking forward to celebrating the choir's musical achievements over the next 20 years and beyond.

The Meljon Singers sing predominantly a cappella, Renaissance to contemporary, secular and sacred music from the European choral repertoire, including a collection of works by their musical director and conductor Janette Ruocco.

In 2011 the choir hosted a number of concerts in Barkingside, Loughton, Woodford Green and, for their last concert of the 2011 Season, in South Woodford. During the Summer, The Meljon Singers embarked on a short foreign tour to Levanto and the Cinque Terre in Italy and also brought a taste of Italy to the Woodford Festival in their concert 'Viva Italia' held within the beautiful settings of Bancroft's School.

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear'It Came Upon the Midnight Clear' takes place on Saturday 3 December 2011 at St Mary's, South Woodford, and will include a varied programme of gorgeous Advent and Christmas music, from the 16th century composer Thomas Tallis to the modern minimalist Arvo Pärt. The centrepiece is Cecilia McDowall's Christmas cantata Christus Natus Est. The programme also includes plenty of new seasonal songs and arrangements of Christmas classics like Jingle Bells and a handful of carols for the audience to join in with.The concert promises to be a feast of music for choral enthusiasts and choral music virgins alike. The Meljon Singers will be joined by organist Simon Harvey and the Harlow Chorus Academy adult singers 'in training', who are also directed by Janette Ruocco.They will be performing their own set at the concert, as well as boosting the ranks for the audience carols.

In 2012 the choir will be hosting a further four concerts and it would be great to see Wanstead Village Directory readers there. Why not put these dates in your diary in order to avoid missing these musical treats:

  • Saturday 24 March 2012 – Northern Lights
  • Saturday 23 June 2012 – Tonight Eternity
  • Saturday 13 October 2012 – A Serenade to Music (Part of Woodford Festival)
  • Saturday 1 December 2012 - Music for Choir, Organ, Harp & Percussion

Janette Ruocco – Musical Director
Janette Ruocco is the founder-director of The Meljon Singers, and a busy freelance choral conductor. As Vocal and Choral Development Manager for Essex Music Services, she designs and delivers music education projects throughout the county, in partnership with the national Sing Up campaign and most recently with the Royal Opera House.

Janette has an MA in Choral Education. Her work as a choral conductor includes the musical directorships of three highly regarded chamber choirs: The Meljon Singers, Illumination, and the recently formed Coggeshall Camerata. She also directs the 12-voice vocal group, Bocca Aperta, and Harlow Chorus Academy, the adult training choir. Janette is a practitioner council member of the Association of British Choral Directors for whom she has devised and led choral conductor training.

Janette's involvement with the national Sing Up initiative in Essex has been significant. It has included conductor and singing leader training with teachers from 30 schools in the Chelmsford diocese as part of the Choir Schools' Chelmsford Cathedral Chorister Outreach Project, two singing leader projects with the Association of British Choral Directors, the organisation of a Vocal Health Conference for teachers and a partnership project with the Royal Opera House Education Department and schools in Canvey Island. She was recently appointed to the role of Sing Up Network Provider for Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

Janette is also in demand as a freelance choral workshop leader with a diverse portfolio. Recent engagements have included Harlow Chorus 1-2-3 Sing! and devising and leading singing workshops for blind and partially sighted adults at the Handel House Museum in London, for the RNIB.

For more information on upcoming concerts please visit www.meljon.org.uk. There are currently vacancies with The Meljon Singers for enthusiastic and committed singers with good sight-reading ability and musical experience. If you think you would enjoy working with this dynamic and innovative group, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.


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