East London Chorus is an amateur, mixed-voice choir based in Stratford led by an inspirational young music team: Jess Norton (Music Director) and George Ireland (accompanist). Our thirty-five members come from all walks of life, brought together by a shared passion for choral music.
The choir has been performing music at the highest level in East London (and beyond) for over fifty years. We have strong ties to the local community in Stratford, having originally been founded as an evening class at the University of East London.
We rehearse every Tuesday evening at St John’s Church on Broadway, and perform four concerts every year in east and central London.
The choir sings a varied and challenging repertoire, primarily drawn from Western classical choral music, both secular and sacred, from Brahms and Britten to Schubert and Schnittke. However, we also like to experiment and include lighter or more unusual works in each season’s programming.
In addition to our concert program, our choir has a strong portfolio of well-rehearsed chamber pieces and Christmas carols that we would love to sing at your event or function.Find out more
Jessica Norton is a Choral Practitioner, Vocal Coach and Vocal Health First Aider. She is Musical Director of the London Concord Singers, East London Chorus and Polymnia Chamber Choir, Music Leader of the Blackheath Halls Youth Choir and a Section Coach for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. Other choirs she has worked with include Henley Youth Choir, London Orpheus Choir, Pegasus Choir, London Symphony Chorus, and Milton Keynes Chorale.
With a Diploma in Singing Performance from ABRSM, Jessica has sung solo with choirs such as the London Symphony Chorus, Ealing Common Choir and Harwich and Dovercourt Choral Society and is the featured soprano in Wanstead's annual opera gala “Glamour on the Green”. She has also sung in multiple BBC Proms concerts, including in the semi-chorus of Elgar’s “Dream of Gerontius” under Sir Simon Rattle, at PHAB’s Christmas Fundraising Events and in ITV’s “The Halcyon”. Jessica also appeared in a viral YouTube video with content creator Brendan Kavanagh. The video has 8.3 million views to date.
As a vocal coach, Jessica teaches privately and for institutions such as Music in Offices and the Milton Keynes Music Academy. She has led workshops with schools around Henley-on-Thames and Cambridge, choirs and at corporate events, such as Haygarth Marketing Agency and the Nous Group. She also runs Come and Sing days and Vocal training Days for multiple choirs throughout the year.
George Ireland recently graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music where he studied collaborative piano under Simon Lepper and Roger Vignoles.
From a non-musical background, he began to play the piano from scratch, self-taught at the age of 14. He is now 26 and enjoys a thriving career, in demand as both a recital partner with some of the finest singers of his generation, and in Opera and Choral music.
He has recently enjoyed work with the youth companies of the Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne, as well as British Youth Opera and the University of Birmingham Summer Festival Opera (including Albert Herring under Jessica Norton).
As an undergraduate he won the 2016 University of Birmingham concerto competition and performed Grieg's concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra. He was also much in demand as a recital accompanist, and in his final year enjoyed a masterclass with Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton.
At the RCM he was selected for a project exploring the Lieder of Robert Kahn, which saw performances at the German Embassy in London and the Akademie Der Künste in Berlin. He returned to Germany in September 2019, where his Bielefeld performance of Winterreise with Daniela Bechley was reviewed with enthusiasm in Neue Westfälische.
A Leeds Lieder Young Artist, George has participated in further masterclasses with Roderick Williams, Dame Sarah Connolly, Dame Felicity Palmer, Dame Ann Murray, Helmut Deutsch and Amanda Roocroft.
In both 2020 and 2021 he accompanied the winning recitals at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, with Jessica Cale and Hugh Cutting respectively. With Jessica Cale he was an Emerging Artist in the 2021 Oxford Lieder Festival and with Hugh Cutting he has recently enjoyed an appearance on Radio 3's In Tune.