About the Choir

Established in 1964, South West Essex Choir is a large, friendly and sociable choir of mixed ability . We aim for high standards and pride ourselves on the quality of our music-making.

We sing a wide range of music from sacred such as masses and requiems to lighter works such as opera choruses, Alexander L’Estrange’s african-jazz inspired piece, Zimbe!, Will Todd’s Mass in Blue and most recently, an arrangement by Roland Perrin of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert.

It was inspiring and truly riveting… never heard them on better form… concert was of international standard.¬†

John Lill –¬†Verdi Requiem (2015)

We follow the academic year, rehearsing works to be performed at a concert at the end of each term – in December, March/April and June/July – mainly at churches in the local area and at Walthamstow Assembly Hall.

The choir has a calendar of social events, notably the Christmas and summer socials, at which everyone comes together to have fun and celebrate our achievements.

In September 2014, SWEC made its first IMG_0694appearance¬†abroad in Sospel, the medieval small town in the Alpes Maritimes in France. Over 300 people came to hear our performance in the town’s stunning baroque cathedral and gave us a standing ovation along with a glowing review in the regional paper. SWEC has since twice returned to Sospel in September 2016 and September 2019 receiving equally warm reviews.


SWEC is registered charity managed by a committee of about 10 members, including our chair, Anissa Msallem, who undertake all aspects of running the choir from membership, finance, publicity and the staging of concerts, to working closely with the musical director in developing a programme of music for each season. We also run a varied calendar of social events for our members.

President: John Lill, CBE

Vice Presidents: John Rippon, David Temple, Stefan Reid, Ben Palmer, James Sherlock

Interested in singing with us? Visit the join us page to find out how to become a member!