Our Choir

The New West End can boast the only full-time professional synagogue choir in the London area. They participate in all Shabbat and Yom Tov services held in the Shul, as well as singing at Weddings and other special services. The choir's participation makes services more beautiful in praise of Hashem.

The professional a cappella choir, 'Mosaic Voices', specialises in performing sacred music from the Jewish tradition and in developing this unique musical heritage for the future. Mosaic Voices also performs a wider variety of contemporary and classical secular works.

Listen to sample songs of the New West End Synagogue Choir here:


OUR CHOIRMASTER

Michael Etherton was a Music Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, where he also read Jurisprudence. After graduating he was awarded a licentiate performance diploma in cello from Trinity College of Music and won scholarships to pursue advanced conducting studies at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music under the then Chief Conductor of the New Israeli Opera, Mendi Rodan.

He has appeared as a guest conductor with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and with other choirs and orchestra including the Choir of London. Pursuing his passion for Jewish music, he was Musical Director of the London Jewish Male Choir from 2004-2012 touring with them across the USA and Europe, and directing their 80th anniversary celebrations at St. John's Smith Square. He was also Musical Director of the Alyth Choral Society from 2010-2013 with performances including a revival of Halevy grand opera 'La Juive' and the world premiere of Julian Dawes 'Shirat Hayam'.

OUR WEDDING CANTOR

Jonathan Ben Garcia is a recent graduate of Imperial College London where he was reading Mathematics. Whilst studying for his degree, he also completed a Performance Diploma in voice from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

As a boy treble Jonathan sang solo for the Neimah Singers including, the invitation of the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, at the launch of his Prayer Book. In 2001, he sang in the presence of Prince Charles at a ceremony to mark the 300th anniversary Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London. Jonathan was also the voice on the British Gas Christmas advertising campaign in 2005.

In 2013, Jonathan competed in the North London Music Festival, winning the Pearl Butcher Cup for British Art Song and in his second year at university, he was awarded the Imperial College Music Bursary.

Jonathan has sung bass solo in Mozart's 'Requiem', Beethoven's 'Choral Fantasia' and Handel's 'Messiah' for the Centenary Choir. During the summer of 2013, he sang the role of Antonio in a production of 'The Marriage of Figaro' by Mozart at the Bedford Park Music Festival.

In 2014, Jonathan was appointed the cantor at the New West End Synagogue (St Petersburgh Place), where he leads services regularly on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

THE SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR CEREMONY

Music plays many parts to accompany a wedding; be it traditional songs or melodies from the psalms to punctuate particular parts of the ceremony or more atmospheric pieces to celebrate the event, using the natural acoustics of the synagogue to fill the space with song.

Please get in touch to discuss how the choir could be the perfect addition to your day and to discover what programme of music would suit you.

A HISTORY OF MUSIC AT THE NEW WEST END

The New West End Synagogue has had a choir from its inception in 1879. A distinguished choirmaster was D.M. Davis, whose photograph and Code of Conduct hang in the Golda Cohen Room. He conducted for no less than 50 years, during which time he co-compiled Kol Rinah: The Voice of Prayer and Praise, but is far better known as the 'Blue Book', which contains the core-collection of Nusach Anglia choral pieces. It is still used in Anglo-Jewish communities over one hundred years later.