Listen and learn


In the 34th of a series of articles, David Bird discusses the work of Redbridge Music Society and introduces local community choir Modality, who will perform a seasonal concert in Wanstead this month

Two enduring aims of Redbridge Music Society – currently celebrating its 75th anniversary season – are to encourage community participation and engagement in the musical arts and to promote and support local groups and musicians.

This month at Wanstead Library, local community choir Modality will present an evening of seasonal music and readings, directed by Jenny Ewington and accompanied by Ben Summers on piano. This will be followed in the second half of the evening by complimentary wine and seasonal food.

The Modality choir was founded by Jenny Ewington in 2016. It is a friendly, diverse, mixed-voice choir made up of 26 singers, ranging in age from mid-20s upwards. The choir has established a reputation for its imaginative performances, its quality, blended sound and great harmonies.

For several years running, Modality has been awarded first place in the choir section of the Stratford and East London Music Festival. Jenny directs two Modality choirs – an adult choir and a youth choir (ages 10 to 18 years) – who meet and rehearse weekly in Woodford. The choirs do much charitable work, in particular for Centrepoint, which supports and helps homeless young people.

Woodford-based Jenny Ewington is a qualified singing teacher (LTCL); during her 25 years of teaching, she has worked with singers of all ages, abilities and styles, and many of her students have gone on to careers in singing. Jenny also works in primary schools as a singing specialist, leads other choirs, writes vocal arrangements, leads workshops and creates performances. She strives to challenge her choirs musically (whilst having fun) and her mission is to bring joy, connection and vitality to people’s lives through the inspiration of musical performance. 

Piano accompanist Ben Summers studied at Balliol College, Oxford and the Guildhall School of Music, where he specialised in double bass. Today, he has a varied playing career working with London Orchestras and X Factor winners; he has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium, has given live radio broadcasts and has recorded at the Abbey Road Studios. In addition to piano and double bass, Ben plays bass guitar and organ; he also composes and conducts. Ben has been working with Jenny and Modality since 2019. 

Please come and start your run-up to the Christmas festivities in a friendly and convivial atmosphere!

Modality will perform at Wanstead Library on 5 December from 8pm (tickets on the door; visitors £12; members £8). Call 07380 606 767. Redbridge Music Society is supported by Vision RCL and affiliated to Making Music.