Note-orious performing
Photograph by Eric Richardson Photography   

How it began 

"For some time I've been dreaming of setting up a funky choir in Dulwich," began a message posted by Vicky Goode on the East Dulwich Forum on 22 July, 2008. "Would anyone be interested in joining?"
The answer was a resounding yes.

Just three months later, a group of about 50 local people were attending their first rehearsal in the St Thomas More Hall on Lordship Lane. Some were involved with music every day, others had not sung since school, but all were keen to embrace Vicky's vision of a fun, friendly community choir whose repertoire walked a fine line between cool and kitsch.

Out there at the front was the choir's new musical director, Matt, who led us through our first ever number – Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars – and helped foster the warm and welcoming atmosphere that has become one of the choir's trademarks.

Within a few weeks, we had found a name, Note-Orious, and a new rehearsal space upstairs at The Mag pub (formerly The Magnolia), and a group of people from all walks of life had found a new group of friends, and a place to sing away the stresses of the day with a range of pop/rock songs and musical theatre numbers.

Today, the choir continues to grow and improve, and now performs regularly at local festivals and functions. The choir is not run for profit, and we regularly raise money for charity at performances. There is also a thriving social scene. As well as a weekly post-practice drink and regular choir social events, members have formed a book group and put together amateur dramatics performances. Our home for rehearsing and socialising these days is the East Dulwich Tavern.

Note-Orious Choir Performing
Photograph by Eric Richardson Photography                              

How It Works

Conductor and Tenors in Action at Concert
Note-Orious Choir Singing
Photographs by Eric Richardson Photography

Note-Orious rehearsals are relaxed and fun, but at the same time focused on improving individual singing technique and group performance. The Musical Director leads the choir through a warm-up, before working on several numbers in our repertoire, new or old.


An important principle of the choir is that members don't have to be able to read music and each song in the Note-Orious repertoire has been suggested by a member of the choir, and we have covered artists such as Stevie Wonder, Wheatus, The Buggles, Bastille, The Cure, David Bowie, ELO and The Kinks. We have also performed songs from shows like Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Sweet Charity and Company.


There is no audition, and anyone can join, as long as they can sing in tune. Most songs are performed in four-part harmony – lower and higher male voices, and lower and higher female voices – so every new member should be able to find a place to fit in. All female places are currently filled, but there is a waiting list you can join. More male voices are very welcome.

In normal times we rehearse for two hours a week over three terms a year and finish practice with a drink or two in the bar downstairs.

At the moment all rehearsals last an hour on Zoom, with regular oppotunities to socialise when we can online, or with social distancing.

We hope to be back in person as soon as restrictions allow!