Formed as the Ichibancho Singers in the late 1980s by Sir Stephen Gomersall (British Ambassador, 1999-2004), the choir was taken on by Sir John Boyd (British Ambassador, 1992-1996) and became known as the British Embassy Choir.
Since then the choir has spread its wings far beyond the serene surroundings of the British mission in Ichibancho, becoming, under the baton of Principal Conductor Steven Morgan, one of the most successful international choirs in Tokyo. It is a "pro-am" choir: although it is an amateur ensemble, many of its members have a formal music background and teach music or perform professionally.
The choir has put on a great variety of concerts – everything from Bach to Broadway – and has raised money for many different charities along the way. The choir has performed at many leading venues, including Ishibashi Memorial Hall, Kyu-Sogakudo Concert Hall, Otsuma Hall, Rikkyo University All Saints' Chapel, Meiji Gakuin Chapel, Meguro Catholic Church, and a host of foreign embassies.
Thanks to sponsorship and corporate bookings, the choir performs its main concerts with free admission. It uses these concerts to raise money for local and global charities.
Recent beneficiaries include:
- Asian Rural Institute
- Mission for Our Homeless Neighbor
- United Nations World Food Programme
- Caritas Japan
- Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association
- NPO Family House
- UN Women Japan National Committee
- The Tyler Foundation
- Oxfam Japan
- Japan Association for UNHCR
- YMCA Foreign Community Supporting Committee (FCSC), Challenged Children Project (CCP)
- Kasumisou Foundation
- School Music Revival
- Sweet Treat 311
- Tokyo English Lifeline
The TEC has performed joint concerts with many choirs from around the world, including: