The Shul Choir was founded during the latter part of the 19th Century and was formalised in 1912.
Various articles gleaned from the annals of the history of the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation show that with the opening of the establishment of the first Synagogue in South Africa - today part of the SA Jewish museum, in 1863, a choir performed at the ceremony and thereafter on the various Chaggim such as Sukkot and Chanukah.
When the Great Synagogue was built in 1905, the choir performed as well and finally in 1912, a formal choir was established under the leadership of Harry Stodel numbering about 15 choristers. Over the years it grew and by the 1930's the numbers reached about 40 and indeed was a very fine choir with fine voices such as Issy Patz, a winner of a national talent competition, Barney Breskal, Harold Levetan, the Marin brothers, the Bernstein family, father and sons, David Ruditzky. Mendel Tobi who sang in the choir until his passing in 2013 was also part of the tenor section in the 1930's.
During the 40's and into the 50's, the boys soprano section numbered close on 30 members and amongst these numbers were Roy Gordon, Leslie Dembo, Solly Berger, Dr Isidore Sacks and Harris Klaff.
In its heyday the choir was trained by Cantor Boris Rome and later Syd Kaye and Cantor Joel Lichterman. The repetoire that has enthralled members of the Congregation over so many years are the compositions of the classical composers of the 19th century written as four part pieces and the Gardens Shul remains as one of the few Shul choirs that has retained this beautiful liturgical music.
Every Friday night and Shabbat morning the choir stands on the Bimah and sings with the Chazan, producing an awesome sound which fills this magnificent Shul.