Choir Chairmen

The London Welsh Male Voice Choir is probably no different to most voluntary organisations insofar as it relies on a few people to drive it forward, with the Chairman at the time, probably being the key person.  Below we list those who have been elected Choir chairman for the dates shown, together with other posts they held.

Although we have details on the LWMVC’s existence between the two world Wars, very little is known about its organisation, and there is no mention of any Choir chairmen.  However, the founding chairman of the Choir in 1902, was Mr. William (Cook) Davies.

Gwilym Evans (1961-65) Gwilym, by all accounts, could get anything done, or knew someone who could do it!  Born a London Welshman, he and his family had an involvement in many aspects of music in London Welsh circles for decades, and from this standpoint drove the re-formation of the LWMVC after two decades on dormancy.  Gwilym’s brother was elected secretary of the LWMVC and their sister became Dame Anne Evans the world renowned Wagnarian soprano.  His death at a young age, in a road accident, left the Choir without a beacon to follow it has often been said that the 1967 fracture would not have happened had he been alive as he would have ‘knocked some heads together’.

Dafydd Gwynfor Jones (1965-67) Dafydd took over the reins after the sudden death of his predecessor.  Although he went on to become chairman of the Gwalia MC in its initial years, he became a strong supporter of the LWMVC in later years.

John Webberley (1967-68) The choir owes a debt of gratitude to John (probably the only non-Welshman to hold the post), as he took on the role of Chairman at the Choir’s lowest ebb following the fracture, and with many of his close friends opting for ‘the other side’.

Elwyn Roberts (1968-72 & 1973-74) Elwyn took on the prime responsibility of making sure the LWMVC survived during this time, following the fracture of the Choir in 1967 and the formation of the Gwalia Male Choir at that time.  The initial idea for a Festival of 1,000 Welsh Male Voice which took place in 1969, and has stood the test of time, may not have been totally his own idea, but making sure it came to fruition was done by his drive and perseverance.  Elwyn organised the Festivals of 1969, 70, 72 and 74, placing the venture on a sound footing.

David H Jones (1972-73) Previously David had served as Choir Secretary for two year and was subsequently vice chairman.  He served on the Festival subcommittee on four occasions, including being the secretary for the 1972 and 1976 Festivals.

Tudor Morgan (1974-77) Tudor had previously been the Baritone voice rep and he was also a member of the Dragonaires, the Choir’s ‘barbershop’ quartet.

Philip Olsen (1977-83) Philip had previously served as bass voice rep and choir Marshall, a position he continued to hold in his early years as chairman.  He has been Choir Marshall for most of the Festivals at the Royal Albert Hall since the 1970’s.  He has served on several subcommittees and ad hoc committees, particularly those concerning finance.  He continues to serve on the Financial Oversight Committee, which meets ad hoc to consider major financial commitments that the choir might undertake.

Geraint Hopkins (1983-85, 1986-88 & 1997-2001) Geraint’s second term was with reluctance, being due to the incumbent (Geraint Lewis) being seconded to work abroad.  He had previously been the Organiser of the Male Voices Festival in 1978, 1980 and 1982.

Geraint Lewis (1985-86 & 2004-06) Geraint’s first was cut short after 14 months due to his work secondment to the Middle East.  Geraint has been the Choir’s principal tenor soloist since the 1970s, and a member of the Dragonaires, the Choir’s ‘barbershop’ quartet.  He was the Organiser of the fifth Male Voices Festival in 1976 and has served on several subcommittees including being the top tenor voice rep on several occasions.  Geraint has also compèred Choir concerts on numerous occasions.

Colin T Jones (1988-97) Colin’s reign as chairman has been the longest (and continuous) to date – nine years, and had previously served eight years as vice chairman.  He had previously served as the top tenor voice rep and subsequently has served on the Festival and Music subcommittees for several years, including chairmanship of the latter.  Colin has compèred Choir concerts for many years.

Berwyn Evans (2001-04) Berwyn joined the LWMVC after working in the Far East and had been the founder conductor of the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir.  He has compèred Choir concerts on numerous occasions.

Keith Warren (2006-13) Keith previously served three years as vice chairman, during which time he initiated the regular weekly rehearsal Bulletin to choristers.  He had served on numerous subcommittees including secretary of the Music subcommittee.  Subsequently he has also served as secretary of the Festival subcommittee.  Keith had been a member of the Choir for 35 years when he chose to stand as Chairman.

Philip Griffith (2013-14) Philip previously served as the baritone voice rep, and with his wife Lynne had and continues to be responsible for the Choir’s sales of CDs.

Eirian Lewis (2014 - ) Eirian previously served as vice chairman, and had chaired the Choir’s Tour subcommittee for about ten years, and had been a member of the Choir for over 30 years when he was first elected Chairman.