Musical Director James Llewelyn Jones B Mus (Hons) M. Mus.
James was born in New Zealand and raised in Montgomeryshire. He was, for many years bass section leader of the National Youth Choirs of Wales and Great Britain and a founder member of the National Chamber Choir. His musical education continued at Birmingham Conservatoire where he gained his B Mus (Hons) and M Mus.
He is associated with many choirs and conducts:
National Children’s Choir of Great Britain
Dulce Corum (National Girls Chamber Choir GB)
European Union Children’s Chorus (Hungary)
He has also had the honour of conducting the Canzonetta Children’s Choirs of Manchester – formally the internationally acclaimed Manchester Boys’ Choir.
He is a vocal tutor with:
Youth Music Great Britain Four Counties Youth Choir; Wales National Girls’ & National Boys’ Choirs Mid-Wales Opera; Chorus Manager
In 2006, James succeeded D. Clive Griffiths M.B.E as Director of Canoldir. He immediately led the choir to success at the Jersey International Choral Festival; winning gold in the Male Voice Choir Competition, qualifying them for the Choir of Choir’s competition. They triumphed again winning the coveted “Jenner’s Trophy,” (the Jury’s prize for best musical interpretation of the festival) which was awarded by Sir David Willcocks.
James has toured extensively to America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy; Poland and France leading to invitations to lead workshops in Sydney, Canberra and New Zealand from the Australian and New Zealand Choral Federations. He has twice been invited to work with the Toronto Children’s Chorus – firmly regarded as the finest children’s choir in the World, and in 2008 was a guest choral clinician at a massed symposium of 400 children for the Glen Elyn Children’s Chorus, Chicago.
In 2009 James accepted an invitation to direct the highly accomplished Senior Choirs from Edgbaston High School for Girls’. A post he enjoys immensely. He was also honoured to become a guest conductor with City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus- Seniors, regarded as one of the finest Youth Choirs in the U.K.
James is in great demand as a choral clinician and workshop leader. He has been invited to lead two choral courses with youth choirs in Chicago and Vancouver, at the invitation of the Association of American Choral Directors.
Founding Musical Director Clive Griffiths MBE LTCL
D. Clive Griffiths is the Founding Musical Director of the choir. He was born in Aberfan and studied at the College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, prior to taking up a teaching post in Birmingham.
Under his direction the Choir achieved numerous successes, and will undoubtedly continue to maintain this high standard as a result of his musical expertise.
Accompanists Jill Godsall LRAM
Jill was born in Birmingham and educated at King Edward's High School and then at Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied piano with Lilian Niblette. Having completed a graduate course she was awarded a scholarship to Siena where she studied the art of accompanying. One of her fellow student at Siena was Gwyneth Jones.
Since then, Jill has been a piano and music teacher at Solihull School. Some of her former pupils have gone on to distinguished musical careers, for example the internationally celebrated organist and composer David Briggs who now lives in America.
She has made innumerable appearances on radio, television and the stage, accompanying artists such as Sir John Tomlinson, Benjamin Luxon, Philip Langridge and Robert Tear.
For many years, Jill was the key member of her local operatic society both as accompanist and secretary. Her association with the choir goes back nearly 40 years when she became the chosen accompanist for many visiting guest artists. Finaly in 2002 Jill became the choir accompanist.
Heather Howell GBSM ABSM
Heather was born in Sussex and brought up in Devon. She began playing the piano at the age of 11 and was the accompanist for the local operatic society by the age of 16.
Heather graduated at Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied the piano with Beryl Chempkin and piano accompaniment with Malcolm Wilson. She was the winner of many awards including the Burke trophy for piano accompaniment and the Vincent Lieder prize with Elizabeth Hetherington.
Heather now teaches music and piano at Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham.
She is in much demand as an accompanist for both singers and instrumentalists performing in many locations in Great Britain and abroad. She joined Canoldir in 2009 as deputy accompanist.