Our People

As we start the Gwalia's 50th Anniversary year, it is a pleasure to extend a warm welcome to our new President, Cerys Matthews MBE. Huw Edwards is stepping down after more than 10 years as our President, and our gratitude goes to him for all his support and encouragement over that time.

 

Photo by kind permission of Rhys Frampton

 

President:  Cerys Matthews MBE

Cerys Matthews is a musician, author, broadcaster and owner of The Good Life Experience festival in Flintshire. She programmes and hosts music shows for the BBC World Service, and her BBC 6 weekly show won Gold at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in 2014 and the Audio Production Awards in 2016. Cerys is a roving reporter for BBC television's One Show; she writes and presents documentaries for tv and BBC Radio 4 and Radio 2. In addition she is a columnist and music reviewer for British Airways.

Cerys was born in Cardiff and is fluent in Welsh. She was the founder member of multi-million selling band Catatonia, and duets with Sir Tom Jones on her album of winter classics Baby It's Cold Outside. She has composed music for the National Theatre and set Dylan Thomas' A Child’s Christmas to music in her 2014 release Poems and Tiger Eggs on her record label Marvels of the Universe. Cerys' sing-a-long book 'Hook, Line and Singer' (Penguin 2013) was a Sunday Times best-seller, and her books for children are 'Tales from the Deep'  and 'Gelert: A Man’s Best Friend'  published by Gomer.

In 2014 Cerys was appointed an MBE for her services to music, won a prestigious St David Award from the Welsh Government, and was awarded an honorary degree in Music from Swansea University. Cerys is Vice President for Shelter and for the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, and is patron of the Dylan Thomas Society and Ballet Cymru.

Cerys lives in West London with her husband and three of their five children and, as a huge fan of choral music, is delighted to follow in Huw Edwards’ footsteps to become President of The Gwalia Male Choir.

Musical Director:  James Hearn MMus ARCM LRAM FRCO

Born in Morriston, Swansea, James studied at the University of London’s Royal Holloway College and the Royal College of Music as a joint first-study pianist and organist. He was awarded the RCM's Harold Darke and Walford Davies memorial prizes for outstanding performance and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. James has worked extensively as an accompanist with choirs and soloists and as an organ soloist in cathedrals and civic halls in the UK and abroad. He is Organist and Director of Music at St Mary Brookfield, and is the Enrichment Co-ordinator at St Matthew’s CE Primary School in Westminster. James was the Gwalia's Musical Director from1996 to 2001, a role he took up again in 2013

 

Accompanist:  Wyn Hyland

Wyn hails from Cardigan, and was educated at Chetham's Music School, Wadham College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. Credits include recitals in Asia, Bolivia, Uganda, Australia and New Zealand, concertos at The Royal Festival Hall, St. David’s Hall and BBC Maida Vale and Musical Director on the European tours of Cabaret and Guys and Dolls. He has worked with Welsh National Opera, performed on Woman’s Hour, was Assistant Musical Director on The Music Man at Chichester, appeared on Last Choir Standing with the winning choir Only Men Aloud, and has worked in the West End with Chicago. Wyn became the Gwalia's Accompanist in2012.


Chairman:  Steve Davies. 

Steve has been a member of the choir since 1974 and Chairman since 2013. Steve is also Concert Secretary and can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Choir Secretary:  Geoff Rogers

Treasurer:  Tony Jenkins

 

Côr Meibion Gwalia:  The Gwalia Male Choir

The Choir was formed in 1967 as a breakaway group from the larger London Welsh choir. While many members come from the Welsh community in and around London, it is open to anyone who shares a passion for singing and enjoying themselves. The repertoire ranges from traditional Welsh hymns and folk-tunes, well known opera choruses and spirituals, to lighter numbers including pop songs and hits from Broadway musicals. The Gwalia is in demand for public concerts, cabarets, weddings and other private functions, frequently performing in Cathedrals, concert halls, churches, hotels, clubs, offices and village halls throughout the UK. The Gwalia makes recordings on radio, TV appearances and commercials, and also tours regularly.

In its illustrious 50 year history the Gwalia has been a prize-winner at the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales and the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, has performed in London's Royal Festival and Royal Albert Halls, St James’s Palace, and on the pitch at Wales' rugby stadium in Cardiff. A number of choir members took part in the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympic Games. The Gwalia was honoured to be invited by Her Majesty's Government to sing at the Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day.The Choir has made concert tours to Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Northern Italy, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Switzerland and, most recently, Northern France on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The Gwalia rehearses on Wednesday evenings in the London Welsh Centre, 157 Gray’s Inn RoadWC1X 8UE, where a warm welcome is extended to visitors and anyone interested in joining the choir.

The Choir became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2016.

Registered Charity No 1169319

 

 

 The choir recently sang on the pitch at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff ahead of the Wales v France Rugby International

 

 

Contact Steve Davies at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our new CD "O Gymru" is now available

£10 + £1 p&p  from  gwaliachoir@gmail.com