The John S. Davies Singers ensemble was formed in 1978 and made its debut at the Fishguard International Music Festival in that same year, with a programme which set the pattern for the future repertoire – classical compositions and new works, beginning with John McCabe’s Reflections of a Summer Night. A later major commission dedicated to John S. Davies was Alun Hoddinott’s Mass shown on S4C from Llandaff Cathedral.
There have been many appearances at the Fishguard International Music Festival,the latest in 2014, also throughout Wales at other festivals in Gregynog, Llandeilo, Tenby, St. Davids and Milford Haven. Further afield the Singers have performed in London, Ludlow, Bath and Rome.
2014 was the Singers’ 30th anniversary and it began with the traditional afternoon New Year’s Day concert,then later other performances at Easter and at three summer music festivals in Wales, two accompanied by the Westward Chamber Orchestra in music by Haydn, Vivaldi and Handel, concluding with a performance of the latter’s Messiah.
The size of the group is flexible according to the music performed and has several members following solo careers, while others are in colleges and cathedrals or hold professional posts in the music field. Rehearsals take place in Cardiff once a month and are demanding and intensive.
Christopher Williams born in Aberdare, studied music at Cardiff University where he now teaches piano and coaches chamber music. He is a staff accompanist at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, also accompanies the BBC Chorus of Wales and plays orchestral piano and celeste with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with which he toured the east coast of America. As accompanist and soloist, he is in constant demand, performing across Europe including the Philharmonie in Luxembourg, the Conservatoire de Musique in Avignon and the Wigmore Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London. In St. Davids Hall Cardiff, he has performed rarely heard works such as Carl Reinecke’s Concerto No.1 and Anton Rubinstein’s Concerto. His association with choirs regularly takes him to Birmingham to accompany the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and as soloist/accompanist with John S. Davies and his Singers and Orchestra throughout Wales.
The Westward Chamber Orchestra formed by John S. Davies in 1984 is always led by distinguished musicians from major orchestras with other players from the same source.