Canoldir Male Choir

Singing group in Birmingham, B46NT

Welcome to Canoldir Male Choir

Canoldir Male Voice Choir is based in Birmingham.  It was founded in 1966 and many of the singers are Welsh and the choir has a strong allegiance with Wales and with the tradition of Welsh Male Voice Choirs.

2011 was a very special year for Canoldir the highlight of which was winning three prizes at the Cornwall International Male Choral Festival in Truro.  We won best UK Choir, Best Large UK choir and came first in the large choir competition.  Our winning performance can be viewed at

We regularly perform concerts at the Birmingham Symphony Hall and Birmingham Town Hall and in the past the choir has performed with Bryn Terfel, Aled Jones, Operababes, Philip Madoc and Elin Manahan Thomas and many others.

Canoldir is always keen to welcome new members, we rehearse every Tuesday and Friday at 7.30pm to 9.30pm, anyone interested in welcome to come along or you can contact our Secretary John Peters on 01827 830480 email:

Our members are from all backgrounds and abilities.

The Main Bits!

Our club participates in the following activities:

  • Singing
  • Music Appreciation
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Contact Details
Canoldir Male Choir
Birmingham, B46NT
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The Reviews!

Book the Choir!

published Thu 10th Nov, 2011 by Philip Jenkins

To book a Canoldir performance a charity fund raising event, concert or celebration, contact the Concert Secretary to discuss availability and other details.

Sue Grundy, Concert Secretary
Telephone: 01922 457795

Photo of choir banner and a section of the choir

Work with us to ensure a successful event

We are used to organising our own concerts every year, and have experience of helping and advising other concert organisers. Work in partership with us and take advantage of our expertise.

Here are some questions to think about and discuss with us.

  • What sort of event do you have in mind?
  • Do you have a venue lined up?
  • How will you promote the event and sell the tickets?
  • Do you have guest artistes in mind, or would you like Canoldir to help you choose?
  • Have you considered the costs of staging the event?


Musical Team

published Thu 10th Nov, 2011 by Philip Jenkins

Musical Director

Photo of James Jones

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

Photo of Clive Griffiths

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.




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



published Thu 10th Nov, 2011 by Philip Jenkins

In 1966, a St. David’s Day celebration at Birmingham Welsh Rugby Club inspired a group of Welsh exiles together with some English comrades to form a choir. They decided that the Choir would be called ‘Canoldir’, because the name translates from Welsh as ‘Middle Land’. One of the group, D. Clive Griffiths, was asked to be Musical Director, and he has been the Choir’s inspiration ever since.

We started to rehearse in the Birmingham Welsh Rugby Clubhouse: a wooden structure with, here and there, daylight streaming through slits in the wall planking, which tended to make the piano damp, so that the "action " had to be removed and dried out over a radiator before it could be played.

About two dozen men and a lady pianist assembled. The conductor, pianist and a brass player were musicians; a few of the choristers had previous musical experience, others were raw material. But the bar was open, throats could be 'oiled' at half time break; hot dogs cooked to order, all producing a warm welcoming reception for newcomers, and creating a bond of brotherhood.

We had gathered together because we loved to sing and that was the thing; the rest followed naturally, and with the aid and hard work of good men and women off stage, it still continues.

More Recent Times

Our present rehearsal rooms,the Welsh Chapel,Loveday Street Birmingham

Canoldir still cherishes the Welshness of its origins, although the original membership has now been augmented by choristers from all parts of the UK and beyond, and the magical blend of these voices has given the choir its own unique sound.

We continue to produce new recordings to join our impressive collection of CDs.  Our recordings are on sale at concert venues and via this website.

The Choir's attendance at the Royal Albert Hall for the London Welsh Millennium Festival

We took part in the interval entertainment of the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest, and in 2000 we were proud participants in the London Welsh Millenium Festival at the Royal Albert Hall.

Canoldir Choir paying tribute to the fallen

An enjoyable Spring Bank Holiday in 2001 was spent in Normandy and tribute was paid to the fallen at Cimetiere Americain, Omaha Beach, the United States war cemetery.

Also in 2001 we sang the National Anthems at the Ryder Cup.

James Jones receiving the Jenner Trophy

In 2006 Canoldir won the prestigious Jenner Trophy awarded for the best individual item at the Jersey International Music Festival.

One of our more recent trips was a successful tour of Poland

Some of our guests over the years

Philip Madoc

Philip Madoc

Larry Adler

Larry Adler



Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel


Willard White

Willard White

Ben Grosvenor

Ben Grosvenor



Canoldir's Christmas Celebration

published Wed 9th Nov, 2011 by Philip Jenkins