The Llewellyn Choir was founded in 1980 by Emeritus Professor William (Bill) Hawkey, Director and Professor of Music at the Canberra School of Music (now the ANU School of Music). It was originally named the School of Music Community Choir but was renamed in 1990 in honour of the founding Director of the Canberra School of Music, Ernest Llewellyn.

The choir has been bringing fine choral music to Canberra audiences for over thirty years. The works it has performed over this period can be seen here. The choir also travels on a regular basis to perform with other choirs. Recent tours have been to Albury, Cowra, and Noumea in New Caledonia.

The choir has had three Music Directors since its foundation: Bill Hawkey (1980-1992), Richard McIntyre (1992-2005) and its current Director Rowan Harvey-Martin.

First Director - Bill Hawkey

New Zealand born Emeritus Professor William (Bill) Hawkey retired in 1999 from the position of Director and Professor of Music at the Australian National University. Bill had a distinguished career in music as an educator, administrator, orchestral and choral conductor, composer , pianist and organist. Bill founded, and conducted the Canberra Community Choir for 10 years, and was founding Musical Director of the School of Music Community Choir (later named The Llewellyn Choir). In New Zealand he had been the long-term music conductor of the Christchurch Harmonic Choir. In retirement on the south coast of New South Wales, he is the musical director of the Montague Choristers. He is still sought after around Australia as an adjudicator for Eisteddfods.

Second Director - Richard (Rick) McIntyre OAM

Richard (Rick) McIntyre OAM began conducting The Llewellyn Choir in 1992. A composition graduate from the University of Sydney, he was Associate Principal Bassoonist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) for 10 years before moving to Canberra in 1978. He is a foundation member of the renowned wind quintet, The Canberra Wind Soloists (Australia’s most long-lived professional chamber ensemble). He has been Guest Principal and concerto soloist with the SSO and other Symphony Australia orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with the Australia Ensemble and numerous other prominent chamber groups. His association with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra as its Principal Bassoonist dates back to 1965.

Current Director - Rowan Harvey-Martin

Rowan Harvey-Martin was appointed as conductor of The Llewellyn Choir in 2006. You can find more information about Rowan here.

Ernest Llewellyn CBE

Ernest Llewellyn, after whom the Llewellyn Choir was named, was born in Kurri Kurri, NSW in 1915 . In 1934 he commenced his career as a violist with the Sydney ABC Orchestra and within a year had established his reputation as soloist under Sir Malcolm Sargent. In 1949 he toured the eastern states with Hephzibah Menuhin, presenting complete violin and piano sonatas of Beethoven. For the next 15 years he was Concertmaster with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, including 5 years as Assistant Conductor. He moved to Canberra in 1965 as Founding Director of the Canberra School of Music, and was the Musical Director and Conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 1980. He retired as Director in 1980 and died in Sydney in 1982.


Federal MP Bob McMullan was the most recent Patron of the choir, and before him our Patron was former ACT Government MLA, Bill Woods.

The Llewellyn Choir acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal, Ngambri and Ngarigo peoples.
We respect and celebrate their continuing culture.

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