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The ‘Phil’, as the choir is affectionately known, plays a significant part in the rich musical fabric of York. The choir loves to sing; and the passion, commitment, and continuity that has sustained since it was founded in 1925; is very much in evidence today.

Whether your taste is for contemporary or classical, west-end or opera, folk song or spiritual, the wide repertoire will offer entertainment and pleasure. The choir has won competitions and audience acclaim in European venues and in the UK, from the Royal Albert Hall to Village Halls, from Castle Howard to the Castle Museum and from York Minster to a Dales Chapel.

Musical Director
Berenice Lewis grew up in Leicester where she studied piano and organ with Howard Gregory and sang with the Leicestershire Youth Choir. She came to York University in 1989, and became involved in numerous musical groups during and after her student years. Berry became Musical Director of 'the Phil' in 2000. In 2003 she got married and moved to Beverley, East Yorkshire; she is a freelance soloist, teaches piano and singing and is active in the musical life of the East Riding.

Deputy Musical Director
Graham Kay has been actively involved in the York music scene for many years. Having gained a Choral Scholarship to St. John's College, Cambridge, he subsequently pursued music as his principal hobby, singing solos on many concert platforms and performing in numerous musical theatre productions with local amateur societies. He currently sings regularly with accompanist and performer John Warburton, mainly for charities, and is a life member and former Chairman and President of York Musical Theatre Company ( formerly the York Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society). He has at various times conducted and been chorus master for the Poppleton Methodist Choir, The Poppleton Singers and the York Musical Theatre Company, as well as being involved with a number of smaller groups of singers. He joined the York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir in 2007.

Assistant Musical Director
Richard Kay has been a singer in choirs from an early age. He trained in Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham whilst also studying ancillary music and singing with the Birmingham University Liturgical Choir. A member of “The Phil” since 2002, Richard has been a regular soloist both for the choir and for other groups and events around York and beyond. He often incorporates singing and music into his work in theatre; he has performed in shows for companies including York Theatre Royal, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Nottingham Playhouse and, more recently, has been Associate Director for Badapple Theatre Company. In this role he has worked as co-director, director and musical director on five productions and he leads their youth theatre classes. For more information visit As Assistant MD Richard strives to support the musical team whilst also continuing his own musical education.