The choir was formed in 1928 when Mr Clarrie Roberts, a noted musician and employee of Holden Motor Body Builders at Woodville, gathered the men heard singing at their machines. Company proprietor Mr James Holden held regular social evenings at his stately home where the men sang around the piano and so the basis of the choir was formed. Mr Roberts was the choir’s first conductor.
As the quality of the singing and the reputation of the choir grew, the choir regularly sang on local radio station 5CL and became known as the “5CL Male Choir”. The choir’s present name was adopted in 1936. The choir has entered and won many competitions and Eisteddfods, priding itself in presenting music in the Welsh tradition. Our conductor during these years of competition and top-level concert appearances was Mr Lex Wood, OAM, who led the choir with distinction from 1951-1981.
The choir’s third conductor, Mr Don Noblet, OAM led the choir as Music Director from 1981 and retired in October 2009. He has presided over a significant expansion of the choir. The choir toured New Zealand in 1989 and 2009, Western Australia in 1991, NSW in 2004 and to Broken Hill in 2007. A highlight for the choir was the tour of Wales and Cornwall, culminating in the choir’s participation in a 900-voice Welsh Male Choirs Festival in the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 1994, 2000 and 2006 at the invitation of the London Welsh Choir.
A new era for the Choir began in November 2009 when Mr Evan Patton became Music Director. Evan comes to the choir with an impressive list of qualifications including a BA in Performing Arts and a Master of Education. Evan currently sings with the Chorus of the State Opera of SA and has worked as a professional orchestral violinist and pianist. He is an accomplished composer and arranger and has a long background conducting orchestras and choirs including the Corinthian Singers and the Australian Girls Choir.