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Choir’s Music Team

Josephine Walsh - Musical Director


Josephine Walsh was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and attended St Teresa’s Convent, Rosebank. She was married to the late Robert Walsh, a former conductor of this choir (1991-1996) and has two children, Abigail and Kendrick. She qualified with a BMus H. Dip. Ed degree from the University of the Witwatersrand where she majored in organ and flute. Her teachers included the late Professor Victor Bartlett, Henning Wagner, André Salm (from the Conservatoire of Paris) and Amos Eisenberg. She studied conducting with Professor Walter Mony and Dr Edgar Cree. As a student, she directed the Wits University Choir and performed in the CAPAB Youth Festival as a conductor of the orchestra with the Ruys Blas Overture by Mendelssohn. She was involved in several broadcasts of Thy Kingdom Come including Misa Flamenca in collaboration with the Spanish Dance Company for SABC TV. Her students also performed in Jong Suid Afrika and their success in various Eisteddfodau and Music Competitions bear testament to her success as a music teacher.


After graduating, she taught part time between 1978 and 2003 at St Mary’s Waverly, St Katharine’s in Parktown, The Ridge, Wendywood Music Centre and was organist and choir mistress at St George’s Parktown for 23 years. She also conducted the Johannesburg Philharmonic Choir. Her position as music teacher included establishing and conducting choirs, orchestras, jazz bands and marimba ensembles. In 1986 she founded the Ridge School’s extra-curricular music department.

She lectured part time, at the Witwatersrand Teachers College and the Wits Education Department and her passion for music education led to the publishing of several theory books in the Funway series. She has also been recognised by Unisa for outstanding teaching in Music Theory.


She collaborated with Alistair Smurthwaite and wrote the music for several original operettas for school production, including The Man who lost his Memory, Anyone for Tennyson (produced by Taubie Kushlick in 1982), The Great Drain Journey (performed in Grahamstown in 1990), Shine on our Africa, Mrs. South Africa and various Nativity and Junior School Plays.

She enjoys writing and was editor for several years, of the Cystic Fibrosis Magazine and has written several articles for Drumming Australia.


She currently teaches at St Stithian’s College in Randburg and was appointed as Musical Director of the Welsh Male Voice Choir of South Africa in July 2018.


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Jonathan Vieler - Assistant Musical Director


Jonathan was born in Johannesburg in 1958 and commenced his choral career with St John’s Prep School Choir, which made an LP record in 1968. During school years he studied piano up to RSCM Grade 7 and at university he played in gig bands around Johannesburg. He was involved in several Gilbert and Sullivan stage productions with the Old Johannian Choir, meeting his future wife Lesley during “Trial by Jury” in 1986. They sung together in the SABC choir under Richard Cock for several years. He has been very active in worship and music at Trinity Methodist Church, Linden for nearly 3O years, playing piano, organ and singing in church bands, musicals and choir cantatas. He spent 4 years as Music Director of the “Men in Red” before joining the CMCDA in 2O14. Jonathan also plays at several other churches and retirement villages, and does one-man entertainment for church-related organizations for the elderly. He and Lesley live in Greenside and have two daughters.


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Neil Bennett - Accompanist


Born in the UK and raised in Springs, east of Johannesburg,Neil began his formative music training at an early age, under the mentorship of international concert pianist Steven van Staden, and continuing after matric with BMus studies at Wits University, under the late Peggy Haddon.


In 1989, after completing two years of military at the 7th South African Infantry Battalion in Phalaborwa, Neil settled in Johannesburg and began forging a career in education, performance and choral direction that has spanned 25 years. During his Trinity College studies in keyboard performance, he earned a Performer’s Licentiate Diploma in Piano (LTCL) with honours and the 1996 Queen Elizabeth Award for Excellence in Music after scoring the highest mark in the country in the Electronic Keyboard examinations.


His experiences included directing music for his alma mater, Springs Boys’ High, various schools and theatre repertory companies in Gauteng, the prestigious Northcliff High School major productions (2003 - 2010) and more recently, the Musical Director of the Welsh Male Voice Choir of South Africa, a post he held from 2004 - 2011. After a short leave of absence, Neil returned to the Choir in 2013 as one of its Accompanists, a discipline for which he has a special affection. He has been the organist and choir director in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa since 1984 and currently teaches music and computers at De La Salle Holy Cross College Junior School in Victory Park.


Neil’s leisure activities include chasing steam trains, photography, model railways, collecting fine books and Rolls-Royce memorabilia, military figure and English history.


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Elize Bailey - Assistant Accompanist


Elize Bailey matriculated in Waterval Boven. She then qualified as a Physiotherapist and after that did her BMus and HED at the University of South Africa. She also has a Licentiate in Piano. Elize has taught piano for more than 40 years and taught music as a subject on High School level at Eldoraigne High School for many years. Over the past 50 years, she has conducted choirs in Pretoria, Verwoerdburg Children’s Choir and the ensemble Kontrapunt. She was als the Musical Director of Revues, a Pantomime, The Nightingale and quite a few operettas such as the Gypsy Baron.


Elize has been the organist in many churches and denominations since 1970 and while living in Scottburgh often performed as a pianist and in a Violin and Piano duo with a Russian Violinist.


In 2008 and 2009 Elize was the adjudicator for the Northern Cape Arts Festival in Kimberley. She also performed the same function for the Free State in Harrismith after that.


Elize is currently living in Pretoria where she still teaches piano and accompanies soloists and the Arcadia Singers, and now the appointed accompanist for the Welsh Male Voice Choir of South Africa. Elize remains passionate about music and she believes “Music makes Happiness Happen!”

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