Berenice Lewis

Musical Director

Berenice (Berry) 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 in 1989 to study Linguistics and German at York University.


Taking full advantage of the rich and diverse musical community there, Berry became involved in various groups as pianist, conductor, singer and violinist. As Musical Director of the University’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society, she directed large-scale productions of Princess Ida and Ruddigore, and performed in many other shows. Whilst working for her degree, Berry also made time to coach singers, teach the piano and act as regular répétiteur for the York Musical Theatre Company and York Opera. During her student years, she was also organist at St Deny’s Church in Walmgate.


Berry was appointed Director of Music at York’s Central Methodist Church in 1998 but left that post in 2003 when she got married and moved to Beverley in East Yorkshire, where she now teaches singing and holds the post of Director of Music at St. Mary's church. Berry became our Musical Director in 2000.

Richard Kay

Deputy Musical Director

Richard Kay 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 is Associate Director for Badapple Theatre Company, has worked as co-director, director and musical director, and leads their youth theatre classes. For more information visit

Graham Kay

Assistant 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 is a life member and former Chairman and President of York Musical Theatre Company. 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 choir in 2007.

Helen Smith


Helen Smith joined 'The Phil' in February 2019, along with her husband, Rob, who now sings in the bass section. Helen is currently accompanist to Jubilate Ladies Choir in Easingwold as well as Assistant Musical Director of Dynamics Community Band based in New Earswick. She was previously Musical Director of Musicality Vocal Ensemble and accompanist to the Lincoln Orpheus Male Voice Choir.