Dame Deirdre Hutton

Chair of Trustees

London Youth Choir is delighted to announce that Dame Deirdre Hutton has been appointed as its new Chair of Trustees. Dame Deirdre has considerable experience of corporate governance, risk-based regulation and consumer policy, having worked for over 10 major non-departmental public bodies. Her first appointment was in 1980 to the Arts Council of Scotland and has been Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority since 2009. She is also a trained singer herself, and regularly sings with local choirs.

Dame Deirdre takes over from Stuart Barr, who held the position of Chair of Trustees for nearly three years. During Stuart’s time, the London Youth Choir (LYC) firmly established itself as the Capital’s leading youth choral organisation, providing children and young adults, aged 7-23 with high-calibre, accessible music education.

LYC’s diverse member-base brings together nearly all of London’s Boroughs. Its five choirs are much in demand, performing not only at their own concerts but also at a huge variety of external events across London from the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley to the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. They were recently featured in Classic FM broadcast of The Great War Symphony by Patrick Hawes, and in Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s programme on West Side Story for Sky Arts.

With regard to her newly appointed role, Hutton said “I am delighted and honoured to chair the Trustees of the London Youth Choir, as I believe so strongly in the power of music and choirs to encourage and enable young people. I look forward to helping the LYC achieve its goals: growing in size, increasing in excellence and bringing to an ever more socially diverse range of children the joy and benefit that the LYC offers”

Outgoing Chair Stuart Barr said: “LYC is extremely fortunate to have someone of the calibre as Dame Deirdre. With her vast experience chairing significant public bodies, it’s a huge boost for the choir’s ambitions to become an international beacon of excellence for the capital.”

Leslie East


Leslie East was, until December 2014, Chief Executive of ABRSM and previously held the post of Executive Director and Publishing Director for the exam board.  Between 1987 and 1998 he was Director of Publishing of Novello and Co. Ltd and before that had been Director of Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  He is currently Chair of the Trustees of The Association of British Choral Directors and Chairman of City Music Society.  He is a Pastmaster of The Musicians’ Company and acts as consultant to two music publishers.  He was appointed an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s honours list for services to musicians and music education.

Michael Llewelyn-Jones


Michael Llewelyn-Jones is a career banker, most recently a UK Vice Chairman at Citibank where he spent 25 years. In 2015-16 he was the Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, City livery company.  He is now a banking consultant and a Visiting Professor at the London Institute of Banking and Finance.  He is a keen supporter of music and was previously Chairman of the Orchestra of St John’s.

George Wills


George is a barrister specialising in Criminal and Regulatory work with a particular focus on young and vulnerable Defendants. Having been called to the Bar in 2013 he enjoys a practice across the South East and Midlands. Throughout his life, George has been involved in the world of music. Taking piano and cornet lessons from an early age, he was eventually drawn to specialising in voice. He has sung ever since being heavily involved in his university opera society as well as several chamber choirs. He has recorded at the Royal Opera House as part of the Ignite Festival and sung at countless friends’ weddings!

Duncan Watts


Duncan grew up singing in choirs and held the title of Choirboy of the Year in 1990. In 1993, hormones cruelly robbed him of his voice leaving a fairly ropy tenor only just good enough to see him join the back row of Royal Holloway’s chapel choir during his degree there. Duncan works for Google, advising some of its largest advertising clients on digital marketing strategy and has been a trustee of the London Youth Choir for 18 months.