Tuesday 11 May 2021


David Roper joined NYCGB this May as Chair of the Board of Trustees, succeeding Professor Chris Higgins. David graduated from Selwyn College, Cambridge with a Music Degree and he then trained as a chartered accountant, becoming a partner at PwC in 2002. After retiring from PwC in 2018 he joined the boards of Atom Bank, based in Durham,  and NFU Mutual . David is currently Deputy Chairman of   the Royal Northern College of Music, having been a governor since 2008; he’s also the Deputy Chair of both the  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and ABRSM. He tries to keep up his singing whenever possible and is currently a member of the CBSO Chorus.

We spoke to David to find out his thoughts and plans as he takes up his new role, what he’s most excited about and why he believes singing in a choir is so beneficial to young people.

What excites you most about NYCGB?

The sheer range and quality of what NYCGB does. I’m truly amazed at the range of styles of music and collaborations, which is so exciting for all our members. NYCGB enriches the lives of a huge number of young people from diverse backgrounds, consistently achieving an outstanding quality of performance. I’ve been enormously impressed at how well everyone has adapted to the restrictions due to the current pandemic and the virtual courses have been very successful.

What will your role as Chair cover?

Legally, the Chair has a key governance role, ensuring that our excellent board work effectively together, that NYCGB is being run effectively and safely and that we’re looking after the interests of all our stakeholders. However, it’s much more than that. What I’m really looking forward to is being part of a highly committed team, supporting Anne, Ben and colleagues, helping to develop and execute our medium and long term strategy, getting to know existing and potential supporters and donors, being an enthusiastic advocate for the Choirs and, of course meeting and hearing our members

Do you have a favourite piece of choral music to sing / listen to?

I don’t have a specific favourite, although I really like the music of Bach and Britten – in particular the War Requiem. I enjoy singing a cappella vocal music and I’ve become a recent convert to the world of Barbershop! A concert that really stands out in my memory was at University when I sang in a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion in Snape Maltings alongside Peter Pears and John Shirley-Quirk, in what turned out to be one of Peter Pears’ last public performances.

Why do you think all young people should have the chance to sing?

I think it’s important that everyone has the chance to sing. I firmly believe that singing in a choir is massively beneficial, both in building confidence and in its wider physical and mental health benefits. Friendships made through making music together can be very special and last a lifetime. I met my wife over 35 years ago singing together in a concert!

How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy singing, both with the CBSO Chorus and with my local barbershop choir, MaleVox. I’ve also relatively recently taken up playing the violin again after over 30 years, and I try to attend as many concerts as I can. I’m a supporter and season ticket holder of Bolton Wanderers Football Club and, in normal times, enjoy going to home and away games with my family. We also enjoy travelling both in the UK and overseas.