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DAWE, CHARLES DAVIS

DAWE, CHARLES DAVIS (16 Mar. 1886-24 Aug. 1958) found a career as a choral conductor in Cleveland, where he was best remembered as founder of the ORPHEUS MALE CHORUS. A native of Port Talbot, S. Wales, he studied music in London and began conducting choirs in Wales by the time he was 18. In 1912 he emigrated to Cleveland with his wife May and infant son, Chas. Gounod Dawe, securing an appointment as choirmaster at Calvary Anglican Church on EUCLID AVE. On his way back to England in 1918 for service in WORLD WAR I, he survived the torpedoing of his ship. Returning to Cleveland after the war, he founded the Orpheus in 1921 and conducted several other choirs such as the Cleveland Railroad Male Chorus, WTAM Cathedral Choir, SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Glee Club, and EPWORTH-EUCLID Choral Society. At one time in 1930 he was directing 450 singers in 11 different groups each week. Besides the Orpheus, he was most visible as director of the OHIO BELL Chorus in both Cleveland and Akron. He founded the Cleveland Bell group in 1922 and continued to direct it even after relinquishing the Orpheus baton in 1957. Following WORLD WAR II, Dawe returned to Wales to assist in reviving the Eisteddfod choral competition with the help of a bequest from Cleveland industrialist Edwin S. Griffiths. Dawe often acted as an adjudicator in the Eisteddfod, which his Orpheus Chorus had won in 1926. A resident of CLEVELAND HTS., he relaxed by raising English pigeons and collecting Staffordshire china. He died shortly after retirement in St. Petersburg, Fla.