Meet The Choir

Meet The Choir

Cardiff Male Choir’s members come from all walks of life. Some of our members answered a few questions about the choir, why male voice singing is important and why Cardiff Male Choir might be the choir for you!

Richard Bristow, Bass 1

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1. Your age and occupation (past occupations)

I am 50 years of age and am a police officer.

2. Had you sung before joining Cardiff Male Choir?

I have been singing most of my life. I was in choirs at school and church. I have sung in musical productions such as Fiddler On The Roof, Guys and Dolls and Godspell. I have sung solos at weddings (including my own), and have been part of a community choir. Music is such a big part in my life.

3. Why did you want to join a male voice choir?

My father introduced me to male voice choirs as he was a big fan and I often attended concerts with him. I was always fascinated about the balance of male voices and so when my wife suggested I look to join a male choir, I took the decision to go along to Cardiff Male Choir. I made the right decision.

4. Your favourite things about the choir, and your favourite pieces.

Choir is, for me, a time to be together with like-minded people who love singing, learning new music and having fun whilst doing so. As for my favourite pieces, then it would be Myfanwy, which was my father’s favourite and which always makes me think of him. My other piece is Psalm 23. It is a wonderfully evocative piece and builds to a tingling climax that makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up.

5. Why you think other people would enjoy coming along to one of our open evenings.

There is always a very warm welcome at Cardiff Male Choir. Any apprehension I had about coming along soon melted away and now it feels as if I’ve always been here. There is a great feeling of camaraderie and togetherness and above all, it’s fun. It’s the highlight of my week!

20150923_214839-polaJohn Brown (Chairman) Bass 1

1. Your age and occupation (past occupations)

68, retired Police Officer. I then worked in the National Health Service for 12 years.

2. Had you sung before joining Cardiff Male Choir?

I sang in school and church choirs, but I didn’t sing after I left school (except for at home). I was out buying a fridge one day (in Comet), and I bumped into one of the choir’s members. When it emerged during a conversation that I liked singing, he asked me to join the choir.

3. Why did you want to join a male voice choir?

My wife persuaded me because I was singing all the time at home – along to the radio and in the shower! The meeting with a chorister in ‘Comet’ was how the ball got rolling. It was opportune – and I’m very glad that someone introduced me to the choir, said he would wait for me outside the rehearsal venue and walk into the first rehearsal with me.

4. Your favourite things about the choir, and your favourite pieces.

Camaraderie and banter within the sections is always fun, but the choir also offers a huge support network. After I had a car accident, the choir were wonderful, and the friendship is so important. The afterglow after concerts is always fantastic too.

5. Why you think other people would enjoy coming along to one of our open evenings.

If you enjoy singing – come along and give it a go, but stick with it! It does take a few weeks to feel your feet.

John Callow, Bass 220150923_214756-pola01

1. Your age and occupation (past occupations).

72, and was an accountant before I retired

2. Had you sung before joining Cardiff Male Choir?

I always sang in school, and once a year the boys and girls schools joined together to sing Oratorio including Britten’s St Nicholas.

3. Why did you want to join a male voice choir?

When I left school, I wanted to join a Male Choir because I liked the sound and wanted an outlet for my singing. One day a painter came to paint the house, and told me he had to leave early to go to choir practise – and that was it! When I joined I was the youngest member in the choir.

4. Your favourite things about the choir, and your favourite pieces.

The chance to go places I would never have gone without the choir. We’ve travelled to Holland, Denmark, France and Germany. We’ve sung at Badminton House for the Duke of Beaufort – things I’d never have done without the choir.

5. Why you think other people would enjoy coming along to one of our open evenings.

Well, it does give your wife some peace on a Wednesday night! But do come and give it a go – it takes courage to come to a first rehearsal, so stick with it and you will enjoy it!

 mugshot-polaWill Ham Bevan, Bass 1

1. Your age and occupation (past occupations)

Journalist, 41

2. Had you sung before joining Cardiff Male Choir?

I hadn’t sung on stage since the time when I was drafted into the school choir at the age of 11 (and subsequently ordered to stand at the back and mime after my voice broke). I’d also messed around in various teenage bands, but had certainly never sung in four-part harmony before.

3. Why did you want to join a male voice choir?

I’m Welsh! I’d just returned to Wales after 10 years in London, and found myself in quite a few pub singalongs where experienced choristers belting out the Welsh classics, tenor and bass: Calon Lan, Myfanwy, Cwm Rhondda and so on. I wanted to be able to do that myself, rather than just joining in with the melody line. By chance I soon met a few members of Cardiff Male Choir in another pub at closing time, and they persuaded me to come along to a rehearsal. I also come from a very musical family, but have always been the black sheep who didn’t know a clef from a quaver. Joining a male-voice choir is a chance to redeem myself!

4. Your favourite things about the choir, and your favourite pieces.

There’s a good spirit to the choir. We work hard, but nobody loses sight of the fact that we’re there simply because we love singing and enjoy the camaraderie. Musically speaking, I find it hugely rewarding to learn a new piece from scratch, find out how the various parts fit together and then perform it before an audience. My taste is for the traditional Welsh repertoire – particularly pieces that really blow the roof off, such as Laudamus, Men of Harlech or Tydi a Roddaist.

5. Why you think other people would enjoy coming along to one of our open evenings.

We may be one of the oldest choirs in South Wales, but there’s no room for stuffiness. When I first joined, I found everyone very welcoming and keen to help me find my voice. Five years on, I think it has become an even friendlier place. It can seem a bit daunting at first, but it’s amazing how quickly things fall into place. You find you’ve learnt half the repertoire without quite knowing how you did it. Before you know it, you’re up on stage and singing with confidence.

Paul Davies, Tenor 220150930_215134-pola

1. Your age and occupation (past occupations)

I’m 46 years old. I currently work as a teaching assistant in a secondary school in Cardiff. I spent 10 years in the Royal Air Force, before returning to civilian life.

2. Had you sung before joining Cardiff Male Choir?

The last time had I sung publicly would have been in high school.

3. Why did you want to join a male voice choir?

I had always wanted to give it a go, but thought not reading music would have been a problem, but it hasn’t. My wife finally persuaded me when a flyer came through our letter box 2 years ago.

4. Your favourite things about the choir, and your favourite pieces.

There’s always a friendly atmosphere. The music team are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic when it comes to rehearsal. My favourite pieces are the show tunes and some of the more spiritual hymns.

5. Why you think other people would enjoy coming along to one of our open evenings.

They would, as I did, receive a very warm welcome and hopefully start enjoying learning new songs and singing quite a wide repertoire with a group of likeminded people.

Andy Morris (Vice Chairman) Tenor 120150923_214933-pola


1. Your age and occupation (past occupations)

65, retired. I worked in the Fire Service for 30 years, and then 19 years as a Driving Instructor.

2. Had you sung before joining Cardiff Male Choir?

I started singing at 5 years of age with the church choir, followed by the school choir. When I left school I sang with the Police Choir and Cor Meibion Morlais, and the Richard Williams’ Singers before joining Cardiff Male Choir.

3. Why did you want to join a male voice choir?

It’s a local choir, and myself and 2 friends joined at the same time.

4. Your favourite things about the choir, and your favourite pieces.

Camaraderie – I like the banter! My favourite piece is ‘Band of Brothers’ which is very moving, but I like to sing anything.

5. Why you think other people would enjoy coming along to one of our open evenings.

If you are free on a Wednesday night, then we’re for you! But seriously, If you have a song in your heart, life is so much happier.

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