Bridgend Male Choir Musical Professionals

The Bridgend Male Choir are fortunate to have extremely high quality Musical Direction, from Ryan Wood from Maesteg and Deputy Musical Director, Stephanie Bailey (who is also a Choir Accompanist).

Piano accompanist of the Choir is Stephanie Bailey BA (Hons) Music, PGCE, Grade 8 Piano (ABRSM) Distinction, together with Scott Williams (Organ). Cheryl Jones, BA (Hons) continues to support the Choir as a Guest Piano Accompanist, when work commitments permit. The Choir is fortunate to have also retained the services of its former Deputy Musical Director, David Hutchings as a Guest Musical Director.

Please read more about each of them below.

Musical Director

Ryan Wood

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  Bridgend Male Choir has a proud history of performing under the baton of distinguished and talented musicians, and its newly appointed Musical Director, Ryan Wood, offers a breadth and diversity of experience that promises a continuation of that fine tradition. He will take up his duties from the 9th June, following the recent resignation of former MD, Rhiannon Williams-Hale.
  Patrons and devotees of Bridgend Male Choir will no doubt be familiar with Ryan as he has often performed in place of resident accompanist, Stephanie Bailey, when she has been otherwise engaged. However, his impressive background may not be so familiar to Bridgend audiences. Having learned piano and cello as a schoolboy, he began his choral development as Assistant Accompanist with Maesteg Children’s Choir at the age of 13, a notable achievement in itself. Most recently he has held the position of Deputy Musical Director with Cowbridge Male Voice Choir as well as that of Accompanist with Maesteg Children’s Choir and, since 1999, with Côr Meibion Maesteg a’r Cylch. However, beyond that, his pedigree extends across South Wales where he has accompanied choirs and soloists including ‘Only Men Aloud’ and Grammy Award winning soprano, Rebecca Evans. He has also worked with singers, conductors and directors from all over Europe and the UK whilst performing as accompanist at the International Opera summer School at Porthcawl in 2010, organised by the internationally renowned soprano, Patricia O’Neill.
  Ryan has a keen interest in opera: he was therefore instrumental in the formation of a quartet of female singers called ‘Viva to the Diva’ for whom he has been concert accompanist, helping to raise thousands of pounds for charity. In this respect, apart from any other, he therefore fits well into the charitable ethos of Bridgend Male Choir.
  Perhaps most significantly, Ryan’s interest in conducting has burgeoned alongside his piano skills. He is proud of having formed his own Maesteg mixed choir, ‘Noteworthy’, and was previously Musical Director of both Spotlight Theatre Company and Cowbridge Amateur Operatic Society. Unsurprisingly, his talents as a conductor were recognised in 2010 when he was invited to conduct a performance of Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ for a live broadcast on BBC Radio Wales.
  Now, as he looks to take up the baton as MD of Bridgend Male Choir, Ryan is confident that this is the challenge for which his musical development has clearly prepared him. The choir President, Chairman, Committee and choristers share his enthusiasm for this new stage in their prestigious history, and welcome him warmly as leader of their music team.

Accompanist (Piano) & Deputy Musical Director

Stephanie Bailey

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Born in Skewen, near Neath, Stephanie gained experience from the age of 13, in becoming an accomplished performer, accompanying various local children and youth choirs, progressing to participate in music competitions and performances in venues including Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. As an undergraduate Music student at Kingston University, Stephanie studied Piano under the direction of concert pianist Dennis Lee. She was selected to perform in a specially formed choir ‘Camerata’ who made television appearances on the BBC.   

Stephanie graduated with a BA (Hons) Music in 1998 followed by a PGCE in 2000. With Grade 8 ABRSM Distinctions in both Piano and Singing, Stephanie has enjoyed teaching both since the age of 18 and has become an experienced accompanist for soloists, choirs and ABRSM music examinations. She was delighted to receive an invitation to join with the World Champion Black Dyke Brass Band in concert at St David’s Hall, Cardiff in 2005.   

Stephanie has worked with the ‘Llantrisant Male Choir’  (2008-2011) and has enjoyed accompanying them at various venues, including the prestigious Christchurch Priory, Bournemouth; St David’s Hall, Cardiff; and more recently the Salon Varieties Theatre, Fuengirola, Spain.  She also assisted the Musical Director by conducting rehearsals and was delighted to conduct the choir in concert with Iris Williams at the Swansea Grand Theatre in May 2011. Stephanie has also held the position of Accompanist/Deputy MD of Cantorion Pontyclun. It has been a pleasure for Stephanie to also accompany soloists Simone Rebello, Beverley Humphries, Wynne Evans (Gio Compario!) and Mark Evans in concert.    

Stephanie currently enjoys teaching and performing music on a professional basis and is also a Rock Choir Leader in South Wales (as seen on ITV’s documentary ‘The Choir that Rocks’).

In May 2011 Stephanie joined the music team of Bridgend Male Choir becoming accompanist. She has added to her "Bridgend" CV by also becoming Deputy Musical Director just 12 months later.        

Accompanist (Organ)

Scott Williams

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Born in 1980 at Neath, Scott was educated at Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend and later studied at the University of Bath where he attained a Master of Mathematics - MMath (Hons) - degree.

His musical career started as a chorister at St Mary’s, Nolton Church in Bridgend, where he was successful in obtaining the Royal School of Church Music St. Nicholas Award, incorporating keyboard skills. He was also an active member of the regional RSCM Cathedral Singers and it was under an RSCM initiative for young organists that Scott commenced his organ playing career. He now continues within the Parish as a relief organist for both Nolton and Coity churches.

Scott first performed with Bridgend Male Choir at a concert in Leatherhead, Surrey in October 2008.  Since then, he has been a regular contributor to concert performances with the Choir, including the recent tours of Liverpool, Scotland and North Wales. Of the many prestigious concerts that Scott has been involved with, he considers the privilege of playing the organs of St. David's Hall; Clifton and St. Asaph Cathedrals as being personal highlights.  

Scott was involved with the recording of the choir's 50th Anniversary CD "Classic Male", and looks forward to being a part of future recordings. At present, Scott works as a private maths tutor in the Bridgend area.

Guest Accompanist (Piano)

Cheryl Jones

Cheryl Jones

Born and educated in Lampeter, Cheryl Jones BA(Hons) now lives in Cardiff and works as a freelance sound recordist and private tutor.  Despite her busy schedule she continues to fulfil her role as accompanist of the Choir.

She attended the Welsh College of Music and Drama (WCMD) and gained a BA(Hons) studying under Simon Shewring and Julian Jacobson.  At the College, Cheryl gained many awards and performed regularly as a soloist and accompanist for the critically acclaimed Cardiff Bay Chamber Orchestra.  She was also a member of the WCMD Piano Trio, working closely with the Brodsky Quartet.

Cheryl first performed with the Bridgend Male Choir whilst at the WCMD, and she has since accompanied them on their tours to Southern France, Canada, Jersey and Germany.

Guest Musical Director

David Hutchings

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David first came to the notice of the Choir when he was conducting Cor Merched Pontyclun at Choirs in the Castle, Coity at which event this Choir was also appearing. It was coincidental that Bridgend MC was seeking a Deputy MD to work with then MD, the late John Jenkins. David applied, got on the shortlist & was successful in gaining the position.

David went on to understudy John Jenkins & was a huge help to choristers when JJ's illness & death occured. He worked with the Choir during an extended period while the Choir advertised for a permanent MD replacement. This time, whilst David again made the shortlist, he did not get a conducting position amongst very strong candidates.

Born in Brighton and gaining his Musicianship degree at Cardiff, he has made his home at the capital. He has shown his mettle by since gaining conducting positions at Caerphilly & Treorchy. The Choir is delighted to have a continuing association.