Bridgend Male Choir Musical Professionals
The Bridgend Male Choir are fortunate to have extremely high quality Musical Direction, from Rhiannon Williams-Hale
, FLCM, ALCM, LLCM, LTCL, ATCL, LRSM, LGSMD; DipABRSM of Treorchy, Rhondda 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.
Born in Cardiff 1976, Rhiannon was educated at the Bishop of Llandaff High School; received piano tuition at the Royal Academy of Music, London (following an ABRSM scholarship prize) and read Music at Cardiff University having been awarded the 'David Lloyd Vocal scholarship' on entrance.
Brought up in Barry, Rhiannon’s career began as a Singer and in 1989 she achieved the prestigious titles of 'Welsh and National BET Choirgirl of the Year'-the final of which was held in London. A part time vocal scholar at the RWCMD, she became a member of the National Youth Choirs of Wales, Great Britain & the RSCM Cathedral Singers, also achieving her 'St Cecilia Senior award' and LTCL diploma in Voice.
Rhiannon is a ‘Fellow’ of the London College of Music in piano accompaniment, a Licentiate and Associate of the same college (solo piano) and also of the Guildhall, Trinity & Royal Schools of Music-achieving Distinctions in all.
In 2008, Rhiannon received Honorary 'lady' membership of the renowned 'Treorchy Male Choir' for whom she was principal accompanist (1998-2002). Also accompanist for the successful 'Bridgend Male Choir' (2003-2008) and the highly regarded ‘Pontarddulais Male Choir’(2008-2012), she is presently the principal accompanist for Cor Meibion Llanelli. Rhiannon has toured greatly, including America, Canada & Australia, and has accompanied many prestigious singers: Alfie Boe, Shan Cothi & Rebecca Evans-to name a few.
As musical director of ‘Bridgend Male Choir’, she is enjoying her role very much, culminating in receiving the ‘runner up’ spot at this year’s ‘Majestic Male Voice Choir Competition’ in Torquay. Rhiannon is also co-leader of the Treorchy based youth choir ‘Voices of the Valley’, has ‘guest’ conducted Treorchy & Cwmbach Male Choirs & for a period of ten years was the MD for ‘Cor Merched Ynysybwl’. During this time, the ladies were awarded first positions at the Abergavenny & Hereford Festivals as well as a 3rd position at the National Eisteddfod of Wales held at Llandow last year.
Rhiannon is the event organiser for the ‘Treorchy Eisteddfod’ (held for the first time in 2012), an official accompanist for the ‘Richard Williams Musical Theatre Prize’ as well as being an organist at graduation ceremonies (University of South Wales) since 2006. She is also a percussionist with the ‘Parc & Dare band’!
Her adjudicating experience has included the Final of the ‘Rotary Young Musician of Wales’ held at the Wales Millennium Centre in 2009, the ‘Treorchy Male Choir Young Musician of the Year’ Semi-Finals, the ‘Festival4Stars’ competition at ‘The Pavillion-Porthcawl’ & at ‘The Princess of Wales Theatre-Port Talbot’ & at the ‘Bridgend County School Choir of the Year Competition’-alongside Jeffrey Howard.
A private teacher at her Treorchy home, Rhiannon has a large practice and has taught for the past 20 years. Many of her students have had success in the West End/Colleges of Music. Website: www.rhiannonwilliamshale.com
Accompanist (Piano) & Deputy Musical Director
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.
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)
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 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.