Front of Stage
Musical Director: D.Huw Rees BMus(Hons), PGCE
Swansea born, Huw gained his Bachelor of Music Honours degree at University College, Cardiff. Whilst there he studied piano with Stephen Price, voice with Clifford Bunford, organ with Robert Court and composition with Dr Richard Elfyn Jones. During his time at University he became a member of the National Youth Choir of Wales and was also accompanist to numerous choirs in the Cardiff area.
Huw has been associated with Morriston RFC Male Choir since 1990 when he became the Choir’s accompanist. He was appointed its Musical Director in January 2004 and his expertise in that role has been widely recognised. In 2005 Huw was made a Life Member of the Morriston RFC Male Choir and in 2015 a presentation was made to him in recognition of his 25 years service as its Musical Director and Accompanist. In January 2009 he was delighted to be appointed Joint Accompanist to Dunvant Male Choir. Huw regularly accompanies Parti Llwchwr, and accompanied them on the S4C’s Noson Lawen programme and the Côr Cymru Ladies Choir competition, where they won the viewers’ prize.
He is a very talented and much sought-after musician and has performed and worked with a number of national and international artistes. Recently he has had the pleasure of working with Bryn Terfel, Rebecca Evans, Rhys Meirion, Wynne Evans, Sophie Evans, Gwawr Edwards, Ellen Williams, Elgan Llyr & The Three Welsh Tenors.
Demands for his accompanying skills have taken him to concert venues throughout Britain. Further afield he has accompanied choirs and guest soloists in Brussels, Budapest, Holland, France, Spain, and Ireland.
Huw was the official accompanist to the massed mixed choirs festival held at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff in 1992, 1996 and 1999, and he has made numerous recordings with various choirs and has played at many venues, including The Royal Albert Hall, St David’s Hall, The Brangwyn Hall, Wells Cathedral, St David’s Cathedral, and Rugby and Eton Schools.
Huw is an official accompanist at the Urdd National Eisteddfod and has accompanied competitors at the Eisteddfodau since 1993. This year he will accompany competitors at the Urdd eisteddfod which will be held at the end of May at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. In 2018 he was the Vice Chair of the Urdd’s Music Committee.
He is in great demand as an Eisteddfod adjudicator and as a conductor of singing festivals. Huw has appeared several times on S4C’s ‘Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol series, conducting and accompanying the congregational singing and was honoured to work with Owain Arwel Hughes last year in a recording of this popular programme in Neath.
In 2006 Huw was given the honour of conducting the massed male voice choirs at the opening concert of the National Eisteddfod held at Swansea. In 2012 he conducted his published arrangement of “This Is The Moment” at the 1,000 Voices Festival of Male Voice Choirs held at the MEN Arena Manchester. In the Summer of the same year Huw was given the honour of conducting the massed performers at the Interceltique Festival in Lorient, Brittany.
In 2015 Huw and the Choir had the honour of working with Britain’s Got Talent stars Richard & Adam, Julian Reynolds and the Latvian Opera Orchestra to produce the CD “Believe, Songs of Inspiration” which shot to Number 1 in the Classical Album Charts.
Huw has been associated with the choir for 29 years and feels very privileged to conduct such a wonderful choir in the sharing of his passion for this wonderful Welsh tradition.
Deputy Musical Director: Helen Wyn BMus(Hons)
Helen joined the musical team of the choir in 2009 following the retirement of Glyn Williams. She is an accomplished accompanist and conductor and is in demand for her singing, and her skills in producing and directing musical theatre and opera. Additionally, she is a national adjudicator in both singing and choral competitions.
Helen had a career for 30 years as Head of Music in two secondary schools in Carmarthen before developing other interests. She is a director of Cwmni Mega Drama Company which performs all over Wales, and Musical Director of Carmarthen Amateur Opera Company, where she has been producing shows for the last 12 years. She has undertaken youth community work with Urdd Gobaith Cymru, and was Chair of the Music Committee for the Eisteddfod yr Urdd Sir Gâr in 2007.
Helen was elected to Carmarthenshire County Council in May 2008 and then to the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, where she served for four years.
Accompanist: Hywel Evans BMus(Hons)
Hywel was born and educated in Swansea and was awarded a sixth form scholarship to the prestigious Chethams School of Music, Manchester where he studied piano and organ. He went on to study piano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under Richard McMahon, graduating with honours in 2005. Whilst a student he performed in several master-classes with international artists including Alexei Skravronsky, Bernard Roberts and Malcolm Martineau, and accompanied soloists at a Walton song master-class attended by Lady Walton.
Hywel is accompanist to Morriston RFC Male Voice Choir, with whom he has toured UK, Ireland and Europe, playing in many well-known concert halls and cathedrals. He is organist in the parish of Llwynderw, Swansea, and for several years he has been pianist-in-residence at the annual All Saints Alive Music Festival, Oystermouth, Swansea.
As an extremely accomplished freelance pianist and organist he has accompanied several renowned soloists, music groups and mixed choirs. In his role as accompanist and vocal coach to the young Ariosa Singers Hywel has played in many prestigious venues while touring with them to Prague, Chartres, Paris, Tuscany, and Barcelona.
Deputy Accompanist: Rhiannon Pritchard BMus(Hons)
Rhiannon graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2009, where she studied piano with Head of Keyboard, Richard McMahon. She has already had many solo, accompanying and chamber group opportunities, taking part in recitals and concerts in venues such as the Wales Millennium Centre, St David’s Hall and the National Museum of Wales. Rhiannon has also attended master classes led by both solo pianists and accompanists, including Cardiff Singer of the World adjudicator Helmut Deutsch, renowned accompanist Simon Lepper and international pianists Leon McCawley and Martin Jones.
During her time in college, she played the piano in the orchestra for numerous productions including Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’ for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Stravinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’, Brian Irvine’s ‘The Calling of Maisy Day’ and Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ for Welsh National Youth Opera. As well as being a member of the orchestra, Rhiannon was a repetiteur and vocal coach for the Welsh National Youth Opera productions, where she was awarded the Seligman Award for her work. She was also a repetiteur on other productions including ‘Pirates of Penzance’ and ‘Into the Woods’ for St David’s Catholic College. She is also a repetiteur for ‘Opera’r Ddraig’, and recently worked with them on their production of ‘The Magic Flute’. In 2009 she won the RWCMD’s Accompanist Prize adding to the Mansel Thomas Prize and the WNYO Seligman Award won in 2008.
As well as accompanying many singers and instrumentalists, Rhiannon is also an avid member and accompanist for Cardiff choirs City Voices and CF1, who regularly take part in various Eisteddfodau and concerts throughout Wales. She was appointed Deputy Accompanist to Morriston RFC Male Voice Choir in October 2009.
Rhiannon has recently been accepted for the late Yehudi Menuhin’s scheme Live Music Now, the largest outreach programme of its kind in the UK. The last couple of years have seen more work for her as a répétiteuse for Welsh National Opera MAX dept., the BBC, LMN, and for St David’s Catholic College’s production of ‘Carousel’.