Musical Team

Musical Director

SIÂN HATTON  B.Sc (Hons), L.T.C.L., A.L.C.M

Sian

Born into a talented musical family in Tredegar, Gwent, Siân graduated from the Welsh College of Music and Drama where she studied singing and piano. Her musical career has taken her all over Britain as a vocal soloist and she has sung under the baton of Arthur Davidson and Sir Harry Mortimer. She is a Licentiate of Trinity College, London and an Associate of the London College of Music.

 
This year, Siân celebrates 29 years as our Musical Director and in that time has taken us to many venues in the U.K. and overseas including Germany, Holland, Canada, California (twice) and Austria.  She has led us on two P & O cruise ships to firstly in 2008 to the Mediterranean and then two years later to the Canary Islands, Portugal and Spain aboard the Azura.  As a conductor, soloist, compère and highly talented musician, Siân is invaluable to our choir and has been the prime instrument to our success over the past 27 years.  Married to baritone David Gould, Siân is now a full time nurse and prefers her music to be a hobby.

Assistant Musical Director

SHIRLEY ANNE JAMES

Shirley Ann 2

Originally from Llandovery in mid Wales, Welsh speaking Shirley Anne studied music at the South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education in Cardiff before starting a teaching career in Chatham. After three years she returned to her roots to teach in Talley, Carmarthenshire. There she was proud to be Conductor of Llandovery Male Voice Choir for six years and later conducted the South Glamorgan Junior Schools Choir from 1990-1993.  Shirley Anne has also conducted Brecon Male Voice Choir on many occasions. With her humorous anecdotes, stories from school and her very own musical style, she is a firm favourite of the the choristers,

Married to Gareth and the mother of two children, she lives in Llandaff, Cardiff and is now retired from teaching in the Llanrumney area of Cardiff.

Shirley Anne was appointed Assistant Musical Director of the Choir in 2002 and together with Siân, Stephen and John, is an essential part of our talented musical team.

Accompanists

STEPHEN BERRY B.Ed (Hons), A.T.C.L.

Steve  

Born in Newport, Stephen started playing the piano at four years of age. He later learned to play the organ and at the age of 14 became organist of Llanwern Church. At 17 he formed and conducted his own orchestra and subsequently became Musical Director of a Gilbert & Sullivan Society and conductor of Newport Concert Orchestra. He is now an Organist in the Parish of Maindee, Newport, and at Langstone Vale Crematorium.  Since retirement in December 2013 he has also become Musical Director of the Newport U3A Choir, arranging and composing songs for their performance. He is a keen historian;  local, railway and family history being his specialities.

Stephen is an Associate of Trinity College, London and holds a Bachelor of Education (Honours) Degree, specialising in Music in Education. He previously taught in both primary and secondary sectors and still has a private music teaching practice.

Stephen joined the choir in 2007 and thoroughly enjoys working with Music Team members and choristers. He arranges many of our pieces, particularly those of a more traditional style, in his own unique way.  He is always keen, and with great effect, to add a church organ to our renditions when appropriate.

JOHN NICHOLSON

John

John joined the choir in 2001 as a second tenor but after a couple of years, he stood in a few times accompanying practices and played some of the pieces in concerts. From there he grew to be one of the choirs full-time accompanists.

Originally from Tenterden in Kent, John learned the piano and church organ as a schoolboy and as well as accompanying the choir he is also the organist at the parish church in Magor.  

Trained as an engineer, he had a long career with Rolls-Royce, moving from the Midlands to work in Bristol and regularly commuting to Norway! 

During time spent in the Midlands he ran a successful dance band appearing alongside such names as Syd Lawrence, Joe Loss and Roy Castle. Before leaving the Midlands John also performed with a Folk Trio producing two albums. He can now sometimes be seen playing electronic keyboards as part of a duo to raise money for the choir and other charities.

Now in retirement John is able to spend more time with his family and enjoy his wide range of hobbies.

John was elected as the chairman of the choir in August 2017 and is striving to maintain the traditions of the choir and the excellent work that previous chairmen have achieved.

2 thoughts on “Musical Team”

  1. What a thrill to tour your lovely country, roam Caerphilly Castle, marvel at some of the rooms at Cardiff Castle, walk the streets of Cardiff in the wind and rain following our wonderful “get together” at the pub following our concert. Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed hearing you sing, much less, how great it was to join you in “As long as I have Music.” I shall treasure those moments till my dying day. Thank you so very much. Roy Rogers, baritone, American Tapestry Choir and Manassas Chorale. Would love to hear from any or all of you.

  2. The Musical Team are to be congratulated on their versatility, expertise and professionalism at the Simonsbath concert where there wasn’t a piano – only a church organ. Worst nightmare scenario. To be able to adapt and change the programme within a few minutes was amazing. They really deserve our fullest support. Well done to the choristers who turned in an excellent performance as well, in crowded, hot conditions. It’s not easy to sing to organ accompaniment. The standing ovation was well deserved.

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