A male voice choir that became a world-wide internet sensation with its rendition of bittersweet Welsh classic is bidding a fond farewell to its musical director.
The renowned Cor Meibion Trelawnyd has now launched a search to find a successor to Geraint Roberts who helped them clock up near 320,000 views on You Tube for their moving performance of the hauntingly beautiful love song, Myfanwy.
Formed in 1933, the choir has some famous supporters. Their vice presidents include Hollywood actor Jonathan Pryce and BBC weather presenter Helen Willetts along with Welsh musical doyen Rhys Jones.
After more than 30 years in charge, Geraint, who took on the role of musical director and conductor in 1981, has decided to step down along with his accompanist wife, Angela, who has been with them since 1991.
Geraint, the retired assistant head teacher and head of music at Abergele’s Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan, is proud the choir remains so successful and that standards have been maintained but feels it’s time to hand over the baton to someone new.
He said: “It’s a huge commitment and I have been at the helm a long time. In fact my association with the choir goes back even earlier than 1981. When I was studying at The Royal College of Music, London, I did stand in occasionally as the choir’s accompanist.
“I just think it’s time to move on and give someone else the opportunity to lead what is a wonderful choir. The camaraderie among members is wonderful – it’s a warm community in its own right.
“The new musical director will have new ideas and hopefully find a way to recruit some new younger members. We still have a choir of more than 80 men but, like all choirs, they are ageing and there are not so many younger members coming through.
“I wish them well for the future and will of course remain very close friends with many of the choir’s members. It’s just time to move on.
Angela, who teaches three days a week and is the music co-ordinator for Rhyl’s Ysgol Emmanuel and Ysgol Bryn Hedydd, decided to step down at the same time as her husband as they work as a team and she felt she couldn’t continue without Geraint at the helm.
She said: “We have put a huge amount of time into our work with the choir, two rehearsals a week plus concerts and competitions for many years. It’s perhaps time to take a break and let someone else take over.
“I’m certainly going to miss all the close friends we have in the choir.”
Choir Chairman Arwyn Evans paid tribute to Geraint and Angela for their long years of “remarkable service”.
He said: “It is purely Geraint and Angela’s decision to stand down from their roles with the choir. There is no doubt as musical director Geraint has been a source of inspiration and improved the choir as well as maintaining the high standards he demanded.
“There is a huge commitment in terms of time and there have been many occasions when Geraint and Angela have been out three or even four nights a week with the choir.
“However, their commitment, unwavering dedication and support have been incredible and I know the whole choir is going to miss them both and we wish them well. Under Geraint’s baton we have won so many top competitions and improved year on year.
“I know Geraint is involved with two other North Wales choirs so he is not stepping down completely. He still has other projects which I know he is keen to pursue. We wish him and Angela well.”
For more information about Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir visit www.trelawnydmalevoicechoir.com and here is a link the video of the choir singing Myfanwy on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIgW7sMIDMU