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‘Choir will die without new members’

10 May 2022 3 minute read
Rhymney Silurian Male Choir (Credit: RSMC)

A Welsh choir has said it faces extinction if it doesn’t recruit new members.

At it height the Rhymney Silurian Male Choir had around 80/90 members. Now it’s down to just 22.

Choir secretary Bernard Jenkins posted a message on Facebook warning ‘without new choristers the choir will die and that will bring an end to male voice choir singing in Rhymney which dates back to the nineteenth century.’

In the next two years the choir, which was founded in 1951, has two prestigious massed concerts at St David’s Hall in Cardiff and at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They would dearly love to fulfil both dates, but like many other male choirs, have found recruiting younger members increasingly difficult.

“Our choir is now in its 71st year, but at this moment in time it is difficult to stage a choir because of lack of numbers,” said Bernard. “So I’m appealing to the gentlemen of Rhymney and surrounding areas come and join us, you won’t regret it.”

Rhymney Silurian Male Choir crest

The choir secretary added: “There will be no voice test, we guarantee you will have a great time on and off the the stage.”

Rhymney Silurian Male Choir, which gets its name from the Iron Age tribes of south-east Wales, have a proud record of performing internationally.

Bernard said that while all choirs are getting older and are finding it difficult to recruit younger members, once new members experience the choir they love it – and invariably stay for a long time.

“Our youngest member is in his 40s and the oldest member 93,” said Bernard, who is 75 and been a member since he was 23-years-old.

“We can promise a great social life,” he said. “It’s a great hobby to have. There is lots of travelling. Over the years we’ve performed in places such as Italy, France, Germany and Ireland and played some incredible venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and sang in the Houses of Parliament.

“It’s great escapism and something to look forward to each week.”

The choir which is also noted for having the longest serving conductor in Wales, Ralph Williams, who has been with the choir for more than 53 years since joining as a schoolboy.

Now the Rhymney Silurian Male Choir is on a recruitment drive and would love the readers of Nation Cymru to spread the word and help them swell their numbers.

“Our rehearsal times are Tuesdays 7.30pm to 9pm at Idris Davies School, Abertysswg,” said Bernard. “We look forward to meeting you!”

To find out more contact Bernard via [email protected] or on 07836 631192.

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1 year ago

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