History of Rhayader & District Male Voice Choir

On a cold winter’s evening in 1957, Tom Edwards a farmer, Rhys Jones manager of Barclays Bank in Rhayader, Afon Jones lorry Driver and Afon Davies lorry Driver met in the Cwmdauddwr Arms in Rhayader for the inaugural meeting of the Rhayader and District Male Voice Choir.

Its strength lay in the enthusiasm and dedication to learn and sing music of its some three dozen members who were eager to set themselves up as a competent male voice choir.

From those early days the choir went forward to face the 60’s with enthusiasm, competing with great success in many local eisteddfodau and other competitive festivals throughout Mid-Wales.

Much of its early success was due to the expertise and enthusiasm of the late Afon Jones who was its conductor in those early days, and his memory is very much alive today when some of the longer serving members will enjoy the thrill of relating the tales and escapades that went on during that period.

Since then of course the choir have appeared on many stages and venues throughout the United Kingdom and abroad.

In 1978 the choir took part for the first time at the festival of 1000 voices at the Royal Albert Hall in London and have continued to do so on many occasions since.

In 1981 the choir was honoured to sing before His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales during his visit to Rhayader.

By the mid 1980’s the Choir was very well established and its members swelled by the arrival of singers from other parts of the country and who would prove to be a great asset to the fortunes and success of the Choir. Such a person was a young man by the name of Nick Rogers, who soon became its conductor and who proved to be an enthusiastic leader and who attracted many young voices to the choir.

The early 90’s saw the continued success of the Choir in many aspects and its reward was the invitation to join the Choir of the World of 10,000 voices at Cardiff Arms Park. A spectacular event with its fireworks and natural thunder and lightning!