Brian Pope Snr.
John Richards - Chairman
John has strong Rhondda valley routes with his parents coming from Tom Pentre and Treherbert, while his Uncle Ivor Hitchings was a chorister in Treorchy Male Choir in the late 1970s and 1980s. John and his wife, Marianne, became close to the choir when the Treorchy Minstrels (a group of choristers drawn from the choir) performed at their wedding and at John’s 60th birthday.
John became President of the choir in January 2022 and, outside of his involvement with the choir, he is Chairman of Brickability Group PLC, Chairman of Facilities by ADF PLC, Chairman of JR&M Investments and is a Director of numerous other companies, along with Moseley Rugby Club in Birmingham where he was once a player and his son, Jack, now plays. John has a daughter, Elizabeth, who works and lives in London.
Finally, John and Marianne live in Warwickshire but since 2019 have had a home in 5th Avenue South, Naples.
Formerly educated in Treorchy and later at Cardiff University studying piano and cello, Stewart graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree and was awarded the Eleanor Amy Bowen Scholarship enabling him to pursue his Masters degree at Cardiff University graduating with a Master of Arts degree in 1996.
Stewart was awarded the Licentiate of the Royal School of Music before becoming a conductor and gaining the LRSM Diploma in Piano Performance in 2001. He has worked with numerous Welsh male choirs, before officially becoming the Musical Director of the Treorchy Male Choir in 2019.
Stewart currently teaches in Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda, Y Pant Comprehensive School and Treorchy Comprehensive School, giving instrumental and vocal lessons in addition to GCSE and A Level tuition.
Assistant Musical Director & Accompanist
Ryan is currently Musical Director of Bridgend Male Choir and Deputy Musical Director of Treorchy Male Choir. He is the founder conductor of Noteworthy, a mixed choir based in Maesteg which has become well known for the high standard of their repertoire. Noteworthy has been described as “one of the best mixed choirs in Wales”.
Ryan has accompanied numerous renowned Welsh choirs since 1996, including the Classical Brit Awards’ winning vocal ensemble, Only Men Aloud. He has also accompanied Only Boys Aloud and Only Kids Aloud. Ryan has played with the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, as well as at many other prestigious venues including Wales Millennium Centre, St David’s Hall, Llandaff Cathedral, Palma Cathedral, Truro Cathedral and Cadogan Hall in London. He has appeared on the Welsh TV programme, Heno, and has performed on programmes for BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales.
Rhiannon Williams - Accompanist
A native of Barry, Rhiannon was educated at the Bishop of Llandaff High School in Cardiff. Her early years were influenced by a love of singing and winning the 1989 National BET Choirgirl of the Year, held in London. This led to solo appearances at the Royal Albert Hall and St David’s Hall on many occasions, a scholarship to the RWCMD, opera tour performances and membership of the National Youth Choirs of Wales and Great Britain.
Receiving piano tuition with Marion Williams (former accompanist at Treorchy), Rhiannon was awarded an ABRSM scholarship for instruction at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She also read music at Cardiff University as a David Lloyd vocal scholar, before achieving Associate & Licentiate diplomas from all the major schools of music, each with distinction, culminating with a Fellowship in piano accompaniment from the London College of Music.
Rhiannon’s accompanying career began with Treorchy Male Choir in 1998. Over a four-year period she enjoyed performing in all of their concerts, including tours to Australia, USA and Canada.
Ray started singing as a young boy in St. Mary’s Church Choir, Treherbert. At the age of 16, he joined Selsig Operatic Society singing in the chorus and later performing numerous leading roles. Later he appeared in a series of specially commissioned works for charity including tributes to Gilbert & Sullivan and songs from the London West End musicals.
More notably, was the series of concerts in honour of the music of Ivor Novello, which helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for worthy causes. Ray joined the Treorchy Male Choir in 1998 in the Baritone section and in the last decade has become the choir’s regular Baritone Soloist, appearing at the Sydney Opera House and over 20 concerts throughout Australia and New Zealand. Ray has sung in the choir for over 21 years, receiving his Long Service Membership Award in 2019.
Richard Elfyn - Soloist
Richard Elfyn, a distinguished actor and narrator, was born and raised in the picturesque town of Pwllheli, the son of a dedicated policeman. His passion for acting led him to the prestigious Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where he honed his craft and embarked on a remarkable journey in the world of entertainment.
With a career spanning decades, Richard has become a household name, captivating audiences with his incredible talent and versatility. He is widely recognized for his outstanding performances in various movies and TV dramas. Some of his notable film credits include "Apostle" (2018), "Killer Elite" (2011), and "Belonging" (2000). His remarkable work in movies such as 'The Killer Elite' alongside legendary actors like Robert DeNiro and his lead role in Gari Tryfan feature length dramas for S4C have earned him critical acclaim and a BAFTA award.
In addition to his success on the big screen, Richard has made significant contributions to the world of television. He has graced popular TV series like "The Crown," "Keeping Faith," "Emmerdale," and "Stella," leaving a lasting impression with his exceptional acting skills. Notably, he is the voice behind the beloved character Sam Tan, also known as Fireman Sam, on Welsh television channel S4C. Richard's talent extends beyond the screen and stage.
He is a proud member of the esteemed Treorchy Male Choir, where his melodic voice adds depth and richness to their performances. Even during challenging times like the Covid pandemic, Richard continued to inspire audiences with his oration of the beautiful Sunset Poem by Dylan Thomas, reminding everyone of the power of art to bring solace and joy.
In the realm of theater, Richard has delivered acclaimed performances in productions such as "Spring and Port Wine," "The Rivals," and "The Admirable Crichton" for the New Vic rep season. His association with Theatre Clwyd has allowed him to shine in timeless classics like "Of Mice and Men," "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "Macbeth."
Not confined to the stage and screen, Richard has lent his distinctive voice to BBC Radio Drama and animation projects. His vocal talents have breathed life into various characters, including robots and monsters for the iconic series "Doctor Who."
Beyond his acting prowess, Richard Elfyn is a storyteller, taking his audience on a captivating journey with his one-man show, "The Wizard, The Goat, and The Man Who Won the War," delving into the fascinating life of David Lloyd George. This compelling performance has taken him across the globe, from Paris to Singapore and Boston in the US, earning him international acclaim and admiration.
With a rich tapestry of roles and a dedication to his craft, Richard Elfyn continues to inspire and entertain audiences worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. His passion, talent, and commitment to his artistry make him a true icon in the realm of acting and storytelling.
Stuart Smith - Soloist
Stuart started singing as a ten-year-old boy when he joined Spotlight Theatre Company’s inaugural production of Oliver, taking the lead role. He continued to take part in amateur dramatic productions through his teens, with both Spotlight and The Mid Rhondda Theatre Group. In 1994, he began his university studies and started singing and playing guitars in bands; a pastime he still enjoys today.
In 2003 he embarked upon his teaching career and has given singing and guitar lessons at a variety of schools throughout South Wales. Stewart joined the Treorchy Male Choir in 2011 and spent the subsequent years practising the songs whilst singing his young daughter to sleep. He became the choir’s Tenor Soloist in 2013.
He has toured widely with the choir, having sung at Murrayfield in Scotland during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has visited Monte Carlo twice singing to the likes of Sir Gareth Edwards, Rhys Ifans and Dame Shirley Bassey at the Hotel de Paris (accidentally standing on Miss Bassey’s foot during a photograph!). She assures Stuart that she holds no grudge!