STEWART ROBERTS, MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Stewart Roberts spent his childhood in Pembrokeshire, and when the family moved to Treorchy in the Rhondda he was educated at Treorchy Comprehensive School and later at the University of Wales in Cardiff. Whilst at Cardiff he studied the piano with Richard McMahon and Caroline Rae and cello with Chris Hodges. In 1995 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree, and was awarded the Eleanor Amy Bowen Scholarship which enabled him to pursue his Master’s Degree in 1996. In 2001, Stewart gained the LRSM Diploma in Piano Performance.
As a solo pianist Stewart has performed concertos by Grieg, Shostakovich, Mozart and Beethoven. His most recent performance was in the ‘Warsaw Concerto’ with the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, and the orchestra has invited him to appear with them again in the near future. As a cellist, he has also given many solo performances, most notably Karl Jenkins’ ‘Benedictus’ from ‘The Armed Man’ in a concert at St. David’s Hall in 2014.
Stewart Roberts has accompanied many of Wales’ distinguished vocalists, including Rhys Meirion, Rebecca Evans, Shân Cothi, Wynne Evans and Anthony Stuart Lloyd, and in 2007 he accompanied Hayley Westenra in concert at St David’s Hall.
Stewart’s passion for male choral singing was ignited when he was appointed accompanist to Côr Meibion Morlais at the age of sixteen. Since then he has worked with Dunvant, Ynysowen and Only Men Aloud, and was Musical Director of Dowlais Male Choir 2000-2007. Following the retirement of John Samuel as Pendyrus’ Conductor on 14th January 2009, Stewart readily agreed to take up the baton, and he was formally appointed the fifth Musical Director in the choir’s 94 year history on 22nd February 2009. Two proud moments in Stewart’s career was winning ‘Choir of the Eisteddfod’ and ‘Best Conductor’ with Pendyrus in 2010 & 2012 at the Cardigan Semi-National Eisteddfod. Pendyrus also won best Male Choir at the same competition in 2017. Stewart was appointed accompanist to ‘Noteworthy Mixed Choir’ from Maesteg in 2014.
Stewart currently teaches in Ysgol Gyfun Y Cymer, Tonypandy Comprehensive and Treorchy Comprehensive giving instrumental and vocal lessons in addition to GCSE and A Level tuition. He has recently been appointed a Musical Advisor for LARS (Loud Applause Rising Stars), a Llanelli-based charity who help, support and nurture young singers and instrumentalists across South Wales.
GAVIN PARRY, ACCOMPANIST
Gavin Parry was educated at Cardiff High School, and read Physics at Bristol University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. He had studied piano while at school, becoming a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, and resumed his studies at the Royal Academy on leaving university.
He works for the National Assembly for Wales, dealing with pharmacy and prescribing policy in the National Health Service, and is a free-lance professional musician, accompanying choirs and solo artistes throughout Britain, and in Russia (1979), the United States (1984, 1989, 1995, 2002 and 2004), Hungary (1986), Australia (1987) and Canada (1990, 1997 and 2007). He was official accompanist at the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales in Newport in 1988.
Gavin was appointed Accompanist to Pendyrus in September 1973, and was awarded Life Membership of the choir in 1994.