Some great singing at the two home games against Ireland and England. London Welsh MVC made a return appearance after ten years, looking and sounding terrific, and were joined at the Wales v Ireland game by the superb Hogia’r Ddwylan. For the game against England, the renowned Pendyrus Male Choir sang alongside the Guernsey Welsh MVC making a first appearance – they had previously flown in for the Wales v Scotland game in 2020 which was cancelled at the last minute due to Covid restrictions. It was wonderful that they made it out on the field on this, their second attempt, and also were able to sing to, and welcome the English team off the bus.
Excellent singing at all four Autumn Internationals (against New Zealand, Argentina, Georgia and Australia) at the Principality Stadium – four choirs at each game with numbers ranging from 155 – 195 singers plus The Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh, under its new Musical Director Richard Burton.
Having been Musical Director of Côr Meibion De Cymru (The South Wales Male Choir) from 2000 – 2006, it is privilege to have been invited to succeed the late Wyn Calvin MBE as choir President. Formed in 1982, the choir has had just three Presidents in its 40 year history – the founding President, Viscount Tonypandy, followed by Lord Gordon Parry and then Wyn Calvin. All three past Presidents will be hard acts to follow in so many ways.
Delighted to be invited to The Wessex Male Choir’s annual concert in July, and to accept their invitation to become an Honorary Patron of the choir, alongside Aled Jones, Howard Goodall and Rhiannon Williams. I have worked with the choir on a number of occasions, including singing at Wembley Stadium ahead of an American NFL game in front of more than 85,000 spectators.
Thrilled to have choirs and band at the 2022 Six Nations games singing live at the Principality Stadium for the first time in two years. Dunvant Male Voice Choir & Bechgyn Bro Taf for Wales v Scotland, Côr CF1 & Côrdydd for Wales v France, Treorchy Male Choir & Tadau Trisant for Wales v Italy – all accompanied by the Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh under Major Denis Burton.
For the three Women’s Six Nations Internationals at Cardiff Arms Park, we welcome back Côr Y Gleision, CF1 and Tadau Trisant, and are delighted to have two choirs making their first appearance – The Richard Williams Singers and the Affinity Female Voice Choir. Choirs at all three games will have accompaniment provided by the Lewis Merthyr Band under the direction of Alan Bourne (for Wales v Scotland) and Craig Roberts (for Wales v France and Wales v Italy.).
Pleased to report that the recording of Hen Wlad with the Cory Band and four choirs which was used at the November 2020 games is also being played ahead of all of Wales’ 2021 Six Nations games, home and away, as well as at the 2021 Autumn Internationals against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia.
It was great fun working on Zoom in the Virtual Concert organised by Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus, and featuring the Vancouver and Burlington Welsh Male Choirs from Canada, along with Pendyrus and Brecon Male Choirs from Wales.
Thoroughly enjoyed two Zoom sessions with the Brecon Male Voice Choir, one of which was a Q&A session, the other talking through six tracks from recordings they had requested.
With all 2020 Autumn rugby games being played behind closed doors, a recording we made of the Welsh National Anthem (with The Cory Band, Cardiff Arms Park MVC, Côr Meibion Taf, Pendyrus and Pontarddulais Male Choirs) is being played at all games, home and away.
Thrilled to take a virtual rehearsal with the Boston Saengerfest Male Chorus via Zoom. During this lockdown period when all normal choir activities are on hold, It was good to see so many singers and good friends as we went through six pieces of music, followed by a lively Q&A session. Great fun.
Also delighted to take a virtual Q&A session with members of three choirs – Barry MVC, Wessex MVC and South Notts Men’s Chorus. An interesting hour with some probing questions about repertoire, attributes of a good MD……, the current and future position with choirs, does choir size matter, etc. A really stimulating hour.
Happy to work again with the Borough Choir on ‘Rugby Tonight’, BT Sports TV.
Delighted to appear on Roy Noble’s radio show in January, to talk about the forthcoming Six Nations. Always a lot of fun. This was followed by a similar conversation on BBC Radio Surrey.
Started the musical year by rehearsing the renowned Treorchy Male Choir in preparation for their appearance at Wales v France in February.
Delighted to end the year with Eschoir, singing at a private reception in Buckingham Palace, entertaining guests with Christmas Carols.
The end-of-year fixture with Wales playing the Barbarians (preceded by the Women’s game) on Nov 30 featured five male choirs, totalling 160 voices – Ar ôl Tri, Bechgyn Bro Taf, Côr Meibion Carnguwch, Meibion y Mynydd and Tenby Male Choir, accompanied by The Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh.
Also in November, pleased to be working again with The Borough Welsh Choir and Meibion Goronwy, both of whom have appeared at games in The Principality Stadium.
The two summer games (against England and Ireland) ahead of the Rugby World Cup provided some superb singing from the three mixed voice choirs and four male choirs respectively. Delighted to welcome the BBC Welsh Chorus and Côr Meibion Talgarth, each making its first appearance at the Stadium.
Looking forward to conducting Hart MVC in Cornwall as guest MD in September.
Delighted to conduct the Borough Welsh Choir on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show for St David’s Day.
Privileged to be at the Stadium with the Flint & Pendyrus Choir for some amazing singing from choirs and supporters, ahead of the Wales victory against England; this was followed by Wales v Ireland with Eschoir & Pontarddulais Male Choir, when Wales took the 2019 Grand Slam.
At its recent AGM, the Hart Male Voice Choir approved the appointment of Haydn as its new President, a position he was privileged to accept.
On May 22, Haydn joined The Borough Welsh Choir to share the conducting with Mike Williams at a Garden Party in Buckingham Palace.
The following day, he travelled to the USA and on June 2 conducted the Welsh National Anthem and pre-match singing at Wales v South Africa in the RFK Stadium in Washington DC.
On June 3, Haydn was guest conductor with the Burlington Welsh MVC at a concert in Washington DC, and at the end of the concert was delighted to be made an Honorary Patron of the Choir.
Following a rehearsal at the Principality Stadium ahead of Wales v France on March 17, Haydn was privileged and honoured to be made a Vice-President of Côr Meibion Pendyrus. Musical Director Stewart Roberts presented Haydn with a framed Certificate, as well as a copy of the choir’s new CD.
Haydn conducted The Borough Welsh Choir at a House of Commons function in February, and was pleased to direct them again at the 2018 St David’s Day Service in the Commons’ Chapel, followed by providing choral entertainment at a reception in Number 10 Downing Street, hosted by The Prime Minister and The Secretary of State for Wales.
Haydn visited Boston in April 2017 to join the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus in celebration of their 25th anniversary. He shared the conducting at an anniversary concert with the current Musical Director and three former Directors, and was honoured for his work with the choir since its formation.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS – Haydn was privileged to be invited to join the British & Irish Lions at their training camps in Wales and Ireland, to work with the team and support staff on music for their tour to New Zealand.
Haydn joined the Maesteg and Brecon Male Choirs as a guest conductor in his home town of Maesteg, and as guest conductor at a massed choir concert in Romsey Abbey. He also directed the Borough Welsh Choir, Côr Meibion Gwalia and the Rushmoor Male Choir as guest conductor in concerts during the Autumn of 2017.
Haydn gave a lunchtime presentation on conducting massed choirs to the Professional Businessmen’s Club (Probus) in December – this was his second appearance as a guest speaker.
He will also travel to Washington DC with Eschoir for the 2018 North American Festival of Wales.