Musical Director

Rodger ApplebyRodger Appleby BA (Mus) LGSM ATCL has been the choir's Musical Director since 1994, having previously conducted both Caerphilly and Blaenavon Male Choirs.

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Rodger was educated at Jones's West Monmouth School, Pontypool and Hull University. He studied piano under John Wheatstone and George Mantle-Childe, and conducting with Laurence Lennard. For the past 40 years, he has been actively involved in professional music making in a wide variety of contexts. For a while he left the choral scene and concentrated on composing music for Radio Wales, he also made frequent appearances as guest accompanist for celebrity concerts. In this capacity, he has twice toured the United States with Blaenavon Male Choir.

Rodger retired from his post as Director of Performing at Croesyceiliog School in 2003, joining the Gwent Music Support Service as a piano and vocal tutor as well as doing advisory work for Newport LEA in the primary sector. He is much in demand as an adjudicator, regularly adjudicating the Caerphilly Young Musician competition and rounds of the Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year.


Accompanist

Nicola

Nicola Coker BEd (Hons) Mus. The Choir’s Accompanist was born into a musical family. From the age of 12 she has accompanied mixed and male choirs and guest soloists such as Ryland Davies, Dennis O’Neil, Patricia O’Neil and Beverley Humphries.

Whilst in secondary school, she accompanied the school choir, orchestra, annual shows and her soloist brother Tim, who currently sings for the Berlin Opera Company.

Later Nicola studied music at Caerleon College gaining BEd (Hons) Mus.

Her children have acquired the same musical talent. Her daughter Angharad studied piano to Grade 8 with Rodger Appleby and Oboe to Grade 8 with Jackie Kershaw. She achieved distinction on both instruments.

Her son Rhys studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, where he achieved a first class honours degree and went on to get his Masters Degree with Distinction.

Whilst a music teacher at Caerleon Endowed Junior School, she established a choir of 100 strong voices and an orchestra of 35 ranging in ages from 8–11yrs.

Currently, Nicola is Deputy Head teacher at High Cross Primary School with a choir of 90 strong and an orchestra of 11 – both of which is still growing.


Deputy Conductor

Alyson Jones

Alyson studied voice at the Welsh College of Music and Drama Cardiff, and the GuildhallAlyson JonesSchool of Music and Drama London, where she performed lead roles in many operatic productions including Dido and Aeneas, The Coronation of Poppea and Menottis, The Telephone. Whilst at the Guildhall Alyson had the honour of being chosen to sing before H.M. The Queen at Drapers Hall in London.

Alyson returned to Wales and embarked on a career teaching singing in Gwent schools with Gwent Music Support Service. For 18years she has been privileged to conduct children’s choirs in St David’s Hall Cardiff, the Royal Albert Hall and professional concert venues in Tuscany, Poland and Leipzig and most recently conducted a performance as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for H.M. The Queen and Prince Philip, which was a great honour for the children involved.

Alyson still enjoys a solo career with local male voice and mixed choirs while continuing to pass on her passion for singing to both children and adult choirs in Gwent.


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