Meet

Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir

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Frank Hennessy

President

Frank Hennessy (born 2 February 1947) is a Welsh folk singer and radio presenter.

 

Born into Cardiff's Irish community, Hennessy was used to performing in front of his family by the time his father gave him a guitar aged 13. Although an apprentice at the time at an electrical contractor, after winning Cardiff Council's 1966 "Spotlight on Youth" talent competition with friend Dave Burns, the pair were persuaded to go professional under the name The Hennessys.

 

They relocated to Ireland and developed their sound with Paul Powell. As all three were Welsh, they developed a more Welsh sound and Welsh language base, creating local favourites "Farewell to the Rhondda" (about the decline of the mining industry in Wales and its social consequences), "Tiger Bay" (about emigration from Tiger Bay, the Dockland district of Cardiff) and the capital's anthem "Cardiff Born."

 

Hennessy's own musical compositions have been recorded by a wide range of artists such as The Furies, Foster and Allen, Ar Log, Daniel O'Donnell, Diarmuid O'Leary and the Bards and Max Boyce. One of his songs brought Hennessy a number one slot in the Irish Charts when Daniel O'Donnell recorded The Old Dungarvan Oak, a version of Hennessy's The Old Carmarthen Oak.

 

Hennessy took a break from the music industry in the early 1970s to get married and have a family. In 1978 he was asked to present a programme for the new Cardiff independent radio station CBC, a role he greatly enjoyed. After CBC's collapse and takeover, in 1984, BBC Radio Wales invited Hennessy to act as a stand-in presenter.

 

He also created and presented television programmes including Frank Hennessy's Ireland (2000); Way Out West (1998) (tracing the roots of Cajun, Appalachian and Cape Breton music);[1] and Way Down Under, which took a Celtic look at the music and culture of Australia.

 

Hennessy currently presents BBC Radio Wales' award-winning folk roots and acoustic music show Celtic Heartbeat and for many years co-hosted the Sunday evening programme I'll Show You Mine with rugby union legend Ray Gravell until his death in 2007. Gravell was replaced by singer Amy Wadge.

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David Last

Vice President and Accompanist

David is an accompanist, musical director and arranger with an international reputation.  He has performed in South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, 28 states of the USA (including playing both piano and organ in New York’s Carnegie Hall), Argentina, Chile, Australia (including playing both piano and organ in Sydney Opera House and Sydney Town Hall), Cyprus, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Gibraltar and Jersey. 

David became accompanist of Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir in 2020, having previously held the role of musical director between 2001 and 2016.  He is also accompanist of Pontarddulais Male Choir, and has accompanied them to victory at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and five wins at the Royal National Eisteddfod.  He was accompanist for the British and Irish Lions Male Choir tours to New Zealand (2005), South Africa (2009) and Australia (2013), and has also accompanied Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins, Lucie Jones, Sophie Evans, Beverley Humphreys, Shân Cothi, Sian Hopkins, Anthony Stuart Lloyd, London Welsh Male Choir, Morriston Orpheus Choir and Wessex Male Choir.  He accompanied ‘training’ sessions with the Welsh national rugby team before their Grand Slam of 2005, and the British and Irish Lions team before their 2017 tour to New Zealand.  

David was musical director of Dowlais Male Choir between 2007 and 2012.  He has conducted massed choir events in England, Wales and France, and conducted choirs in the Principality Stadium, live on BBC Grandstand and in front of a capacity Cardiff Arms Park crowd.  He has composed and orchestrated seven musicals, as well as producing countless arrangements, mostly for male choir.  David is Academic Subject Leader for Performing Arts and Production at the University of Gloucestershire.

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Ieuan Jones

Musical Director

Originally from Anglesey, Ieuan moved to Cardiff to study music at the University of Cardiff, where he received an honours degree. During his studies, he became an organ scholar at Dewi Sant church and was appointed Musical Director and Choirmaster in 2010. He is also the Musical Director of the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir, Pendyrus Male Choir and the Assistant Musical Director of the Morriston Orpheus Choir. 

Ieuan is also a busy accompanist and organist for many soloists and choirs, including Côr Heol-y-March, and is the Accompanist and Organist of the Morriston Orpheus Choir. He has enjoyed considerable success at numerous choir competitions, including accompanying the winning choir at the Children’s Choir of the World Competition, Llangollen, and the winning choir in the Côr Cymru (Choir of Wales) competition on S4C.

As a conductor and accompanist Ieuan has travelled Great Britain extensively, and played in many prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and 10 Downing Street. He has also toured Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Austria, Canada and New York where he performed at Carnegie Hall.

He is also the Musical Director of the British and Irish Lions Male Voice Choir; he toured New Zealand with them in 2017. Ieuan can be heard every Friday morning on Radio Cymru where he tests the nation with his weekly quiz combining his passion for quizzes and his unique talent as a yodeler!

Joseph Cavalli-Price

Locum Accompanist

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Born in Neath, Joseph graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a first-class honours degree in Vocal and Opera performance. He now studies at the Royal Academy of Music on the MA Piano Accompaniment Course with Michael Dussek and Joseph Middleton. Joseph is the Founder of Music In Hospices - a charity aiming to bring the joy of live music to Hospice and Palliative Care Settings, providing families lifelong memories through music.

 

Described as ‘a rare breed of accompanist, exquisitely sympathetic to the needs of a soloist,' Joseph has received numerous awards for both his accompanying and singing including; the Layton Watkins Memorial Award, the Richard Harris Memorial Award, the Veal Award for Outstanding Musicianship, the St Elli Masonic Lodge Bursary Award, the Llanelli Grammar School Old Boys and Graig Former Pupils Association Bursary Award and the Margaret George Memorial Scholar- ship. He was also a finalist in the Eleri Evans Memorial Accompanists Award and is the only musician in the competition’s history to compete as a finalist in the Junior Kathleen Ferrier Awards as both a singer and accompanist: achieving second place in the Dennis Horner Accompaniment Prize and winning the Norma Proctor Song prize with his duo partner.

Joseph is the accompanist of Only Boys Aloud, Only Kids Aloud, Cor Caerdydd, Cardiff Arms Park Male Voice Choir, ReChoir and a keys player with the Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra. Joseph made his debut at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2018, as guest accompanist of the Festival of Massed Male Choirs. Other notable performances include working as the official accompanist for Wales’ Festival of Remembrance and as the official accompanist for Sir Karl Jenkins’ 75th Birthday Concert at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. A former Organ Scholar at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David, Cardiff, Joseph accompanied the choir for all the main Cathedral events, highlights of which included a performance for HRH the Prince of Wales and a live broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

 

A talented ensemble singer, Joseph was successful in obtaining a place as one of five tenors (out of two hundred applicants) in Harry Christophers' The Sixteen Young Artist Scheme "Genesis Sixteen" for 2019/2020 working with Harry Christophers, Eamon Dougan, Mary King and members of the Sixteen in the full choir, smaller consorts and during 1-1 vocal sessions.

 

Alongside his studies he has held positions at Llandaff Cathedral, St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cardiff Oratory and was also a Choral Scholar with the BBC National Chorus of Wales. Joseph was a founding member of the Welsh choir, 'Only Boys Aloud' and sang with the choir on in Britain’s Got Talent and in performances for; the Queen and Royal Family in Buckingham Palace for the Coronation Festival, the Royal Opening of the Senedd for the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and for HRH Prince Andrew at the Welsh Mental Health Arts Festival.

Joseph has been an active member of RWCMD and performed the lead role in 'The Amazing Ad- ventures of Alvin Alegretto' in collaboration with Welsh National Opera's Outreach department, performed in the Chorus for the college's 70th anniversary opera gala (Carlo Rizzi) and worked as a répétiteur for college projects including, The Gondoliers (Alice Farnham), The Magic Flute (Gareth Jones), RWCMD's Opera gala 2018 (James Southall), BMus 4 Opera Scenes combined with accompanying weekly language, performance and drama classes and performing in masterclasses for; Adrian Thompson, James Gilchrist, John Fisher, Suzanne Murphy, Elizabeth Atherton, Lorna Anderson, Donald Maxwell, Simon Lepper and Malcolm Martineau.

Joseph is a passionate believer that music should be accessible for all and was overjoyed to be accepted onto the Live Music Now scheme during 2019. He has performed at charity events for organisations which include Barclays, Clifford Chance, Bloodwise, Childline, Cancer Research, The International Women’s Forum, Cardiff Blues, Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons, Bobath Cymru, European Society of Criminology, Royal Military Police and David Lloyd Clubs.

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Helen Roberts

Guest Accompanist

Helen was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. She started to learn a variety of musical instruments at an early age including the flute and violin but soon developed an aptitude for the piano.

In 2000, Helen became the principal accompanist for the Silver Ring Choir of Bath, during which time she undertook concert tours of Germany and Holland.

Following a concert in 2003 featuring the Silver Ring Choir and Treorchy Male Choir, Helen was invited to become the deputy accompanist to Treorchy and joined them on their successful tour of Australia in 2004. 

She was presented with Honorary Lady Membership of the Choir in 2007 and in the same year graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff .

Helen accompanied the Treorchy Male Choir on its tour of Australia & New Zealand in 2009 and also on three occasions to Monaco where guests included Dame Shirley Bassey and Rhys Ifans.                    

Most recently, she has also been involved with numerous operatic and musical theatre groups such as Cardiff University Operatic Society and Radyr Music Society where she has lead and directed rehearsals. 

Helen is an official accompanist for the South Glamorgan Festival for Young Musicians as well as a number other music festivals for children of all ages. She has also been heavily involved over a number of years with the Rotary by accompanying singers and instrumentalists in their music competitions.

Alongside her active musical life, Helen completed a PGCE working in secondary schools and is currently working at the University of South Wales. She has worked with many organisations delivering educational music projects for both adults and children, including the National Dance Company Wales and Hijinx Theatre Company.