The Pendyrus Male Choir announces the retirement of Gavin Parry after 51 Years unbroken Service.

The Longest Serving Accompanist in the History of Pendyrus.

Cardiff-born Gavin Parry graduated from Bristol University with a BSc. in Physics, and then went on to work for the Welsh Government in a variety of roles until his retirement.

However, his love of music was to dominate his social life. He achieved his Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM) whilst still at school and continued his studies at the Royal Academy on leaving university. He was soon recognised for his outstanding ability to accompany solo artistes and large choral organisations. He has accompanied some of Wales’ and the UK’s leading performers including Bryn Terfel, Rebecca Evans, Katherine Jenkins, Shân Cothi, Gwawr Edwards, Beverley Humphreys, John Owen Jones, Rhys Meirion and Lesley Garrett. In 1987 he was one of the official accompanists at the Urdd National Youth Eisteddfod and was then recognised by the organisers of the National Eisteddfod of Wales who invited him to become the official accompanist for the festival held in Newport in 1988 where he accompanied the winner of the Blue Riband competition.

Although Gavin has been invited to accompany many of Wales’s choral organisations, the opportunity to become the accompanist of the internationally acclaimed Pendyrus Male Choir was readily accepted. He was appointed their official accompanist in September 1973 and has remained until the present day, being awarded Life Membership of the choir in 1994.

His 51 continuous years of service to this famous Rhondda choir makes him their longest serving musician in the choir’s 100-year history. His skills as a pianist have been treasured by generations of choristers and musical directors, but he is also admired for his dedication to an organisation that has thrilled audiences worldwide.

Over these years he has been ever-present when the choir has undertaken extensive tours throughout the world which have included, Australia, and New Zealand 1987; U.S.A 1984. 1989, 1995, 2002 and 2004; Canada, 1990, 1997, 2007; Russia, 1979: Hungary 1986; France, 2011; and Belgium 1992, at the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, in the Fanfare for Wales accompanied by the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra in the presence of H.R.H. Princess Michael of Kent. The event was broadcast throughout UK & Belgium.

One of Gavin’s most talked about special moments was his performance with the choir at the White House in Washington when the US President was Ronald Reagan, who took the trouble to write to the then Mayor of Rhondda, the late Kate Rees, to comment on the true value of Gavin and the choir as ambassadors for the Rhondda. He went on to accompany the choir at a concert in Moscow whilst on a tour of Russia.

During his 51 years with Pendyrus, he has worked tirelessly guiding amateur choristers young and old in the art of reading music. The number of choristers he has helped in voice training is in the hundreds and many have gone on to become solo artistes in their own right.

He has a keen interest and commitment to music-making in Wales and is only too pleased to help and assist wherever he can. In addition to his work with Pendyrus, he has also been guest accompanist to the Caldicot Male Choir and is a regular performer at their annual concerts; he also toured with them to Canada during 1991. In 1992 he accompanied the Tredegar Orpheus Male Choir on their tour of Germany and Cwmbach Male Choir’s tours of Hungary in 1970 and 1980.

He has also devoted time to young singers and instrumentalists, advising, encouraging and accompanying them as they develop their skills. Over the years, he has worked with many to prepare for diploma and other examinations, auditions and scholarships, and competitions including the Urdd

We in Pendyrus can never express our gratitude for this great gentleman, the respect he has in the choir is unprecedented, his loyalty he has shown Pendyrus over the years is incredible, all we can say to you is


thank you!!

Enjoy your retirement!

Gavin’s last concert officially with the choir will be at their live recording in St Martin’s Church, Caerphilly on the 21st of September 2024, it was always guaranteed to be a special night, it will now also be a momentous one for us, we are sure for our Gavin too!