Musical Director – Geraint Davies
Geraint Davies was raised in the mid Wales town of Aberystwyth. His background is both Welsh – speaking and extremely musical. Both parents were singers and were heavily involved in the musical life of the area – some of his earliest memories are of the sound of the Gymanfa Ganu, opera and folksong.
He learnt the piano from a young age and later the trumpet and trombone. He became involved in local bands and orchestras while at school. He went on to graduate in music at U.C.W. Aberystwyth before a successful teaching career took him to Torquay,Ebbw Vale and to Llantarnam School in Cwmbran where he was the head of music (and the arts faculty) for 27 years. While at Llantarnam he formed a choir which recorded several CDs and toured widely throughout Europe, including performances at St.Mark’s Basilica in Venice and Barcelona Cathedral.
In 2012 he took early retirement and has since concentrated on his other interests – he has worked as a columnist for the Times Educational Supplement and written widely on the arts in The South Wales Argus. He works as an examiner for ‘A’ level music and also composes – particularly choral music. He has won prizes nationally – including twice at the National Eisteddfod – and has written a commission for RMC ( a setting of the poem In Flanders Fields) in 2014. His work is published by Curiad publications.
He has directed a number of choirs and societies in South Wales. This began in 1983 when he was appointed to direct the Tredegar Orpheus Choir with whom he enjoyed 3 successful years ( they twice reached the final of the Male Choir of the Year competition and also the Welsh Choral Challenge Shield ). He then moved on to conduct the Caerphilly and Beaufort male choirs and Newport Operatic Society. As well as currently being the MD of the Risca Male Choir he also conducts a vibrant young mixed choir based in Cwmbran called Côr Aduniad.
He sees his appointment as the Musical Director of the Risca Male Choir in September 2015 as a great opportunity to lead one of Wales’ premier choirs. His main aim is to hold on to the unique position and reputation that the choir has while incorporating new repertoire and encouraging new composers to write for them.This will involve maintaining the current high quality of singing and the great diversity of its repertoire – everything from demanding modern pieces and new music (including his own) to ‘lighter’ music. The latter is something that will continue to be showcased each year in their popular themed concerts. Performances will continue to include new arrangements and material written specifically for Risca Male Choir.
His own musical interests are very varied and include everything from modern Classical music – both instrumental and choral, musical theatre and brass bands through to jazz and soul. He feels that this range will complement, and be reflected in, the choir’s future programming. He also seeks to find the right balance between rigour and fun so that each rehearsal is enjoyable but also challenging for all.
When not involved in music he can be found pursuing his interest in sport (he is passionate about cricket and football) and writing on a range of topics. He lives in Newport with his wife Sian, son Sam and three cats.