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Dr Alwyn Humphreys MBE

Alwyn Humphrey

 'A legend - not only a credit to the world of music, but to the Welsh nation.
So said The Secretary of State for Wales, The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP about Alwyn Humphreys who in January 2005 stepped down after 25 years as Musical Director of the Morriston Orpheus Choir. In recognition of the outstanding contribution he had made during that time, the Choir conferred on Alwyn the title of Conductor Emeritus in March 2005.
During his time as Musical Director Alwyn conducted 623 concerts, made 28 recorded albums (three of which won 'Best Choral Record' awards, with another two gaining Silver Discs), made countless TV appearances, and travelled extensively with the Choir to France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Canada, the USA, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, and most recently the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Among the most notable performances were ones at Carnegie Hall, New York and the Sydney Opera House, both concerts achieving 5 standing-ovations.
Born in Bodffordd, Isle of Anglesey in North Wales, where his father sang tenor in the local male choir and which his uncle conducted, Alwyn was Principal Violist of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales before graduating with honours in music at the University of Hull and Trinity College London.
His musical arrangements for male choir, now numbering over 200, are much in demand from choirs world-wide, with publications in Britain and America. Listed in the 'International Who's Who in Music', he is frequently in demand as a guest conductor at home and abroad, including the Festival of Massed Male Choirs in New Zealand and the London Welsh Festival at the Royal Albert Hall.

Alwyn HumphreyAlwyn was created an MBE in the Queen’s 2001 New Year’s Honours List for services to music in Wales. In July 2006 he was awarded a Doctorate in Music by the University of Hull recognising his "outstanding contribution to the art and practice of choral music in this country and across the world".Alwyn is pictured at the ceremony proudly wearing his Orpheus life member tie.
Since leaving the Morriston Orpheus, Alwyn has been guest-conducting at various massed male choir concerts, as well as televised events such as the Bryn Terfel Faenol Festival. He also regularly appears with the National Chamber Orchestra of Wales in their monthly candlelit concert series in the dual role of compere and conductor.
He continues to combine his conducting career with that of presenting TV programmes and televised events, including the National Eisteddfod and the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. He also regularly introduces concert broadcasts by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
His autobiography (Yr Hunangofiant) was published by Y Lolfa in May 2006, and was long-listed for the Welsh Book of the Year 2007. A book of musical anecdotes (Cythrel Cerdd) is published this month.
Recently Alwyn has undertaken conducting engagements in Argentina, China, and South Africa, and late last year he returned to Australia to undertake workshops and master-classes for the Male Choirs Association of Australia, culminating in a massed choir concert in Dallas Brooks Hall, Melbourne.
Alwyn is married to the Morriston Orpheus Choir's current Musical Director, Joy Amman Davies and can be contacted at alwynhum@globalnet.co.uk