Helen Kennedy

One of our past conductors had a friend in the Bournemouth area who had connections with a music group there. In an attempt to forge links with musical groups elsewhere, a concert was arranged in Bournemouth, jointly with the group. The idea was that they would come to Barry and do a joint concert with us in due course. A member of the choir did some sterling work in arranging a coach and excellent accommodation for the trip.

We had a very pleasant journey to Bournemouth, despite a slight compass error in Bath, where the driver missed the turning. The weather was fine and the company good. We had a good rehearsal in a suburban church and then went off to find our hotels, near the town centre. We even had a little time to look around before going back for the concert.

It was a very pleasant concert, but somewhat long and, just as we were ready for our supper, a lady in the other music group insisted on an encore. We eventually got our supper, in a local restaurant with the other music group.

Beryl Weale

Having been brought up in Rhymney the tradition of singing was part of our heritage. I attended a Welsh Chapel, which held lots of Gymanfas with practices on a Sunday evening after the service, my mother was a member of a Choir, my father had a beautiful tenor voice, lots of family members with great voices.

Singing and music formed an immense role in my life. I sang in Rhymney Grammar School Choir, Barry Training College Choir, Rhymney Ladies Choir and eventually College Chorus at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

We moved to Barry in December 1970, had our first daughter Sara in December 1971 and Llinos in December 1974. Hurrah! Time for me to join a choir. I attended Barry Choral Society’s summer concert in 1975. I liked what I heard and joined the choir in the September. Wow!!! That is some time ago.

I was very quiet in those days and was very pleased when Margaret Colley took me under her wing. Loved my years in Barry Choral Society and hope to have some years in Barry Community Choir.

Vera Hollyman

I joined B.C.C in about 1989 when the choir the I belonged to failed. I have enjoyed immensely the time I have been a member. We are a very friendly choir and singing together is a good way to relax after a busy and frustrating day.

I can remember at least two soloists hired by the choir in the 1980s who went on to become well known. One soprano, from New Zealand, went on to represent her country in Cardiff Singer of the World and another soprano is now a well-known interpreter of Wagner soprano roles.


My husband and I joined the choir soon after we moved to the area. We found details in a card index in Barry Library (shows how long ago this was).

Our first concert with the choir was Messiah in a chapel in Blackwood, which involved taking a coach to get there, a good way of getting to know people.

A few weeks later we sang Messiah in Barry, just before Easter. This may have been the time our tenor soloist was a Policeman, for ever after known as The Singing Policeman.A few weeks later we sang Messiah in Barry, just before Easter. This may have been the time our tenor soloist was a Policeman, for ever after known as The Singing Policeman.

W.Haydn Burgess

For a number of years I held the post of Stage Manager for the Society which was quite a challenging task due to the numbers then in the Society and the need to hire and erect staging for Concerts. One of my memorable occasions when as President of the Rotary Club of Barry I arranged a major Concert in Barry Memorial Hall with the combined Choral Society and Barry Male Voice Choir in aid of Rotary's International Polio Plus Fund. We used the Theatre organ for some of the items and I arranged for an acoustic booth to be built to enable the combined Choirs which numbered over one hundred to sing from the stage area. Margaret Hughes was the Soprano soloist and Evelyn Careless accompanied on the grand piano. The Conductor was Douglas Baxter.

Most of all I always enjoyed the privilege of singing with the Choral and I shall always be grateful to the musicians who gave of their time and talents to lift my spirits and learn new musical works. It is sad that so many people do not realize the therapeutic value of singing in a good choir.

Helen Kennedy

One Christmas concert it was decided it would be nice to have a candle lit section for two or three carols. However, concerns were expressed about using real candles, so a batch of battery operated electric candles was bought for the choir to use.

No-one tested them in advance, so it came as rather a surprise when they didn’t cast much light. In fact, they cast rings of light, some brighter than others, which didn’t make it easy to read the music. It was also a lot darker in the church than anticipated, and the only reason the conductor was at all visible was the fact that he was wearing a white dinner jacket However, the audience seemed to enjoy the concert.