Our Chairman’s words

Caerphilly Male Voice Choir would not exist without the support of our wonderful choristers. Time and time again show their commitment to the worthy causes CMVC supports. But behind what our audience sees and what members see is a team that keeps things moving and keeps the choir alive. Tony was the backbone to our choir, a clear ambassador whom for decades, worked hard to get us into some amazing venues. Not just finding and creating events with the lions’ clubs and round tables in Wales and across the border.
Tony would visit these venues to check them out prior to the event. Checking detail and ensuring Choristers would have facilities and be looked after. Following the events, Tony would set up afterglow in a local venue. Essentially, a wind down before getting back on the coach to return home. The afterglow on many occasions is livelier than the concerts.
Tony put many thousands of pounds in the choir fund by his fantastic negotiation skills. But the joke was he would always use the same bus. It’s an old cranky bus, so any extra funding saved on a decent coach would be straight into the choir funding. There was no toilet and the most uncomfortable back seats. It was like being on a ride at Barry Island. With only an old large bleach bottle for anyone desperate enough to use it.  About 5 years back, we opened the Coal Exchange following a massive refurbishment.  When Tony explained when was about 10, he went there to see his father singing in a concert. Yes, his father was in our choir, too. And maybe this was his inspiration.
We are so fortunate to have had someone of his calibre to help us keep the choir going.
On a personal level, Tony was a great friend both when he was in choir and when he stepped away with sound advice and strong support. We were both Fellows of the same institute and both in engineering. Tony was always interested in the latest engineering technology, and we shared many stories of projects.
I will miss these conversations.
Tony managed us so well. It was a bit like herding cats, and Tony was a consummate professional at it. Going into the detail.
Tony was so missed when he stepped away from the choir due to his health. A true gentleman and a wonderful friend to all of us.
We miss him dearly.
Our love to his family and friends.
Great memories. Thank you, Tony Howell.

John Morgan, our chairman, Thursday the 14th of March 2024.

The funeral for Tony Howell will take place on the 5th of April 2024 at Thornhill crematorium, Wenalt Chapel.

What our chairman said at Tony’s funeral:

My Name is John Morgan, and I have the honour of being the choir chairperson.
Anthony or Tony, as he was to us, was, for many years, a committee member. His contribution to the running and continuation of the choir goes without question.
: Tony to us was a dear friend and a fantastic concert manager. For decades, he took the choir to many wonderful venues. An amazing fund raiser for the choir also its many causes. A true ambassador. He would jokingly stress upon us that grey socks were part of the uniform and compulsory. So, I was going into unnecessary detail during valuable practice time. Things had to be rite. Details were especially important. By doing this, he kept us on track.
: Organising us is like herding cats. Tony was a consummate professional and did this so well. Without a shadow of a doubt, we would not have a choir today without his hard work and dedication. Not just finding the venues but finding the many unforgettable afterglows. In all honesty, we do remember some of his afterglows. Others are still a bit of a blur.
: There was, however, one consistent flaw in his planning.  He would keep costs low by using his favourite coach company. And his favourite driver, who far too frequently got us lost.
The coach of Tonys preference had seen better days. For longer distances, we would, if money were in the pot and we had not moaned enough, get something a little better. but never a toilet. Part of his planning talks were to ensure the large old bleach bottle we stored, well hidden in the church was on the coach. Just in case.
One event spring into mind that clearly gave good reason to upgrade the coach. But it never happened.

Tony believed Newbury was not, so far, away, so a luxury coach was not worth the cost. And we relied on the old bleach bottle again. Just in case.
: We left as always at least three hours before we needed to. Just in case.
There were, however, many times we were glad to leave at Tony time.

With the usual spilt refreshment and a lack of a decent suspension, until our coach started bellowing steam. So, off the motorway and broken down in the middle of a housing estate.
A lady was glaring at the scruffy coach from her front room. Tony took charge, walking over to her with a large empty container. All was well as Tony would sort everything. He always did.
Tony walked towards the house with the lady glaring directly at him. When he got close enough for her, she closed her curtains on him. Tony turned to the bus and smiled. Not at all phased by this, never phased.
His infectious smile, his humour, and his ability to communicate with people pulled us out of trouble again with the more helpful neighbour.
We are forever grateful for his help support and experienced advice. On a personal level, I enjoyed our conversations on engineering and the wonderful buildings / events we would sing in.
Ironically, the only time we did get a toilet on the coach to Cardiff. Opening the coal exchange. Tony was gutted as he caught the train in.

Tony was there some 60 years previously as a small boy with his father, a member of Caerphilly Male Voice Choir. He had a glow while he explained this to us. This was where his choral interest came from.
From concert halls to Cathedrals, Tony worked hard to raise funds for many great causes, even when out walking on weekends, he found us venues.
But above all, an inspiring friend, chorister, and mentor to all of us.
For this, we are eternally grateful.

Thank you, Tony.

John Morgan, our chairman, Thursday the 11th of April 2024.

Chairman’s words 21/06/2024

Sunday 5th May 2024: Is a day we will remember for an exceptionally long time. For us, a fantastic showing on Chanel 4 The Piano. Supporting our outstanding musical Director Nerys As she sang Anfonaf Angel. With Lang Lang, Mika, and the team unaware we would harmonise with Nerys. To all intent and purpose, it looked like we were a bunch of males being nosey about the rumpus in Cardiff central station.

Our purpose hidden from all but the main production team. We were all so proud and the comments from both Lang Lang and Mika were heartfelt. 

But that was not the only reason we will remember this day.

I am always amazed how our choir reaches out. We are here as a family for each other and so the support we have as a team is not in question. Our reach is far beyond our expectations. A very humbling place to be when we learned how we had deeply affected a Gentleman who had just lost his beloved wife. Bernard Jones husband of Sylvia Winifred Jones was in hospital his wife mother grand and great grandmother.

Had sadly passed away.

He got home, sat in his seat, and switched on the TV. To see Caerphilly Male Voice Choir performing in Cardiff Central Railway station.

He spoke to his daughter and through his tears told her this is the song he wanted at his wife’s funeral.

We don’t do funerals other than for our choristers. We had no recording of this to play in the Morriston Crematorium. So, our amazing choristers and musical team did the next best thing. We sang at the crematorium.

Not a dry eye in the house. And a wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady.

We also sang at the Golf Club later for them. 

Our choristers and music team are amazing. It makes me well up when I see the things they do to support each other and someone who needs our support, they do this out of love, pure love, thank you is not enough.

John Morgan our chairman on the 21st of June 2024

Chairman’s words 28/06/24

The Trooper.

We at Caerphilly Male Voice Choir since 1906 have been blessed with a wonderful team of Choristers, who through loyalty and dedication have made such a difference, not just to our success but to our unique contribution when we are needed. Supporting the needs of community and each other.

The late Mr Roy Moore Tenor came up with the term of endearment for those who have given notable service to the choir. The Troopers.  Below is just a reflection of what they have meant to us. This poem is dedicated to all our former Choristers and founders who have now passed. It was when Garfield passed that as Chairman, I realised the immensity of our history and calling to this inspiring charitable organisation.

Garfield Joined the Choir in 1960. He gave the Choir 53 Years of loyal service. As it is with the rest of the guys in the choir, they give their time freely for the good of the Choir and for the good causes supported by the Choir.

As Chairman I am always humbled by the generosity of our choristers. Especially the consistent generosity and encouragement of all our senior choristers. Without them and the efforts of our founders, there would be no choir. So, I put Pen to paper.

Our Senior Choristers and New Choristers continue to inspire us. It’s not just about the singing. The sense of community is what started our choir. Supporting and encouraging our team. The best way to find yourself is surely in the service of others.

 In Garfield’s letter of resignation to the secretary he thanked the choir for all the choir had given him.  We all felt it was us that owed him, and this was our response to this inspirational man. We were honoured to show our respect to our former chorister and his family before his passing.

We always do our best to attend Choristers funerals and it’s the final thing we can do for our friends. The family also asked me to read this at his funeral a tough call, but an absolute honour.

So now I dedicate this to all our wonderful choristers that are no longer with us. Our thanks to every one of you.

John Morgan Chairman Friday the 28th of June 2024

Dedicated to The Choral Troopers.

When we arrived at practice, and to our deep dismay.

Our secretary informed us, you’re not in Choir today.

We are all going to miss you, but we all understand.

This is not just a Chorister; this is not just a man.


As this man is a trooper, a trooper to the last.

You joined us many years ago, you’re written in our past.

You are also in our future, with your help and support.

Thanks, from all our choristers many of whom you taught.

Out of all our treasured memories, there’s one especially.

The whistle of your hearing aid, which kept us out of key.

With shouts of turn the volume down, the choristers would moan.

We are all supposed to be in tune, not singing on our own.

The discipline you’ve showed us, consistent to our cause.

If thanks are to be handed out, the thanks are ours not yours.

So, here’s a massive thank you, off all of us to say.

Were really going to miss, your kind and loving way.


You’ve given us your best; you’ve given us your time.

Now you can hang your jacket up, knowing you did just fine.

From now until the end of time, you’re in our choir’s soul.

We appreciate everything you’ve done, to accomplishing our goal.

Presented in loving memory of all our former members with much love and appreciation.

John Morgan Chairman CMVC 

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