Eifion Wyn Jones

Musical Director

Eifion was born in Rhos and still lives in the village. He was educated in one of the local primary schools and then went to Ruabon Grammar School for Boys. Although the school didn’t have a music department, it has turned out a long line of musicians who have variously influenced the world of music both locally and nationally.

All the men in his father's family had been singers, and he joined the Orpheus at the age of 14, sitting alongside his father and learning the skills of choral singing from him. He was also accompanist to the newly formed Rhos Girls Choir, which, under the leadership of J. Bryan Hughes was quickly becoming very successful. However, his training as a surveyor took him away from the village and the Orpheus. He was invited to become the conductor of the Girls Choir at the age of 23, a position he held for more than 25 years. The choir were to win many competitions including the National Eisteddfod on three occasions. As well as making three commercial recordings, the choir visited Europe, Canada and the USA.

During this period Eifion was also Musical Director of Cefn Mawr Amateur Operatic Society and then Rhos Aelwyd Amateur Operatic Society, where he had previously worked closely as deputy MD to John Glyn Williams for a number of years.

Another opportunity to work with ‘John Glyn’ arose when Eifion was invited to take the post of Deputy Musical Director of the Orpheus in 1989, a position he held for 15 years. He took over as conductor and Musical Director in 2004 upon John Glyn’s retirement.

Eifion has been responsible for introducing the Choir to a new repertoire of songs and has recorded a CD celebrating the Choir’s 50 anniversary. Under Eifion the choir has sung in venues from Cork to Warendorf (Germany).

Anne Phillips

Accompanist

Anne has been accompanist to the choir for over 40 years. A retired Head Teacher, Anne is an accomplished musician. She has travelled extensively with the choir, and it is a tribute to her committment (and tolerance!) that she has often found herself to be the only lady amongst a large number of men. Thankfully, her husband Keith is a member of the choir and is always there to support her.

Rachel Phillips

Assistant Musical Director / Accompanist

The surname is pure coincidence – Rachel is no relation to Anne. Rachel is a graduate of Durham University and is now a Solicitor in Nantwich. Whilst at University she was leader of, and accompanist to, a student choir and was also involved in several musical productions.

She joined the Orpheus team in 2005 whilst at Chester College of Law, where one of our members, Adam Meredith, was also studying. Having experienced Rachel’s expertise in accompanying the College Choir, Adam invited her to consider filling the vacant post of Deputy Accompanist. Thankfully, she accepted and quickly settled in to the role.

Rachel is an accomplished pianist in her own right and since joining the Orpheus has accompanied many of the soloists who appear on stage with the choir. She is also the accompanist for Côr Merched Y Rhos and finds the time to direct the music of theatrical group Limelight Productions of Wrexham.

John Glyn Williams

Former Director of Music

"John Glyn", as he was affectionately known throughout the Welsh music scene, was the Musical Director of the Orpheus for over 40 years, during which time he developed the Choir from relative obscurity to become one of the country’s leading Male Voice Choirs. Although a Headmaster by profession, he was always held in the highest regard by a wide range of musical organisations throughout Wales. A man of enormous talent, enthusiasm and energy he successfully juggled the demands of being a Headmaster, husband and father, music teacher and Musical Director of a number of other organisations as well as the Orpheus. Such was his reputation that he is still the only conductor ever to have been asked to take the baton at more than one of the “Concerts of 1,000 Male Voices” held biennially at the Royal Albert Hall – the Millennium concert was his third and appearance. John Glyn retired from the position of Musical Director in 2004, following which the Choir made him Emeritus Director of Music and, perhaps more significantly, he was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to Music. It was with great sadness that he passed away in 2009. He will be remembered for his unstinting devotion to musical excellence, his expertise in adapting songs for male voice choir, many of which have become standards within the repertoires of choirs around the world, and his charismatic charm with baton in hand.



VIDEOS & RECORDINGS

The Choir has a long tradition of recording its repertoire having released its most recent cd Orpheus Gold to coincide with the choir's Jubilee Celebrations.

Click here to view more videos