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Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 00:10 GMT
Double honour for Welsh choir
Morriston Orpheus
Morriston Orpheus choir
A Welsh male choir has a double celebration in the New Year's honours.

Alwyn Humphreys, Musical Director of the Morriston Orpheus Choir has been made an MBE.

And one of the choir members, Dennis Thomas Williams, has been awarded the Royal Victorian Medal in recognition of his 20 years of part-time service in the Queens Bodyguard Yeoman of the Guard.

Anglesey-born conductor Alwyn Humphreys looks back on the year 2000 as one of his most eventful ever.

As well as celebrating his 21st anniversary as Musical Director of Morriston Orpheus - the only north Walian ever to hold the post - he also reached two more milestones: his 25th recorded album with the choir, 'Morriston's Millennium', and his 500th concert which was at Gloucester Cathedral in March.

Alwyn Humphreys MBE
MBE: Alwyn Humphreys
By the end of the year the total had reached 530, including 14 performances on the choir's latest sell-out tour of New Zealand and Australia.

During his 21 years with Morriston, Mr Humphreys has toured extensively with the choir, to Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

The choir reached number 9 in the classical album charts last year with the CD 'The Sounds of Cardiff Arms Park'.

"It's a great honour not only for myself but also for all the choristers and music staff, past and present, who have served the Morriston Orpheus Choir" said Mr Humphreys.

Choral tradition

"Over 65 years the Orpheus has been proud to be representative of the great Welsh male choral tradition, to have been ambassadors of song for Wales all over the world, and to have helped raise millions of pounds for charity".

As Mr Humphreys celebrated getting the MBE, choir member Dennis Thomas Williams was honoured with the the Royal Victorian Medal.

He is the Sergeant Major of the Queen's bodyguard and is still serving.

Mr Williams, who is from Murton, Swansea, took part in the special service at St Paul's Cathedral to mark the Queen Mother's 100th birthday earlier this year.

Army service

His other royal duties include officiating at Buckingham Palace Garden Parties, Investitures, and state visits such as those for President Reagan and President Nelson Mandela, the Chancellor of Germany and the President of China.

Clive Williams, spokesman for the choir, said Mr Williams was known as "John 300" because 300 was the last three digits of his service number when he served in the Welsh Guards for 27 years.

As well as his duties in London and the Choir, Mr Williams also give talks to groups on the history and ceremonial duties of the Yeoman of the Guard.

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30 Dec 00 | Wales
New Year's Honours for Wales
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