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Posted 25.9.22

MOCSA Concert 2022

An expectant crowd at Swansea's Calon Lan Centre on Sunday 18 September were not disappointed as the three finalists in the Morriston Orpheus Choir’s Supporters’ Association’s (MOCSA) Young Welsh Singer of the Year Competition and The Morriston Orpheus Choir served up a feast of good music.

The Choir is beginning to get back up to full strength after the trials and tribulations of the last two years and its first ‘MOCSA’ under the baton of new MD Conal Bembridge-Sayers allowed the Choir to show its versatility. With long standing and challenging pieces such as Rhythm of Life and Nidaros, coupled with lighter numbers such as The Rose and a Choir first for Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the audience were quick to show their appreciation.

The three Competition Finalists provided a contrast to the massed male voices and served up a diverse range of songs aimed at impressing the high profile team of Adjudicators which included International opera star Rebecca Evans, herself a previous winner of the Competition.

The Competition has been running for over 40 years and attracts entries from students at the UK’s most prestigious music colleges. After a series of heats in the summer the three finalists chosen for this year were:

Matthew James Bawden a 29 year old Tenor from Swansea, studying at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Rhys Meilyr Jones a 23 year old Tenor from Llangefni, studying at The Royal Academy of Music.

Rachel Roper a 23 year old Mezzo Soprano from Hereford (of Welsh parentage), studying at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 

The soloists, accompanied by Jeffrey Howard, performed two items in each half of the concert before the Adjudicators adjourned to select the overall winner. By no means an easy task but when they returned to centre-stage, Rebecca Evans was able to announce that the 2022 MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year was Rachel Roper.

As well as the MOCSA Trophy, Rachel received the Ivor Sims Memorial Prize of £1500 donated by the Morriston Orpheus Choir. The two other Finalists Matthew Bawden and Rhys Meilyr Jones received inscribed plaques and a £300 cash prize.  

Some pictures of the award presentations are featured below – courtesy of Colin Rees. 

MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year 2022 - Rachel Roper

 Rhys Meilyr Jones (L), Rachel Roper and Matthew Bawden

Three Finalists with the Adjudicators Huw Tregelles Williams (L) Rebecca Evans and Julian Smith

Finalists with Swansea's Deputy Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress: Cllr and Mrs Graham Thomas (L), Choir and MOCSA President: Ron Marno (R) and Choir Musical Director Conal Bembridge-Sayers 


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