Press Release 18 January 2006
Lyn Harry, the former Musical Director of the Morriston Orpheus Choir has died in Canada.
Llanelli born Lyn Harry was the former Musical Director of the London Welsh Male Voice Choir in the early 1960s. Lyn came back to Wales in the mid 1960s to a farm in Ferryside, Carmarthenshire. At that time the Morriston Orpheus Choir did not have a deputy to Eurfryn John and when it became known that Lyn had returned to Wales, he was invited to become the Choir’s Deputy Conductor.
In 1969, on the resignation of Eurfryn John, Lyn was appointed Conductor and Musical Director of the Morriston Orpheus Choir and there followed six extremely happy years with him in charge. During that period the Choir undertook two highly successful tours to North America and recorded six long playing records for EMI. These included “Land of Hope and Glory" with the GUS Band and "On Route" with the Band of the Welsh Guards.
A character of great charisma, Lyn also introduced the Choir to a wide selection of new music much of which has been taken up and used by other choirs both in Wales and the male voice Choir world in general.
It came as a great surprise to choristers and the public alike when Lyn decided to remain in Canada when the Orpheus Choir returned from their 1975 tour but Morriston and Wales’ loss was Hamilton and Canada’s gain.
After moving to Canada in 1975 he founded the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir and also the Burlington Welsh Male Chorus both of whom subsequently awarded him the title of Conductor Emeritus.
Lyn Harry will always be remembered by those choristers who sang for him with the greatest affection and respect.
Paying tribute to Lyn, Bishop Aaron R. Orr of Hamilton Ontario sent the following message to the Morriston Orpheus Choir today (19 January 2006):-
“It was my privilege to enjoy the acquaintance of William Lynworth Harry. How well I recall his founding of the Hamilton Academy of Music in the late 1970s. Many pupils have been taught by him in voice and piano. Then he founded the large Canadian Orpheus Male Choir and later the Burlington Welsh Male Chorus. He was a great man and an eclectic thinker. The wealth of his knowledge, born of learning and experience, he carried with him like a prince his cloak. A happy and humble man was he and in old age he grumbled not at his limitations but took all in his stride.
I often detected in Lyn's attitude to life a similitude to that of Christian in Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. I shall miss him and so shall all his friends.
FOR LYN HARRY:
Llanelli’s lost a favoured son whose life was good
He touched men's hearts and taught their souls to sing
The fulsome sounds of his beloved Wales.
He was a power for good that wrought
Beneficence from scores and beauty out of songs
Ah! What are words when hearts that loved are sad!
The Bard is gone still full of his loved songs.
His life a chorus was a living peon of joy.
Joy was his life and gentleness his art,
Coaxing his fellows to intone his tunes.
Farewell, dear Lyn! Thanks from the myriad lives
You’ve influenced, both great and small.
You’ve carried fire to light men’s tapers well
And we are not, cannot be the same again
Now that you’ve touched us all.
God bless you and all the men of Morriston and their ladies who help them.
+Bishop Aaron R. Orr
Hamilton Ontario "
Notes for Editors
1. The Choir holds rehearsals on Wednesday and Sunday evenings
2. Further information may be obtained from Clive G Williams
3. Visit the Morriston Orpheus Choir web site at www.morristonorpheus.com