Cwmbach Male Choir

Founded in the Heart of Aberdare - Queen of the Valleys


Music Staff


Dr Mike Thomas PhD, MA

Musical Director

Mike was born in Tonmawr, a small village in the hills above Neath. He has been involved in music all his life: as a member of the West Glamorgan Youth orchestra and choir, a church organist, a soloist with various Operetta Societies and, for the last 25 years, Musical Director of the Pelenna Valley Male Voice Choir based in his home village of Tonmawr.

Another of Mike’s other passions is rugby. He gained 6 school boy caps as captain of the Welsh Schools rugby team, went on to captain Loughborough Colleges and is now the President of Tonmawr RFC.

A Craft teacher by profession he worked at Blaengwawr Comprehensive School for 31 years, retiring in 2014 as deputy headteacher. Mike was passionate about his subject as means of engaging all pupils in learning. This theme formed the basis of his Doctorate awarded from Loughborough University in 2008.

Mike is married to Margaret and they have two sons:  William, a former organ scholar at Oxford, and Jac, who has recently been awarded a scholarship to study trumpet at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It is a musical family underpinned by Margaret’s unerring support and understanding.

Retirement has brought opportunity to pursue his musical interests. He was invited last year to conduct the recently formed Cwmdare Voices. Mike is honoured and delighted to have been invited to assist Cwmbach Male Choir and hopes that his involvement will make a positive contribution to Cwmbach’s proud history of music making.



Ben Pinnow

Deputy Musical Director

Ben Pinnow is a South Wales based choral conductor, accompanist singer, composer and musical educator with over ten years musical experience. He is currently studying on the Masters Choral Conducting Programme at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying under Neil Ferris, Sarah Tenant-Flowers and Simon Halsey.

Ben has a varied and wide experience the world of music as repetiteur, performer and accompanist.

As well as his work with Cwmbach Male Choir, Ben is also at the present time Musical Director of Cor Cyfoes, Opera Mint, Dodecantus UK, and Roath Community Chorus.

Ben also works with Radyr Parish Music Group and Wales International Academy of Voice. He has worked as MD with Llandaff Musical Society and  also with RWCMD as Assistant Chorus Master to name a few.

Ben is also an accomplished pianist and holds the ABRSM Diploma in Performance (Piano) – Distinction.



Jayne Thomas


Originally from Neath but now living in Cardiff Jayne is a Music Graduate of Goldsmiths College, London. She teaches piano, keyboard, music theory and groupsinging privately, at schools and Adult Education Centres.


Jayne is involved with local Operatic Societies and it was at "Opera Mint" that she renewed an association with Emyr Wyn Roberts who was Musical Director at Cwmbach Male Choir at the time. This meeting resulted in her being introduced to Cwmbach Male Choir. From that time on Jayne has grown from strength to strength as accompanist to Cwmbach Male Choir.

Jayne, a competent soloist on piano in her own right, has also delighted audiences with her classical and modern repertoire.

Jayne frequently accompanies artists appearing with the Choir throughout the United Kingdom and on regular tours abroad.





Sheridan George



Sheridan is well known in British Organ Circles, particularly when as a local secondary school head-teacher, he rescued, and restored a wonderful old chapel pipe organ and rebuilt it in his school assembly hall. Now retired from teaching, Sheridan has accompanied the Choir at the organ in places far and near, in such venues as Llandaff and St David’s Metropolitan RC Cathedrals, both in Cardiff, in the Gozo Basilica, Malta, the Church of San Salvador, Venice and the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral of Portland, Oregon, USA. Sheridan is currently Organist and Director of Music at Green Street Methodist Church, Aberdare.