Under a single baton

In the 1970s Mads benefitted from having the continuity of a single conductor, and for the first time in its history the conductor was not a student. Royston Havard was music tutor at the Department of Extra Mural Studies and brought to Mads an emphasis on authentic performance and on singing music in its liturgical context.


Medieval Banquets?

During the late 70s Mads put on ‘buffet recitals’ in the quad. The image of minstrels and medieval banquets seem to pop into the mind!


1978 Tour to the Netherlands

This is probably the best recorded tour of the whole Mads Archive thanks to David Hunter’s extra ordinary organization skills! The choir had one, if not two performances every day. Here are some of the programmes


Mads Memories

“Coming to Aber straight from Brecon Girls Grammar, I was greeted with roars of laughter when I put up my hand to ask a question of "Mr. Havard". Roy was wondering why a few extra notes were to be heard in the alto part, until I had to admit that I could only sing a falling third by filling in the note in between!”

— Delyth Holland (née Downey) who joined Mads in the autumn of 1973 recalls her first year

“The weather was very hot and Joe 90 (aka David Womersley), always a little eccentric, horrified all of us by deciding to wash all his clothes in a launderette in the middle of Rennes. He was spotted walking down the road wearing little more than underpants and carrying a plastic bag! We did a radio spot in Rennes, and Roy was able to do an interview in Welsh for the local Breton radio station - which pleased him very much! Boquan Abbey was a highlight as the acoustics were fab - as were the monks!! The place has since been shut down, I believe!”

— Barbara Whittingham (née Sandiford) on the tour to Brittany, staying at the University of Rennes and with families in Saint-Brieuc

“Anxious that our Great Leader should not be seen in such a state of undress I handed over my own tie and made do with a piece of ribbon which looked not unlike a shoelace. Instead of the respect deserved by such a sacrifice, the only comment to be heard from some dubious character (probably a tenor) was, ‘Hmmm. Slim Whitman sings Palestrina!’”

— Jamie Birch on the story of when Royston Havard mislaid his bow tie