Tom Dyer in Profile

We asked TOM DYER of Choirs For Good to tell us a bit more about himself. Here’s what we learned…
Where are you from?
I am a Haven boy. Born in Withybush and brought up in Broad Haven, before moving over the hill to Little Haven. I studied in Swansea and lived in Cardiff up until the pandemic.
Tell us about your work and life
 I am self-employed and share my load between leading Choirs For Good Haverfordwest, running a mentor programme for artists throughout Wales and being a Breakfast Show presenter and producer with Pure West Radio. I also sing and act and have appeared as a background artist in film and television over the years and made my professional stage debut in December 2022 playing Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk in The Big Pembs Panto.
Tell us more about your acting…
I’m quite a latecomer to performing. I taught myself drums and guitar in my teens and always liked the idea of performing, but didn’t do drama in school. But it was a thought that always stayed with me, and when I moved to Cardiff I found a series of workshops being held in Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I was encouraged to audition for my first musical and I haven’t looked back since. I caught the bug being a French soldier in Ridley Scott’s and Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood – a role I’ll be taking on in Carew Castle in the first week of August which I’m very excited about.
…and singing
I love singing– playing guitar and drums and singing in bands. I love all types of music. I sing as a high-baritone and love character singing as I know I don’t have the smoothest tone, but I can tell a story with my voice. My last musical was a last-minute call up to learn Max Bialystock in The Producers in nine days. It’s probably one of my proudest achievements, taking on such a large role in a short period of time while also working.
Your family is musical?
We are! We love music. I often sing with my sister Abz and during lockdown we used to do a Friday evening concert on Facebook for fun, growing a small community of people looking for feelgood vibes. We’ve even performed in public now too. My other sister can play the piano, harp and flute and my mum, who also sings in the choir, used to play guitar when she was in school. We all love music. I remember traveling around the country listening to Dolly Parton and Bob Marley. Great memories.
What are your hobbies and interests?
 I love sport as much as I like music and acting. I play football, enjoy a ParkRun, and a marathon is on my to do list at some point. I also like to see people thrive, and in a past life I have run a service for people affected by cancer using principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I still use these principles to this day and offer workshops and sessions to individuals and groups. I have an interest in the world. I love learning and sharing, so most things get me excited.
How did you get involved in Choirs For Good?
In the same place I ran the ACT service we also offered singing as a way to combat the feelings of isolation of having a cancer diagnosis. I learned so much during my time at that organisation and became an honorary member of the choir team. I attribute the increase in my confidence to singing with the choirs. Choirs For Good is founded by some of the choir leaders who lost their jobs during the pandemic. After they had run for about a year, they wanted to expand into West Wales and knew I was still here following the pandemic, so asked me if I wanted to give it a go – I had never formally led a choir till that point but they were happy to trust me with the responsibility.
What inspires you?
Having spent time with people affected by cancer, what inspires me is making the most of everyday – experiencing as much as I can and going on adventures, being kind, inspiring others to understand their full potential.
What is your favourite music?
I love most types of music. I’ve mentioned travelling listening to Dolly Parton and Bob Marley. I learnt drums and guitar and to play along with pop punk music such as Blink 182. I love a good ballad and Ronan Keating is my “go to” on a karaoke, and of course Disney music and musicals. I’ll listen to anything and being part of Pure West Radio helps me keep current with the music and listen to the old classics.
Tell us a bit more about Choirs For Good
It’s a network of community choirs throughout Wales and Bristol. We are choirs that know that singing is great for both physical and mental health. They take place in community settings. Choirs For Good is in HaverHub in Haverfordwest and is comprised of members of all ages and all are welcome. The more the merrier. We start singing from 7.30pm and the sessions lasts approximately one hour. At Choirs For Good we want to “Feel Good, Do Good, For Good”. We exist to support local charities and causes as well as our chosen charity of the year which this year is the Wales Air Ambulance.
What do people get out of it?
I hope people have fun first and foremost – closely followed by that sense of achievement you get from singing in harmony. Some people come through the door who haven’t sang in front of others since primary school and were even told not to sing in primary school. But singing is so good for us to feel good, gain social connection and increase the feelgood hormones.
We also offer opportunities to perform and gig with the choir which is an addition to the weekly sessions which carry on nearly every week of the year. We don’t operate term times so we are always there.
Dates coming up:
  • Haverfood Fest 20 May
  • Sandy Bear Family Day 10 June
  • Bluestone Brewery 24 June
  • SaundersFEST July
Tom Dyer
Choirs For Good

Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley retired from The Oldie magazine to return to freelance journalism. He previously held executive staff jobs at the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express before freelancing for 20 years for newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian and the ‘i’ paper, plus a wide range of magazines. He continues to write about music, travel and health, and blogs at www.nigel-summerley.blogspot.com.

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