Clare Harrison’s Life in Music – Part One

We recently wrote about CLARE HARRISON’s performance in Haverfordwest and we wanted to know more about her life and career. She kindly shared the following with us:

I was born and brought up in the small Pembrokeshire village of Crundale, just outside Haverfordwest. I am the youngest of nine children and music was always a big part of family life. My late mother, Audrey, had the most beautiful, sweet voice and I always think she could have easily sung professionally. My late father, Gwyn, was a member of the Haverfordwest Male Voice Choir and had a resounding deep bass voice.

My mum was originally from Lincolnshire, my dad from Bridgend, and they met during the war while stationed together in Lingfield, Surrey. Interestingly, a cousin of my mother’s made bows for all the top string soloists and orchestras in the UK, and my father’s uncle was the conductor of a Salvation Army band in Bridgend, so there’s been music in the family going back some time.

I was educated in Haverfordwest at the local primary and secondary schools and my interest in music began at an early age, singing in the school choirs and also in St David’s Church Choir, Prendergast, Haverfordwest. These early musical experiences taught me about the importance of practice and commitment and gave me a joy of choral music which I still possess today.

Whie in the sixth form, I was a member of the Dyfed Choir and I founded the Crundale Junior Choir… my very first experience of directing a choral group. The choir was made up of village children and we would hold two concerts a year in the village halI. I was also performing as a regular soloist with the Haverfordwest Male Voice Choir, touring with them to Oberkirch on the very first twinning visit with Haverfordwest in 1989.

At that time I also was successful in gaining a place in the National Youth Choir of Wales. I remember Wynne Evans (the ‘Go Compare Man’) and his brother Mark from Carmarthen were also in the choir at that time. Many other famous singers have passed through the ranks of this prestigious choir over the years, including Sir Bryn Terfel.

My journey into becoming a professional musician wasn’t as straightforward as you might think. I worked in various jobs, including as an accounts clerk and a laboratory analyst, after leaving school, but my love of music never waned and I kept up with my studies, gaining a music teaching diploma. I was still involved with choirs locally, singing and latterly as musical director to both the Haverfordwest Ladies Choir and the Tenby Male Choir.

In January 1999 I took up the post of curriculum music teacher at Redhill Preparatory School and worked there for almost 20 years. It was a busy department with yearly theatrical productions, talent shows, prize day presentations and nativity/carol services not to mention the curriculum music. I had a great time there and am still in contact with many of the staff. I was also continuing to build my private music teaching practice, teaching flute, singing and music theory from my home studio in Haverfordwest.

I’ve been extremely lucky to have kept busy and have taught some incredibly talented pupils over the years. Some have gone on to careers in music, including Connie Fisher who starred as Maria in Anrew Lloyd-Webber’s The Sound of Music revival; and many more have gained a lifelong love of music, joining choirs and musical groups both here in Pembrokeshire and much farther afield.

Look out for Part Two of Clare Harrison’s Life in Music here soon on www.

You can follow Clare on Facebook and Instagram @clareharrisonmusic

07967 558102



Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says " has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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