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Pop hit bad note with choir.

Byline: By Wales on Sunday

A woman conductor who resigned from a top Welsh male voice choir this week reportedly walked out because some members objected to singing Bohemian Rhapsody.

Insiders claimed yesterday a minority of the men just could not get to grips with Sian Pearce's methods at Swansea's Morriston Orpheus.

The 46-year-old left under a cloud after three years as musical director, saying she had been "hounded out".

The choir's secretary John Betts blamed her departure not on sexism but on people "living in the past".

But Ms Pearce was a popular choice when she joined the choir, leading them on a sell-out tour of Dubai, Australia and New Zealand last year when she described Morriston as "very liberal in their ways".

Now it has emerged there was some disquiet over the songs they were asked to perform by Ms Pearce, who beat three men to the post. Among them were Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Westlife's You Raise Me Up.

But there are also rumours some did not take to her warm-up methods, which included a routine entailing singing at speed the words "would you wear a pair of woolly wellies when you wander in the Valleys".

The 120-strong choir has admitted the incident is a "low point" in their 72-year history, but said while they "deeply regret" her decision to leave, they must move forward. The search is now on to find a successor.
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 24, 2007
Words:237
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