About Mark

DSC07269Mark Ritzmann was born in Brecon and as a young boy studied Piano to Grade 8 with Catherine Phillips, a professional singer, and Organ with cathedral organist, Hazel Gedge. He was organist at his local church for some 10 years, and also accompanied a local choir where he gained experience from playing for their soloists.

When Mark moved to Neath in 1988, he continued his studies of the Organ with Colin Yeoman, passing Grade 8 with Distinction and going on to attain the Advanced Certificate. At this time he became increasingly interested in choral singing. He took up the post of Organist at St.David’s Church, Neath in 1991 and a year later became its Choir Director. He gained a Distinction at Grade 8 Singing and through the church’s affiliation with the Royal School of Church Music, he furthered his experience of choral training by singing in choirs under the direction of such eminent musicians as Sir.David Willcocks, John Rutter and Malcolm Archer, amongst others.

He has helped and encouraged many young choristers to gain awards including the now highly successful singer, Katherine Jenkins, a former Head Chorister at St.David’s. In 2006 he was awarded the Archbishop of Wales Certificate of Merit for services to Church music, and the following year received an award from the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan for ‘great and valuable services to the community’.

In 2010, he co-founded the Neath Polyphonic Choir which gave its inaugural concert on 2nd July 2010, to a rapturous reception and standing ovation from its audience. As well as being Music Director of both choirs, which he says gives him a wide opportunity to share his love of music, Mark also has his own music teaching business in Neath, where he presently has around 20 pupils. Mark has also enjoyed learning the Trumpet in his spare time.