About Mark


Mark Ritzmann was born in Brecon and as a young boy studied Piano and Organ. He was organist at his home church for some 10 years, and also accompanied a local choir where he gained much experience from playing for their soloists.

After moving to Neath in 1988, he continued Organ studies, going on to attain the Advanced Certificate, and taking up the role of organist and Choir Director at St.David’s Church, Neath in 1991 – a post which he has now held for over 29 years. Through the church’s affiliation with the Royal School of Church Music, he furthered his experience of choral training. Over the years he has become a very active member of St.David’s Church and the Parish of Neath, and likes to involve himself fully – not only with the Church Choir and music – but with much of the maintenance and upkeep of this very actively used building in the community. He is chairman of The Friends of St.David’s which he helped form in 2002 and which has since instigated numerous projects as well as provided a significant source of financial support to this church.

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. The Choir has gone on to build up a repertoire and reputation as one of the most exciting new choirs in the Neath district – it’s biannual concerts being eagerly anticipated by its audience. As well as attracting and showcasing many wonderful soloists and instrumentalists, and giving opportunity to up and coming young talents, it has at the same time raised over £13,000 for various charities in the relatively short period of its existence.

In July 2014, Mark was delighted to receive a Citizenship Award from Neath Town Council ‘in recognition for his service in the community’.

Up until 2020, Mark had his own music teaching business in Neath, which he says gave him much satisfaction. ‘It has been a joy to nurture and encourage pupils of all ages in learning to play the piano or sing and to see many of them progress to become very competent musicians. I’m very grateful that I’ve had so much opportunity to share the wonderful gift of music with others and pass on the skills that I have been given to them.’