A GROUP of music loving friends who have nurtured and played host to some of the country’s finest performers have celebrated their 70th anniversary.

More than 60 past and present members of Rhyl Music Club met at Elwy Hall, Grange Road and marked the milestone with a special lunch with an address by Dr Phil George, chair of Arts Council Wales.

The club was founded on September 29, 1947. The first meeting, held at the Holborn café in Wellington Road, attracted 25 people and a committee was formed.

Michael Lewis, said to be a bank employee and a talented musician, was appointed music organiser, a role he retained for retained for many years.

Today, the popular club, stages a series of concerts and attracts some of the best up and coming musicians in Europe, from chamber orchestras to brass ensembles, string, piano, wind and percussionist soloists to choirs and singers.

One of the group’s main aims is to support young musicians in North Wales who are thinking of pursuing a career in music.

Rufus Adams from the club said: “It was wonderful to celebrate the same week of the anniversary. One or two people who came to the celebration even remembered the early concerts.

“I have been involved in the club, let’s say for many decades. Dr George spoke exceedingly well and came across very sincere.

”He focused on two points: how the club has brought international renewed musicians to Rhyl, excellent live classical music and he was keen to say how we had fostered young musicians.”

The roll-call of international names that the club has heard in their 70 year history includes Martha Argerich and John Lill, both classical pianists; Sir Bryn Terfel, the Welsh bass-baritone opera and concert singer; pianist John Ogdon; and violinist Nigel Kennedy.

Mr Adams added: “Over the years our organisation has had to meet new challenges and we have always got to find new audiences.

“Some of the highlights for me over the years is our ability to seek and foster young talent and then for them to go on to make a career in music.”

During the event, Jefferson Thomas, former music master at Rhyl High School, was appointed vice president of the club.

“He has been truly wonderful,” Mr Adams said.

Carducci Quarter will perform for the club’s 70th anniversary club at Rhyl Town Hall on Wednesday (today) at 7.30pm.