TRIBUTES have been paid to Dursley Male Voice Choir deputy musical director, Brian Parslow.

A spokesman for the choir told the Gazette that Brian, 78, passed away peacefully in the Gloucester Royal Hospital in the early hours of Thursday, July 25.

Brian, who joined the choir in April 1979, was brought up in South Wales, where he was steeped in the tradition of choral singing from a very early age.

Starting as a boy soprano with the 1951 Festival of Britain Choir at the Coliseum, Aberdare, he graduated to both solo singing and touring halls and working men’s clubs in the South Wales valleys as part of an a cappella group.

He was a qualified electrician, working for the CEGB, and with his family, he moved to Gloucestershire in 1967 to take up employment at Oldbury Power Station.

On retirement he assumed a part-time post at Leyhill Open Prison.

After a 12 year break from public singing, Brian joined the Dursley Male Voice Choir in 1979, shortly after its very first concert.

He quickly became the choir librarian, responsible for the acquisition of music and curating the choir’s repertoire and retained that post until very recently, when ill health forced him to stand down.

Originally a very fine baritone, Brian transferred to and became a stalwart of the bass section a few years ago.

Brian was a devotee of the classic standard performers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Vic Damone, to the extent that he travelled to New York with his wife to see them in live performances.

He was the choir’s 'go to' soloist for many years and his performances were the highlight of many annual and Christmas concerts.

Ten years ago, in 2007, Brian progressed to become the choir’s deputy musical director, often conducting the choir during rehearsals or at

concerts in the absence of the principal music director Barrie Cooper, and he held that position until his death.

An enthusiastic rugby supporter, and as a proud Welshman, he regularly attended Rugby Internationals at the Millennium Stadium and before that, Cardiff Arms Park.

He was a keen social singer and the organiser of many of the choir’s 'afterglow' sessions, performed after concerts throughout the country and on tours overseas.

In recognition of his contribution to the choir over 39 years, Brian’s passing was marked by the ensemble with a minute’s silence followed by an emotional rendition of the Welsh hymn Gwahoddiad.

The funeral is at 12pm at Dursley Methodist Church on Thursday, August 16.