Mary's Wonderful Gift
Mary is a wonderful pianist and naturally gifted musician, performing locally and internationally.
"I listen by ear and pick it up instead of reading it by braille. Play by ear, pick it up. Listen by ear and play by ear... straight away. Everything and anything under the sun without asking how it goes: Litoff to Gershwin in 1968; Rhapsody in Blue, Swedish Rhapsody in 1953; Schubert's Serenade in 1955; Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy in 1956 - The Nutcracker; Sleeping Beauty in '58; Swan Lake in '58; Les Sylphides by Chopin; the Bartered Bride by Smetana; Ravel's Boléro and Bizet, L'arlésienne; Stravinsky... any composer.
I was in Overly Hall and I played the xylophone with Miss Smith and taught how to play the clapper on the piano by Miss Smith: Tubby the Tuba; Fiddle Faddle; (Mary sings Tubby the Tuba)... The Teddy Bears Picnic; The Three Bears in fantasy; the Façade suite; a Cuckoo - she's a pretty bird.
Dad played the piano and he taught me, 'Calon Lan' and 'Let Him Go Let Him Carry'. He wanted me to learn 'Leave the Kindly Light'... 'Leave kindly light' was the first one he learnt me. I was taught 'Leave kindly light with a wath in the snow' in 1954... and Mam taught me, 'You are my Sunshine' as well in 1955. She taught me two Welsh and one English: 'Wennol Fwyn', 'Mae'n Gariad i Mami' and 'You are my Sunshine'.
When I was four now... I was at... Tubby on the wireless when was in the dining room when I used to have a play with the giddle giddle. It's a bell... and I'd given it away in 1955 to another child.
Dad couldn't play better than me, I was professional... and he taught me 'Rwy'n gweld o bell y dydd yn dod' / 'From far I see the day have come'... and I used to cry in 1954... and Mammy used to put some strong stuff on my face which stung. I used to have a habit of scratching my face because it was itching.
I once practiced for Friday night at the Governor's house in Hong Kong and had a canapé and I had a bouquet and I was serenaded with, 'I Can't help Falling in Love with You'.... And we had, in the café after, we had a mixed choir singing and we had chips and Diet Coke and slept in the room.
And I have a very busy life. I go swimming on Monday, spin-biking on Tuesday, swimming Tuesday night, museum Wednesday, yoga Wednesday afternoon. Thursday I usually go cookery... horse riding on Friday, Rhydypennau on Saturday, church on Sunday.
Well it's my career, it's my life, it's a part of me. Because with giving it up it's wasting a beautiful, wonderful gift."