49TH ANNUAL CONCERT REVIEW

Thursday 29 October 2009

Choristers appreciate the following Concert review received from Maggie Hughes, Fundraising Director of Cancer Research Wales
Approximately 200 people were treated to a magnificent evening of Welsh music when Bridgend Male Choir held its 49th Annual Concert in the wonderful setting of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Bridgend.    The Chairman, Mr Mansel Abraham, welcomed the audience and introduced Mr Gareth Davies as the compere for the evening. Mr Davies opened the evening on a very sad note informing us of the untimely death of Mr John Jones. Many of us have been fortunate to hear John’s magnificent interpretation of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. A sad loss to everyone but the concert was dedicated to John and we all know he would have been very proud of the Choir which raised the roof in his memory.    

The Choir’s repetoire is vast and we were entertained in style with an exceptional variety of music from our very special Welsh hymns through the spirituals to more modern numbers including Memory from Cats. In anticipation of its 50th anniversary the Choir had worked out its own top ten hits and this resulted in a huge climax to the concert when choristers sang their top three favourites, Finlandia, Gwahaddiad and No 1: Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.    

The choir was joined by the exceptional soprano Ros Evans, who entertained us with beautiful lyrics and music from a variety of composers including Ivor Novello. She also shared with us her mischievous personality.    

The professionalism of Bridgend Male Choir accompanists is second to none. Mr Scott Williams, organist, was able to bring an added depth to the choir’s performance. Plus the very talented pianist Laura Smith (fondly described by Ros Morgan as “Fingers” Smith) brought every piece to life with her expertise on the grand piano.    

During the evening, compere, Mr Gareth Davies introduced three member of the audience who were on holiday from Australia. They were staying in Devon, checked on the internet, found the concert and travelled to Bridgend to be part of the evening. Speaking to them at the end of the evening, they were three of the happiest people alive – in their words “To be in Wales and hear first hand such a superb Welsh male choir was an absolute privilege”. I cannot convey in words how overwhelmed they were, but to complete their evening, they were invited to join the choir for a drink after the show and enjoyed another unforgettable experience when the choir serenaded them with Waltzing Matilda.    

The whole evening’s success was as ever the result of the most wonderful musical arrangements by the choir’s very accomplished Musical Director, Mr John Jenkins. I should also mention that anyone wanting to experience an evening with this exceptional choir should check out their website www.bridgendmalechoir.co.uk for its concert dates and put in an order for its new CD.