ANNUAL FRIENDSHIP CONCERT REVIEW

Saturday 14 June 2008

The visit of choristers from Austria was eagerly awaited & what a success it was.......WUNDERBAR!

This short tour review is written within hours of a most magnificent Concert at the Bethlehem Church Life Centre, Cefn Cribwr and the most appropriate thing to say is WONDERFUL!   

Prior to its visit to Wales, one of Austria’s Carinthia region’s most successful choirs had received a tremendous build up leading to much anticipation. Its audience was not to be disappointed at the sell-out full house on Friday evening at Cefn Cribwr. Under its Musical Director, Josef Oberdorfer this “a Capela” Choir provided full value for money. Its harmonies and balanced tone provided a feast of joyous sounds with simple melodies played out with feeling and sensitivity. Amongst its repertoire were songs from Russia, Italy, Estonia, France, Germany and of course its home, Austria. Soloists, Martin, Sigi, Meriel, Bernhardt and Otto were a delight, not least the latter’s yodel highlight.   

Bridgend Male Choir, hosting this overseas choir as part of its commitment to its mission, “Friendship through music”, can take pride not only in bringing these excellent visitors to Wales, but in its own performance as part of its Annual Friendship Concert programme. The Choir was on top form in supporting the visitors, with maestro John Jenkins at the helm, supported by excellent accompanist Rhiannon Williams-Hale. Leon Evans, Gwyn Williams & Paul Carter provided the solo content. The Concert ended with both Choirs combining to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone, which brought a standing ovation from the appreciative audience.   

Earlier in the week, Bridgend Male Choir had sent representatives to Stanstead to welcome its guests & accompany them to their base, the Seabank Hotel, Porthcawl. A successful social evening was held at the venue, followed by a trip to Cardiff the following day. The guest Choir took the opportunity to sing at both the Church and Chapel housed within the Welsh Folk Museum and later sang at the Senedd, after being welcomed to the Welsh Assembly by Counsel General, Leader of the House, Bridgend AM and Bridgend Male Choir Vice President, Carwyn Jones. A visit to the Designer Shopping Outlet on the morning of the Annual Friendship Concert put the visitors in the mood for a musical legacy, which will be remembered in the locality for some time. Bridgend Male Choir will visit Klagenfurt in 2009.