CHOIR WELCOMES FIRST MINISTER

Thursday 15 April 2010

Glamorgan Gazette Editor, Deborah Rees attended the Cancer Research Wales Concert and writes......
FIRST Minister Carwyn Jones was among the guests of honour as Bridgend Male Choir began its cathedral tour last Friday. The choir, now in its 50th year, sang at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David in Cardiff for Cancer Research Wales. Mr Jones, a vice-president of the choir, attended the event with his wife, Lisa.

Musical director John Jenkins led the choristers through a well rehearsed and well directed programme, accompanied by the excellent Laura Smith on piano and talented Scott Williams on organ. Songs ranged from the traditional Llanfair to the more modern Cavatina, via a stirring arrangement of Welsh folk tune Lisa Lan. In a special section entitled Comrades, three songs were performed in honour of servicemen abroad – Comrades in Arms, For the Fallen and Wagner’s War Song from Rienzi. The choir also sang members’ three favourite tunes – Gwahoddiad, Bring Him Home from Les Miserables, and Verdi’s Virgin of the Angel Host.

Special guest, Glyndebourne opera star Helen-Jane Howells, glided through a programme including Pan Ddaw’r Nos and Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me. The soprano, a former Russell Sheppard Scholarship winner, first sang with the choir at Margam Abbey and is accompanying them at each of the cathedral performances. The tour continues in Bristol on 7th May and also takes in Liverpool. Other performances lined up include Coity Castle on June 12 and the Grand Pavilion with Sir Willard White on July 3.