The Diverse Life of a Welsh Choir

Wednesday 08 March 2006

It has been an extraordinarily busy time for this hard working Choir.

Bridgend Male Choir this week has experienced a mix of Charity work; Show entertainment and Corporate gathering…..with more diversity to follow.

A Friday evening Concert at Tabernacl Chapel, Bridgend, featured soloists Jennifer Walker, Marcus Hopkin and narrator, John Jones. Jennifer, a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, is a great young soprano talent who has recently won the Russell Sheppard Music Scholarship. Marcus is an accomplished baritone who also doubles as Associate Musical Director & Accompanist for the Choir. The audience was captivated by the quality of both, most particularly their duet from Don Giovanni. John Jones needs little introduction. A retired Bridgend junior school head teacher, his rich voice and dialect provided exerts from the work of Dylan Thomas and several humorous stories told with his usual gusto. The Choir under the baton of its excellent Musical Director, John Jenkins and the top class accompaniment of Rhiannon Williams-Hale sang from a varied repertoire, songs both old and new which drew much appreciation. The Choir is very grateful to the Church for the benefit of such lovely acoustics.

Saturday evening saw the Choir stepping in at short notice to support Katherine Jenkins in her “Living a dream” Concert at the Cardiff International Arena. Despite only 72 hours notice and only one existing item included in its repertoire, the Choir had learned the scores required and readily took the stage. The Choir, under the baton of Principal Conductor, Anthony Inglis, and with the accompaniment of the National Symphony Orchestra of London joined Katherine in singing Do Not Stand at My Grave & Weep and Calon Lan. It also supported Katherine’s duet with Vittorio Griggolo with the Toreador song from the Opera, Carmen. Seventy two choristers from the Choir thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon rehearsal experience with such top quality artists. Singing to a packed house of some 4,500 audience will stay in the memory for a long time to come. The Choir has been invited by Katherine Jenkins to join her again later in the year at the Wales Millennium Centre on Cardiff Bay, which request it was delighted to accept.

The week drew to a close on Wednesday, when the Choir sang at the NHS General Practioners Conference at the new Holland House Hotel, Cardiff. Back under the baton of its own John Jenkins, the Choir sang a lot of popular items and this time featured tenor soloists Leon Evans and Graham Collins, much to the appreciation of the gathering. Dr Haydn Mayo of the Charity, Diabetes UK, had remembered the Choir’s contribution to its 2005 fund-raising event and invited the Choir to this Conference.

The Choir’s next Concert engagement is a joint venture with the Bedwas & Machen Brass Band at Bedwas Workmen’s’ Hall on 8th April followed later in the month by its third Tour to Germany.

Did someone say that Choirs are a thing of the past? Log on to the Bridgend Choir’s website to see all of its future engagements www.bridgendanddistrictmalechoir.co.uk . Better still, go along and join them. See you there…..