Bridgend Male Choir - Annual Concert

Friday 07 October 2005

St Mary’s Catholic Church, Bridgend was the venue for the Choir’s Annual Concert where 73 choristers performed to a full audience.

Under the baton of Musical Director, John Jenkins and Accompanists, Marcus Hopkin and Rhiannon Williams-Hale the performance was set to the theme of Remembrance on the 60th Anniversary of the end of wartime hostilities.

The Choir was delighted to welcome talented guest soloist, Martin Lloyd, fresh from his success in Eisteddfodau. In the first half, Martin entertained the audience with items from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; a lament from Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra and Kezal’s Aria from The Bartered Bride. He later went on to regale the knowledgeable and appreciative audience with Ole Man River from the musical, Showboat; a quite delightful Angels Watching Over Me/ Ar Hyd Y Nos combination from American composer, Philip Kearn and John Ireland’s famous song, Sea Fever. He also entertained with a sequence from O Isis and Osiris, joined in narration by the Choir’s John Jones and by the whole Choir towards the end of the piece. Cry to the Nations from Handel’s Messiah was his final rendition generating warm applause. Martin is a great talent and the Choir appreciated the opportunity of performing with him twice in 2005.

Wartime favourites such as Goodnight Sweetheart, Lili Marlene and Keep the Home Fires Burning were sung by some of the Choirs own soloists notably Graham Collins, Gwyn Williams, Gethin Williams and the hugely accomplished Marcus Hopkin who assists the Choir as soloist, Associate Musical Director and Accompanist. Tenor, Paul Carter entertained wonderfully with Bui Doi from the Musical, Miss Saigon.

During the year the untimely death of chorister, Arwyn Hughes, left not only a huge vacuum with his family, but also with the Choir. Tributes were paid to the diminutive Arwyn remembered by his colleagues for his humour, pranks, character and wonderful tenor voice. Choir colleagues sang his favourite piece, Sara; Ar Lan Y Mor, which he sang in afterglow and This Little Light of Mine in remembrance. This very moving section was particularly appreciated by all.

Other renditions were sung by the whole Choir under the headings, Classic Male; Cor Cymru and Llangollen Highlights; Miscellany; Christian Traveller and finally, We Will Remember Them. Narrator, John Jones set the mood with a reading of Lawrence Binyon’s For the Fallen, with the Choir singing the words of the well known fourth verse to Mike Sammes poignant arrangement.

The Choir’s next engagement is supporting the worthy charity, Diabetes UK in Cardiff at the month end.  Details of all Choir concerts appear on its website – see the Bookings link on the top menu above.