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Sunday 30 June 2013

David Burt summarises Choir activity over recent months....

The lovely setting of Llantrisant Church was visited on 25th February to participate in television channel S4C's Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol. The Choir's previous visit to this hilltop place of worship was its renowned Flower Show.

Next the Choir went to Cardiff City Hall for Rugby's Home International's finale, initially to entertain London Welsh Supporters Trust at its regular "bash" & then upstairs to the Craig Quinnell hosted hospitality function. Huge numbers were entertained that day.

The Charity, Bobath Cymru, next received the Choir's support at its 21st Birthday Celebration at the magnificent St David's Hall just one day after its exertions at City Hall. All who attended were delighted to support such a good cause, especially as they shared the stage with West End stars, Peter Karrie, Sarah Lark & Katy Treharne; the great singer/ comedian, Mike Doyle; baritone Lucasz Biela; two children's choirs; the Liberty Big Band & the Abergavenny Borough Band. The Choir was conducted by the latter's Craig Roberts, who endeared himself to the lads.

Wedding attendance could be arranged most weekends, but this would adversely impact upon concerts; massed choirs; charity & rugby events etc. Nevertheless, the Choir does attend a number, none more pleasurable than the betrothal of Phil Steele and Kate Thomas. TV & Radio sports broadcaster, Phil has been a friend of the Choir for many years and the St Mary's Catholic Church setting at Bridgend was perfect. A honeymoon in Australia following the British Lions Rugby Team drew envy from many choristers.

Showing that weddings still happen & last the test of time was the Choir's next appearance at a plush Bournemouth hotel helping celebrate the Johnson's 25th Wedding Anniversary & restatement of wedding vows.

Many months of practice went into the next two events, with practically a whole new repertoire to be learned - none more so than the Bandit's Chorus and in Italian! Nevertheless, the lads learned the entire content all which was performed as part of a massed choir on the stages of Birmingham Town Hall & St David's Hall, Cardiff. Nine choirs brought together almost 400 voices. A wonderful experience & a new repertoire legacy.

A most worthy charity on the Choir's doorstep at Ogmore Village was the next event. Known locally as "Mair's Walk", the Stepping Stones Cancer Charity has seen the Choir perform for tired walkers for many years. Two Choir Patrons featured - Max Boyce, MBE led this year's walk & saved enough energy to entertain the large gathering with his most famous song, "Hymns & Arias", accompanied by the Choir. Not forgetting his roots, former walk leader and Wales' First Minister, Carwyn Jones turns up every year; fully participates & is a credit to Bridgend as well as Wales. The Choir is honoured that both are Patrons.

Bringing this period of musical activity to a close, is last but not least a visit to Cooper's Field, Bute Park, Cardiff to perform for the Armed Forces Day. Huge crowds turned out & the Choir performed with the RAF St Athan Voluntary Band. It was the debut of guest accompanist, Sian Davies (daughter of the late Bryan Davies). MD, Rhiannon Williams-Hale commented that Sian performed as if she had always been with the Choir.


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