Monday 03 March 2008
Independent concert-goer Vivienne Jones of Creigiau has been kind enough to share her thoughts after attending the Annual Gala Festival Concert at St David's Hall
The Mothering Sunday audience were treated to an exciting and varied programme, arranged by John Jenkins, the eminent musical director of the Bridgend Male Choir. The first half was entitled Classics and the second Showstoppers from Stage and Screen. The concert was compered by Robin Jones, a familiar voice to musical programmes on S4C.
Eisteddfod winners Bridgend Male Choir , accompanied by Rhiannon Williams – Hale and Laura Smith, displayed their dedication and professionalism in every rendition. The marriage of choir, band, soloists and audience was life enhancing, especially in Cwm Rhondda, Morte Criste. There were so many highlights that it seems unfair to be selective. but some shine particularly brightly. Craig Yates the young Welsh baritone, held the stage with his rendition of Mr. Cellophane from Chicago. He could have been on Broadway, but luckily for us he was here in Cardiff. There was a poignant moment when Shan Cothi , the hugely versatile soprano, bravely explained her choice of Caro Mio Ben. It was a favourite of her late husband’s, Jason Smith. She had sung it to him during her many visits to Velindre, the home of Cancer Research Wales. It was exciting to witness emergent talent. Tom Davoren, like Craig a graduate of the Royal College of Music and Drama Cardiff, the composer in residence of the B.T.M. Band, wrote Diversions on Calon Lan. The trombone soloist of this beautiful and imaginative work was Jonathan Pippen. The composition screamed ‘film score’.
It is expected that concert funds will exceed the £11,000 pounds raised in last year’s concert. Money which is vital for projects that benefit the people of Wales. One lucky gentleman from Caerphilly County won the raffle prize of a beautiful necklace of antique pearls. Although all concert goers were winners , doubtless an equally fortunate lady was due for a very special ending to Mothering Sunday.