Monday 29 February 2016
An account of the Choir's visit to the Six Nations, Wales vs. France, provided by Geraint Hopkins
The musical gladiators entered the Principality Stadium via the Dragon’s Mouth tunnel and into the impending cauldron of Welsh and French supporters’ noise to promenade to the front of the main stand. Owing to a malfunction, the Principality Stadium roof was open on a rain-free night, though it might have been lifted anyway with the power of the singing!. Sam Warburton and his team were back on track for their Six Nations Championship match against France. It was not only the fire and brimstone of legend that helped to inspire the capacity crowd, but the sound of Bridgend Male Choir with Cardiff Athletic Male Choir that generated great crowd support.
Dafydd Iwan’s ‘Yma o Hyd’ (‘Still Here’), a patriotic song, loved and performed by the late, great Ray Gravel, sounded magnificent, under the baton of Dr Haydn James. The song was intended to stir pride in Wales and it worked for the choir and for the crowd. It was one of seven songs, plus the anthems, with which the 74000 capacity crowd was entertained. “La Marseillaise”, sung with Gallic passion at rugby stadia and other sporting venues throughout the world for ‘Les Bleus’, filled the Principality Stadium. Bridgend Male Choir, accent perfect, joined in its fervour, voicing what can only be described as proud, but with brutally ferocious lyrics designed to overcome our own Welsh exhortations to the men in red. It was sung with Gallic zeal by the 120 choristers and the many French visitors in the crowd. This was the omen that our impressive visitors were to experience. The stadium sound would prevail and help a bruising dominant Wales win through to brutal victory bestowing the word perfect to Bridgend Male Choir, knowing a satisfaction and a job well done. What a fantastic experience.
Best wishes to our Llynfi Valley neighbours, Maesteg Gleemen MVC which choir will sing at the Wales vs. Italy match to round off the Six Nations Championship.