Friday 01 December 2017
The first Friday in December sees Bridgend Male Choir in concert raising funds for the maintenance of St Mary's R C Church. This annual event continues to delight and while the format remains similar, fresh faces and content make it one to look forward to and this year's offering was no exception.
A mix of popular items and carols was the order of the evening, with hosts, Bridgend Male Choir leading the congregational singing of “O Come All Ye Faithful” to open the evening. The Concert was a resounding success with the Choir providing the backdrop for the wonderful children's of St Mary's RC School Choir, along with soprano, Rhian Hughes, and organist Scott Williams.
This year the Choir's Musical Director, Ryan Wood, due to his involvement with "Only Men Aloud's" Christmas Tour, left the Choir in the safe hands of Stephanie Bailey and Stewart Roberts. Stephanie is not only the Choir's Assistant Musical Director and accompanist but is also the Rock Choir leader for South Wales; while Stewart is the well respected Musical Director of Pendyrus Male Choir and an accomplished musician in his own right. Completing the Music Team for the evening was the Choir's own organist, Scott Williams who first performed with the Choir in 2008 and has since played some of the most magnificent organs in Europe.
A near capacity audience was entertained by a Choir who put on a celebration of music with seasonal offerings, “There is Faint Music in the Night” and the classical "The First Noel (Pachelbel's Canon)", along with the ever-popular "Cwm Rhondda" and "Myfanwy". "Tell My Father", prefaced by the Gettysburg Address narrated by Baritone, Dr Peter Morgan, was a particular highlight.
Soprano, Rhian Hughes who hails from Maesteg made a big impression singing with feeling, fully engaging with those present and rightfully deserving the generous applause and standing ovation. Scott Williams talent on the organ is becoming legendary with the excellent organ recitals of Rhosymedre (Ralph Vaughan-Williams) and In Dulci Jubilo (J.S. Bach).
Compere, Gareth Davies kept the evening moving, with his usual light humour - but the stars of the show were the children, the wonderful children’s choir of St Mary’s Catholic School under the leadership of Gillian Weale. The School Choir thrilled the packed hall with their individual offerings of both traditional and newer compositions. Happy, smiling faces greeted all present and the performances, delivered with a clarity and confidence well beyond their age, delighted everyone especially the parents and grandparents who were enthusiastic in their applause.
The children joined their senior colleagues in a congregational closing offering of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.
Choirs & soloists extend their best wishes for a happy & peaceful Christmas to all.