St Illtud's Church Concert

Monday 05 September 2005

St Illtud’s Church, Llantwit Major was the venue for the Choir’s most recent Concert in support of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

The Concert was planned to commemorate the ending of the War in the Far East. A number of the choristers are from Llantwit Major, some of whom have been instrumental in bringing this special relationship between the Choir and the Llantwit Major Branch of the Legion, which has extended over many years.

Under the baton of the skilled Marcus Hopkin and wonderful accompaniment of Cheryl Jones, the Choir went through a varied programme with a number of items chosen especially for the occasion. From rousing Welsh hymns to the most softly sung lullabies; from Mozart & Schubert classics to the Gospels and from Eisteddfod pieces to the London stage with the excellent Paul Carter singing from Miss Saigon, the Choir entertained this appreciative audience. Interspersed were wartime favourites Bless ‘Em All from duettists Thomas Jones & John Morgan and We’ll Meet Again featuring Leon Evans.

Highlight of the evening was Welsh National Opera’s outstanding soprano, Charlotte Ellett, who is no stranger to the Choir or to this very worthwhile cause. Charlotte was in typically fine form finding great favour with those fortunate enough to be present. Her contribution was quite magnificent, none more so that her rendition of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Puccini’s Omio Bambino Caro.

The Concert ended with Bass narrator, John Jones reciting the immortal words from Lawrence Binyon’s “The Fallen” written during World War One, with the Choir singing Mike Sammes’ arrangement of the fourth verse. This moving ending was a reminder of what we owe to that wonderful generation.

The Choristers enjoyed the traditional invite back to Llantwit Major Rugby Football Club afterwards, where refreshments were provided. The afterglow was enhanced with the introduction of Ian and Eunice Faulkner from the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. They had travelled down from North Wales especially to attend the Concert after finding the engagement on the Choir’s website before departing from New Zealand. Ian gave a humorous short story contribution and both said the evening had been the highlight of their visit.

The Choir’s next public engagement is at Llandaff Cathedral on September 16th, when it will contribute to the Memorial Service to former Member of Parliament, Home Secretary and Prime Minister, Lord Callaghan. Prior to becoming Home Secretary the late Jim Callaghan was the spokesperson at Parliament for the Police Federation, a friendship which continued throughout time. The Bridgend Police Choir evolved over the years to become the Bridgend Male Choir, which is extremely proud to be invited.