Cwmbach Male Choir

Founded in the Heart of Aberdare - Queen of the Valleys


News Archive 6 - June 2009 - September 2010

18 SEPTEMBER 2010 FIGHT A KILLER WITH MUSIC Once again we took part in a Charity Concert on behalf of the Cardiff Branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, taking place once again in Bethany Baptist Church. We were joined for this very special concert by soloist Rhiannon Llewellyn, born in Swansea yet with a world wide experience finally about to enter her final year of study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff. Her repertoire was varied and included the traditional Welsh song The Ash Grove sung “A Cappella”. Rhiannon was accompanied by the talented Nathaniel Mander, a performer in his own right! The Choir sang from their wide repertoire including some new pieces - “Cylch o Emyn-donau” and Y Darlun” to name but two. The choir was led by our very own director Emyr Wynne Roberts and accompanied by Jayne Thomas. Ken Jones our ampere brought his own brand of Welsh humour to round off the proeedings. There was a brilliant end to the evening

with our after-concert concert in the Rhiwbina Recreation Club, where we were delighted to give a real Welsh flavour to the wedding party of David & Miki Wood berry who were celebrating their wedding that took place earlier in the day. David writes on our guestbook “Your singing was fantastic and you were all very kind to us. Miki has never heard a Welsh Choir before and she has said to me that she will remember your singing and happy time with you all for the rest of her life”. Thank you both, and have a wonderful life together!
29 JULY 2010 CAERLEON WRITERS Once again we returned to the Caerleon annual event, now our twelfth visit! The Choir arrived in force and performed a good cross-section of our repertoire. Before the evening began Brian spoke about the late Iris Cower, who was such a driving force for this writers’ course, and the Choir began by singing her favourite song Myfanwy. The evening was a great welcome return for our Musical Director Emyr Wyn Roberts, fully supported by Jayne Thomas our accompanist and Ken Jones our compare who had a “cracking night” with both Choir and audience “rolling in the aisles”. Thank you once again Caerleon Writers! The Choir now have a well-deserved rest before their next engagement in September.
13 JULY 2010 WESTON SUPER NIGHT! We were delighted to return to the Playhouse Theatre at Weston-Super-Mare on the 3rd July. The concert began at 7.30 pm and we were received by an audience made up of locals, holiday-makers and some people who had travelled to hear us again from other areas in the West Country. We were joined for the evening by two talented ladies who wowed the audience with their singing — Susan Coates, soprano and Anne Brearley, mezzo-soprano. In the interval we were approached by some extremely appreciative members of the audience who enthused about the variety and quality of music performed during the evening. We completed the night at Weston-Super-Mare Cricket Club with a rousing after-concert concert.
2 JULY 2010 UNVEILING CEREMONY Because of the Choirs close connection with the Italian Community of South Wales, we were, of course, delighted to be asked to take part in a very special ceremony at the Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David on the 2nd July. More than 500 turned up at the ceremony to unveil a national memorial to the Welsh Italians who perished in the sinking of the Arandora Star 70 years ago. We were greatly honoured to play a part on this important day.
24 JUNE 2010 VOICES 0F OUR COMMUNITY A successful charity concert was held at Green Street Methodist Church, Aberdare on Thursday 24th June in support of Soroptomist International and District. it was held to support the President’s local and international charities. We were delighted to share the stage with the children from Park Lane Special School. The children sang a wonderful set of songs including a solo performance from Jarred Morgan, and even accompanied themselves with a staff/pupil “Rock Band”. Our very own Compere Ken Jones did a solo spot in the second half. The successful evening ended with some rousing audience participation of “Rachie” and “Cwm Rhondda”.
19 JUNE 2010 DOUBLE DATE The Choir had a busy Saturday this week. Travelling from Aberdare, we first arrived at St Woolos Cathedral, Newport where we were once again joined St John Cymru for their award ceremony. The Choir entertained a multi-national audience and took part in the ceremony itself, which was an honour for us all especially singing the South African National Anthem unaccompanied. When the ceremony ended, the Choir continued on their way to Bristol for our second engagement of the day. We arrived at Staple Hill Methodist Church to a very warm welcome, including a fine spread of sandwiches and cakes for usl We were absolutely delighted with the beautiful venue on such a wonderfully warm Summer’s night. We shared the stage with Marion Thomas from the Cheltenham’s renowned Jubilate Choir. Later we completed our day with our after-concert concert at the British Legion Club in Bristol, where the good time continued.
JUNE 2010 A GREAT LOSS TO US ALL It is great sadness that Cwmbach Male Choir announces the death, on Sunday 30 May, of Kerry Griffiths, its hard working and dedicated Secretary of the last seven years. Kerry was a Life-Member of the Choir having served as a chorister for 37 years, and his unstinting efforts on behalf of the Choir never diminished, even during the past year of his illness, when his work as Secretary continued without consideration for his own condition. We will always be eternally grateful for the faithful and selfless way that Kerry undertook those duties, helped considerably by his wife Eirlys, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts are with Kerry’s family and friends at this sad time. The Choir has truly lost a dedicated faithful servant and friend.
15 MAY 2010 TOWCESTER TRIUMPH What a brilliant setting for a superb evening concert. Towcester ¡s a delightful small town in Northamptonshire, and we arrived at the sight of Saint Lawrence Church bathed in glorious sunshine! We were treated to home-made cakes and tea which set us up for the evening! The Choir shared the stage for this charity concert with talented pupils from Sponne School studying woodwind, who entertained us with a selection of duets and trios which they have been preparing for their external examinations. Good luck girls! The choir continued to entertain later at Towcester Conservative Club wíth an after-concert concert accompanied by a fine buffet. Thanks to Mavis and the team for their wonderful hospitality, We are extremely grateful for our talented Musical Team who once again shone - Norman Harris our Deputy Conductor, Jayne Thomas our accompanist, Sheridan George who assisted as organist, and not forgetting Catherine who assisted with the music. Once again our Compere Ken Jones entertained us all with his witty and amusing insights to human nature and his efforts to promote our CDs. Thank you Towcester!
24 APRIL 2010 BRINGING HOME THE BACON! I What a brilliant night! The Choir appeared at the Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, along with the Coberly Church of England Primary School Choir. The School was established in 1859 and therefore makes the Choir “a youngster” in comparison. As well as a selection of songs performed on their own (including some part singing) the children joined the Choir in the second half for a rousing performance of Jacob’s Ladder, The Choir sang quite a varied selection from their extensive repertoire and continued the evening with an after-concert sing at the Fleet Inn, Twinnings. Thanks to Norman, Jayne, Ken and s ecial thanks to Brian for the conducting of the after-concert concert!
20 MARCH 2010 GREAT WELSH DAY On 20th March Cwmbach entertained some very fine London Welsh supporters in City Hall Cardiff, before the final Six Nations match for Wales. We were delighted with the rousing reception which we received, along with with the brilliant company given to us by these fellow Welshmen and Women. This was the feast for the day followed by a very fine dessert when Wales entertained us all at the Millenium Stadium! Thank you London Welsh for a fantastic day!
16 MARCH 2010 HAMMERSMITH What a brilliant night we had on our return to St Peter’s Church, Hammersmith for this charity concert. Once again we sang with Sophie Gopsill and Marcel Xerri, The Special Guest was Darius, recently named ITV1’s Popstar to Operastar winner. Darius sang with Cwmbach Choir and also sang unaccompanied. Thanks to Norman our conductor for his dedication and effort to attend the concert despite family illness. Thanks to Jayne for her usual professionalism as our accompanist (and to her sister Catherine for assisting). Bob Thomas was the compere for the concert.
1st MARCH 2010 FANTASTIC NIGHT’S ENTERTAINMENT I The Choir had a rather special night on March 1st at the Coliseum. Sharing this St David’s Day Concert with the Choir was a young lady who delighted everyone in the auditorium. Catrín Aur Davies has won many prestigious awards including Young Welsh Singer of the Year 2009. Catrin hails from West Wales and has studied at the International Academy of Voice in Cardiff with Dennis O’Neill. She previously studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD), Cardiff, and the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), London, gaining a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction. Whilst at RWCMD, she won the first Dame Shirley Bassey Vocal Award. The Coliseum delighted at her varied repertoire including opera and Welsh songs. Cwmbach sang from their well-established repertoire with the addition of three new pieces just for this concert. Thanks especially to Norman, Jayne and Ken for their contribution to the whole experience. The “icing on the cake” was the tremendous reception for Jack Palmer who has completed sixty years in the Choir this month. We were also delighted to present two other choristers, David N Williams and David Rees with Long Service Certificates for fifty years service to the Choir.
16 FEBRUARY 2010 PARIS TRIP I The Choir recently returned from an extremely successful short tour of Paris. We were invited to join in celebrations of the Tenth Anniversary of the opening of the Stade de France in Paris. We were invited to France by the Paris Welsh Society. The Choir also sang in the chapel of Notre Dame de Paris in an extremely successful charity concert. John Evans from the Paris Welsh Society wrote “The feedback from our audience has been excellent and the Association for the chapel was very grateful for your generosity in donating not only the performance but also the proceeds to the restoration fund. On a personal note, I thought that your choice of programme was most appropriate and, of course, the resonance in the chapel made the singing quite memorable.” While we were there, we managed a little sight-seeing of this elegant city.
19 DECEMBER 2009 CONCERT FOR CHRISTMAS Our final performance of 2009 took place on 19th December in the Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare. We were joined for our Concert for Christmas by the children from Pengeulan Primary School, Mountain Ash. We all sang to a full house which included some very proud parents and grandparents of the children. We were treated to a selection of songs from the children who all sang with competence and enthusiasm, delighting both audience and Choir! The Choir sang a mixed repertoire including favourites and festive songs. The culmination of the evening was the song “Oh Holy Night” where both children’s and Choir voices blended together to ‘raise the roof’ (and of course needed to be encored to satisfy the auditorium). Once again this Concert was ably compered by Ken Jones. Many thanks to our very own Jayne Thomas who spent some time earlier this term rehearsing with the children at Pengeulan School in Mountain Ash, ready for the Concert. We were delighted that our Deputy Conductor Norman Harris (at very short notice) was able to admirably conduct this successful event.
26 NOVEMBER 2009 DIABETES SUPPORT CONCERT We were delighted to accept an invitation to perform at St Margaret’s Church in Mountain Ash for this very deserving charity. Even though it was a damp and rather miserable evening, the inside of the Church glowed with satisfaction at the evening’s entertainment. Cwmbach Choir was joined by some young people who have a bright future ahead of them. These were Emma Winters (Soprano), Dominic Williams (Bass) and the Athenia Singing Group. The youngsters were accompanied by their tutor Pamela Field. Thanks to Emyr, Jayne and Ken for their contribution to the evening.
18 NOVEMBER 2009 TAUNTON REMEMBERS We were absolutely delighted to have been asked to sing on Remembrance Sunday at Taunton’s Ex- servicemen1s Club. We have previously visited the club several times after performing in concerts in Taunton, and have always been warmly received there. It was quite an emotional event compered by our very own Ken Jones, The “icing on the cake” was our after concert sing in the bar which was attended by some marines who were due to fly out to join our troops quite soon afterwards. Thank you Taunton for a brilliant day!
17 OCTOBER 2009 THE ARTRIX, BROMSGROVE The Choir made their first appearance at the Artrix Theatre, Bromsgrove for an evening concert. We were very fortunate to be joined by the talented soprano and harpist Joy Cornock, who has just completed her B Mus 1st Class Honours, Joy has had much experience already in a wide range of music with many awards under her belt. For this event Joy sang a very beautiful selection from her repertoire. The evening was enthusiastically received by an audience some of whom had links with Aberdare. Joy also joined us in her usual enthusiastic and energetic manner for our after concert singing at the local public house. Again we had a wonderful response from the people present, which brought the evening to a fine close. Many thanks to the Shell team for their efforts in taking and assembling our staging and shell at Bromsgrove.
13 OCTOBER 2009 ARANDORA STAR MEMORIAL CONCERT We once again renewed our connection with the Italian Community of South Wales in a wonderful concert at the Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David. This was one of many appearances of the Choir approaching the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the Arandora Star including our visits to Bardi in Italy, Liverpool to sing on the Mersey, and also St Fagans Folk Museum. We once again appeared with Soprano Sally Kingsbury who sang brilliantly (we last appeared with Sally in Weston-super-Mare - see 3rd August 2008). We were conducted by Emyr, accompanied by Jayne on the digital piano and by Sheridan George playing the Cathedral organ. It was a delightful evening compéred by our very own Ken Jones. Proceeds from the concert go to the Arandora Star Memorial Fund in Wales.
19 SEPTEMBER 2009 WELLINGBOROUGH CHARITY NIGHT I This was our first sing since returning from the Summer break. A round trip of 380 miles in 16 hours is no mean achievement in itself, so we are so grateful to the members who turned out for this charity concert — most travelling to the Castle Theatre by bus, some by car, and amazingly, our choir soloist Brent Owens by train from London where he was working during the weekend! Our compere Ken Jones turned on his comedy patter and ably linked the concert sections together. The Choir sang a selection from their vast repertoire. The night was completed in the Masonic Hall in Wellingborough with an after concert impromptu sing.
11 JULY 2009 SOMERTON ARTS FESTIVAL We were asked to return to Somerton to take part in the final event of the Somerton Arts Festival. We have sung before in St Michael’s Church and looked forward to another successful night. We were joined for the event by the experienced soprano Nicola Wydenbach. Speaking to her before the concert, we were delighted to discover that her father had come from Wales, The weather was in complete contrast to the heat and sun of Cyprus, the venue of our previous concert, but none the less, we had a cheerful and appreciative audience for the event.
JUNE/JULY 2009 TOUR OF NORTHERN CYPRUS What a fantastic tour we have had in Kyrenia, and such a wonderful reception from the local community there! Our two main concerts in Bellapais Abbey were outstanding — such an amazing atmosphere and setting for any performance. The strength and depth of local Welsh support was unbelievable. Thank you Northern Cyprus for an unforgettable experience? We were joined in our concerts by soloist Ann-Louise Straker (formerly of D’Oyly Carte Opera fame).We were able to sing in several other venues during our stay including the Onar Village Hotel where we were hosted by the St Hilarion Rotary Club. We also performed at the Pia Bella where we were treated to a BBQ. On our final evening we were fortunate to be in the company of old friends — in Lapta’s Celebrity Hotel where owners Tom and Ruth (formerly of Cwmbach in Aberdare) treated us to a fine meal which we were delighted to repay with a rendering of favourites from our repertoire. we must thank Korel Asku, the efficient and helpful manager of the Oscar Hotel where we stayed, for his total devotion to duty during our stay (including sorting a big screen for the Lions 2nd Test), Many thanks to all the choristers who came on the tour and special thanks to the WAGs who accompanied us on tour and always give such wonderful support to the Choir? Thanks go to our Musical Team, David Rees for organising the after concert singing, and of course, Ken Jones our Compere and all the piano shifters without whom none of this would have been possible.
20 JUNE 2009 INVESTITURE AT LLANDAFF CATHEDRAL On Saturday 20th June the St John Investiture ceremony took place in Liandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. We were privileged to be asked to take part in this prestigious event although some members of the Choir had already flown out to Cypress ready for our forthcoming tour. We sang from our varied repertoire while the dignitaries and special guests arrived. During the ceremony we contributed by singing “Rachie” and “Tydi A Roddiast”. Our very own Sheridan George accompanied us as well as Jayne Thomas, both playing organ for this special occasion. This was our last sing before the Cypress tour.