cwmbach male choir
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20th January 2013 Review of 2013

2013 has proved to be another successful year for Cwmbach Male Choir, as once again we performed to enthusiastic audiences in the U.K and Europe. We have had our fair share of sadness and our thoughts go out to choristers and their families who have borne their losses with great dignity. To our colleagues who have been ill, we wish you a rapid and strong recovery.

We welcomed our Assistant Musical Director Ben Pinnow to the music team. Ben is a talented musician who has already benefited the choir, the fruits of his labours in rehearsals and sectionals evident in recent concerts. Our Musical Director, Andy Quick is looking to add to the repertoire and will seek to ensure that over the course of time, a wide variety of musical styles will be included, whilst never neglecting the rich tradition of songs that are the lifeblood of Welsh Male Choirs.

The whole choir expresses our thanks to our committed and ever present accompanist Jayne “Swan Vesta” Thomas, her legendary talent supported us on a wave of perfect piano playing throughout 2013.

So, what did we get up to in 2013…………… ?

What a night 2nd March was! The Choir was joined once again by Rhiannon Llewellyn (with whom we had the pleasure to sing last October in Hereford). She certainly entertained the very enthusiastic audience with a variety of songs (including French and of course Welsh songs). Cwmbach aired songs from a traditional Welsh repertoire while including some new material in the form of "Wherever You Are", "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and also "Finlandia". It gave the Choir another chance to sing and "move"(well some did) to Dirty Dancing! All in all a great night!

The annual concert in support of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in Rhiwbina, Cardiff proved once again to be a great success with the attentive audience enjoying a spirited performance from the choir. Following the win over Scotland earlier in the day the performance started with an old favourite in Tydi a Roddaist, and the first quarter concluded with a rousing rendition of Men of Harlech. The guest soloist was the highly talented harpist Llewellyn Ifan Jones. A native of Aberaeron, the 22 year old has achieved national success winning many competitions and in June 2010 won the Nani Richards Scholarship. Now a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama he performed flawless renditions of Yr Hydref and the Overture from Suite with Harp by Britten. The choir continued the first half with an American section concluding with the famous Elvis song An American Trilogy. Following a short interval the audience was entertained by an eclectic mix of tunes ranging from a Dirty Dancing medley to the old Welsh hymn Gwahoddiad before closing with Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. Many thanks to our Musical Director, Andrew Quick and accompanist, the legendary Jayne Thomas for their ever present support and direction. The concert was compered by the incomparable Mr Brian Williams, the Choir Chairman who proved to be as entertaining and informative as ever. The after concert reception was hosted at Rhiwbina Rec Club who again were fabulous hosts. An informal sing along was interspersed with drinks and curry and chips and our thanks go to all involved.

The AGM was well attended this year with a large proportion of members contributing to a sometimes lively debate. The Registrar (Mr Alan Davies) and Treasurer (Mr Richard Rosser) gave their reports for the year, and took questions. The Chairman, Mr Brian Williams, gave a detailed report of the choirs' activities over the last year and we took time to remember those members, their family, friends and supporters who sadly passed away during 2012/2013. Brian also passed on thanks to the numerous individuals, committee members etc who contributed to the success of the choir. A written report from the musical team was distributed to attendees, and the election and re-election of committee, officers and vice-presidents took place. We then looked forward to a full and exciting programme in 2013/2014 with a growing membership and continuing expanding musical programme. On the 11th of April we delivered many congratulations to our fabulous second tenor, Mr Jack Palmer on his 90th birthday! Believe it or not Jack has been singing with the choir for 63 years, a fantastic achievement, we are all very proud of him.

We started our comprehensive summer programme with our 8 day tour to Costa Blanca, and venues that we visited in previous years. Hosted by Calpe and Benissa Lions Club we enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Torre Dorada and took full advantage of the facilities there. The two groups arrived over two days for our first concert at Teulada situated in the mountains around 30 minutes away from our hotel. We enjoyed performing for a packed and enthusiastic audience. The following evening our second concert took place at the stunning new concert facility in Calpe, where we were joined in song by Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir with their Musical Director Claire Post and accompanist Heather Butcher. After a rousing programme that spurred the audience to a boisterous standing ovation at its conclusion, we had raised over 2500 Euros for local charities. The following day the choir enjoyed a trip to wine tasting at Jalon, followed by a Paella Picnic at Moraira. To see what else went on in the relaxing and enjoyable tour please visit our facebook page.

June saw us get back on the coaches to perform at a wedding in Duffryn Gardens, the Festival of Music at Evesham and a concert at The Forum Theatre, Malvern. The end of June saw the biggest concert of the year with The Choir joining with our admittedly younger (but less good looking) and talented friends – Only Boys Aloud. On a warm mid-summers’ evening a packed Coliseum was lifted to new heights as the combination of youth and enthusiasm blended perfectly with age and experience to deliver a stunning performance to a rapturous audience. It’s fair to say the evening was a great success and many thanks go to the Boys.

In July, we started with a concert in aid of St John Cymru Wales and the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital. This very special event brought us together in song with International Star and local boy Jason Howard. In the wonderful surroundings at Llandaff Cathedral we enjoyed a fabulous evening of entertainment and our thanks go to our sponsors Sheppards Pharmacy and Stephens & George Print Group.

St Margaret’s Church, Mountain Ash was the venue for a long delayed concert in conjunction with Llwydcoed Band. On a very warm evening we delivered an enthusiastically received programme that reflected well on all the performers.

The Ty Newydd Hotel in Penderyn saw a very happy event on 20th July when we helped our Secretary Kevin Lewis-Jones celebrate his marriage to Johanna. It was very emotional to see Kevin well for this memorable occasion and he blessed it with his usual sense of humour. We wish you both well for the future and look forward to Kevin having a sustained recovery from his recent set-backs.

In what has become an annual pilgrimage, we travelled to Caerleon College for the Writers Conference Concert. This less formal setting gives the Choir chance to relax but still deliver a first class performance. We are never received with anything less than huge enthusiasm at this event and although it moves to Fishguard for 2014 we will still enjoy performing for this audience.

August 2013 saw The Choir travel to Europe once again. The Festival Interceltique de Lorient (or Inter-Celtic Festival of Lorient in English), is an annual Celtic festival, located in the city of Lorient, Brittany. This annual festival takes place in the heart of the city every August and is dedicated to the cultural traditions of the Celtic nations, highlighting Celtic music and dance and also including other arts such as painting, photography, theatre, sculpture, traditional artisan as well as sport and gastronomy. Participants come from Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, Cumbria, the Isle of Man, Cape Breton Island, Galicia, Asturias, Acadia, and the entire Celtic diaspora. Every afternoon hundreds of performers appear in folk and traditional music concerts and dance displays, and again in the evening there is a choice of several major events, including orchestral concerts, rock concerts and the not to be missed “Nuits Magiques”, spectacular displays of pipe bands, dancers, choirs and fireworks. This marathon event places many demands on the choir with performances during the day and every night into the early hours over a period of 7 days. Given the average age of the performers it is astonishing that despite the challenges, The Choir delivers fantastic performances on every occasion. It is belived that the liberal application of free local beverages may help with this process. We look forward to re-visiting this wonderful event again in the near future.

December saw The Choir perform for patients and staff in a lunchtime Christmas celebration at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon, Mountain Ash and out thanks go to Joan Jenkins for organising this. The Coliseum was again full for our traditional Concert at Christmas on the 14th of December. We were partnered this time by a choir from Aberdare Girls School who treated us to some lovely songs both tradional and modern. As in previous years the finale of ‘O Holy Night’ was completed to a standing ovation and a wonderful evening drew to a close.

In these times of austerity, theatres are struggling to survive, and indeed our planned programme for the latter part of 2013 suffered as a result of dwindling audiences and reduced budgets.

The cultural hubs in The Valleys could be sacrificed as Rhondda Cynon Taf council considers proposals to save £3.7m a year in order to bridge the £70m budget gap over the next four years. Part of the proposals, which aim to save £400k per year, would see the Muni Arts Centre close and a “balanced but reduced” programme centred around the two remaining theatres in the county borough - the Coliseum in Aberdare and Treorchy’s Park and Dare. So of the three entertainment venues serving the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf it could be a case of one down, two diminished. The American writer Ray Bradbury once said “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” Or in the case of RCT, you just close theatres. We would urge all our follwers to continue to use these valuable resources as often as possible and to support the local arts community.

Looking ahead to the latter part of 2014 and into the future The Choir aims to recruit new members to sustain our numbers. In fact over the last few months we have seen nearly half a dozen enthusiastic new choristers join us at rehersal and they are looking forward to their debut performances later this year. This has reduced the average age of The Choir substantially and will secure our future. Don’t forget that we rehearse every Monday and Thursday 7.00pm at Cwmbach School and all new recruits are welcome. The most common comment we get from new starters is “I wish I’d done it years ago !”, so don’t delay – join in the fun !
23rd June 2013 Andys' Charity Ride

"In August this year our Musical Director Andy Quick, a keen cyclist, will be cycling 100 miles in the first RideLondon100 event. This event is set to become the cycling equivalent of the London Marathon with over 20,00 cyclists taking part. Andy will be raising funds for the British Heart Foundation. If you would like to help Andy support the work of the British Heart Foundation then please go to his charity page at All donations received with thanks - Good Luck Andy"
Thursday 11th April 2013 Time to Celebrate !!

Many congratulations to our fabulous second tenor, Mr Jack Palmer on his 90th birthday ! Believe it or not Jack has been singing with the choir for 63 years, a fantastic achivement, we are all very proud of him. Have a great Birthday Jack.
Thursday 28th March 2013 Annual General Meeting at Abercwmboi Rugby Club

The AGM was well attended this year with a large proportion of members contributing to a sometimes lively debate. The Registrar (Mr Alan Davies) and Treasurer (Mr Richard Rosser) gave their reports for the year, and took questions. The Chairman, Mr Brian Williams, gave a detailed report of the choirs' activities over the last year and we took time to remember those members, their family, friends and supporters who sadly passed away during 2012/2013. Brian also passed on thanks to the numerous individuals, committee members etc who contributed to the success of the choir. A written report from the musical team was distributed to attendees, and the election and re-election of committee, officers and vice-presidents took place. Full details are available on the main page. We then looked forward to a full and exciting programme in 2013/2014 with a growing membership and continuing expanding musical programme.
9th March 2013 Bethany Baptist Church, Rhiwbina, Cardiff

The annual concert in support of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research proved once again to be a great success with the attentive audience enjoying a spirited performance from the choir. Following the win over Scotland earlier in the day the performance started with an old favourite in Tydi a Roddaist, and the first quarter concluded with a rousing rendition of Men of Harlech. The guest soloist was the higly talented harpist Llewellyn Ifan Jones. A native of Aberaeron, the 22 year old has achieved national success winning many competitions and in June 2010 won the Nani Richards Scholarship. Now a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama he performed flawless renditions of Yr Hydref and the Overture from Suite with Harp by Britten. The choir continued the first half with an American section concluding with the famous Elvis song An American Trilogy. Following a short interval the audience was entertained by an eclectic mix of tunes ranging from a Dirty Dancing medley to the old Welsh hymn Gwahoddiad before closing with Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. Many thanks to our Musical Director, Andrew Quick and accompanist, the legendary Jayne Thomas for their ever present support and direction. The concert was compered by the incomparable Mr Brian Williams, the Choir Chairman who proved to be as entertaining and informative as ever. The after concert reception was hosted at Rhiwbina Rec Club who again were fabulous hosts. An informal sing along was interspersed with drinks and curry and chips and our thanks go to all involved.

What a night 2nd March was! The Choir were joined once again by Rhiannon Llewellyn (with whom we had the pleasure to sing last October in Hereford). She certainly entertained the very enthusiastic audience with a variety of songs (including French and of course Welsh songs). Cwmbach aired songs from a traditional Welsh repertoire while including some new material in the form of "Wherever You Are", "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and also "Finlandia". It gave the Choir another chance to sing and "move"(well some did) to Dirty Dancing! All in all a great night!

The Choir were joined at the the Coliseum Theatre by children from Caegarw Primary School for our annual Christmas Concert. Our selection for the evening included some of our well known and recent pieces for male voices. This performance was complemented by the children's delightful rendering of a Christmas selection. All in all this was a lovely evening shared by all who were there. The evening finished with a buffet and festive social event for choristers and their friends and families at the nearby Harlequins Club.

The Choir enjoyed a great “Double Header” last Saturday (17th November) when we sang at the wedding of Maria and Mark at St. David’s Church, Merthyr in the afternoon, and then at the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury in the evening. We were delighted to provide the musical background for the very happy couple in Merthyr, and proud that we joined them in a “team” photo! We wish them all the best for the future and hope that we were able to add something to their special event. In Tewkesbury we were again joined by the children of John Moore Primary School, ably led by Head-teacher Sally King. The audience in a packed-house seemed to enjoy the whole occasion, and children and choir brought the house down by singing “Jacob’s Ladder” together. We then moved on to a ”Triple Header” when we crossed the road from the Roses into the Old Black Bear, where we were generously hosted by Steve and his wife, and ate, drank and sang until midnight. Another great day out!

What an experience to sing at the Press Launch of "Dirty Dancing" as it made its debut in Wales! We had been asked to appear in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, and sang a variety of traditional and "show songs" including a Dirty Dancing Medley to a very warm and responsive audience who were all there to see the show. You could say that we had "the time of our lives"!

"We left Aberdare on Thursday 1st November with our usual tour driver John from Thomas’s of the Rhondda, and headed up to Glasgow, arriving in the evening at our hotel, the Ibis. Some choristers and the Musical Team were already in the hotel having flown up from Bristol. On the Friday we went to spend some time in the capitol Edinburgh, which was the first visit for a few of the boys. On the scenic return journey to the hotel we stopped at Loch Lomond to admire the views. The following morning allowed us free time to explore Glasgow which has quite an exceptional City Centre and of course we found among other things the piper in full regalia! We set off for Hamilton in the afternoon where we joined Hamilton Male Voice Choir for a concert at Cadzow Parish Church. This concert was followed by a social and supper at the Hamilton Bowls Club, where we were well looked after by our hosts! Cwmbach male Choir has been privileged to have had the opportunity to visit Bardi, Liverpool and Cardiff in events connected with the Arandora Star tragedy, and as a result we were invited to sing at the Memorial Garden based in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow. On Sunday 3rd November we were delighted to be asked to sing both inside this magnificent building as well as delivering our offering of “Speed Your Journey” in the garden. Later on Sunday we joined Stirling Male Choir in a charity concert in the Church of the Holy Rood, situated close to Stirling Castle, where once again we were well fed by the wonderful supporters of the Church. The morning of Monday 5th November was the start of our return journey to Aberdare, arriving home mid evening. Everyone had a great time in Scotland. Many thanks to our Chairman, Brian Williams, for his hard work in organising the tour! "

Saturday 27th October was quite a night! We sang to a packed Brewhouse Auditorium in Taunton. This was an evening when we shared the stage with the youngsters from the Taunton Junior Brass Band and they entertained the audience with some complicated arrangements such as "Bohemian Rhapsody". Some fine instrumental and vocal solos from our young friends produced a nice variety from our more traditional choir pieces. We gave our first public performance of our new "Dirty Dancing" Medley, which was well received. We really enjoyed performing at Taunton, and the experience of being accompanied by the Brass Band in "Llanfair" was a wonderful moment during the evening for all concerned. Thanks to all who helped to make this evening a great success. Please read our guestbook for some great comments about the concert!

It is with great sadness that Cwmbach Male Choir announces the sudden death of fellow chorister Haydn Evans. Haydn has always been a hard-working, dedicated and loyal member of Cwmbach Male Choir and he will be greatly missed by everyone. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

The Choir always enjoy performing in this modern and well-equipped theatre in the heart of Hereford. We were joined for this concert by the wonderful Rhiannon Llewellyn. Rhiannon entertained us all, not only with some wonderful singing, but with the addition of a great sense of humour. The night continued afterwards in the Hereford Welsh Social Club where members of the Choir entertained the crowd with their after-concert items interspersed with some brilliant solos. Thanks to all who helped to make the night so memorable!

Cwmbach Male Choir were delighted to take part in this charity concert at Salem, Nelson. We were joined for the event by Cor Rhosyn Ladies Choir. Jonathan,their accompanist, delighted us with two violin solos. Our thanks go to all who helped to make this such a memorable night - special thanks to Gill, Jonathan, Jayne and Andrew, as well as, of course, the ladies and gentlemen of the two fantastic choirs!

It is with great sadness that Cwmbach Male Choir announces the recent death of John Taylor. John has served the Choir over many years, not only a chorister, but also as an extremely hard working and dedicated Registrar and Librarian. Our thoughts go out to Margaret, his wife, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. The Choir has most certainly lost a dedicated, reliable, servant and friend.

Cwmbach Male Choir readily agreed to contribute to the Celebration event on Monday 16 July, to mark the end of a chapter in the school’s life, as it is to become the hub of the newly formed Cwmbach Community Primary School from September. The choir has had many happy years in residence at the school, enjoying its excellent facilities as an ideal rehearsal base. Good luck to all involved in the opening and development of the school, and we look forward to remaining very much part of the fabric!

The Choir loves visiting the lovely Somerset town of Somerton to take part in its Annual Festival, this time for our sixth visit! We sang once again in the lovely 800 year-old Church of St. Michael and All Saints, to a capacity audience who enjoyed our traditional mix of old and new, plenty in the language of Heaven, and ending joyously with our national anthem. We were joined by Aberdare born Morgan James, whose lovely tenor voice took the audience through songs from films and shows. Our festival hosts kindly extended a welcome to us to join the post-concert gathering at the Globe Inn, where we sang (again) after enjoying a hearty late supper! Thanks to everyone concerned, including our coach drivers, Leighton and John, who once again looked after us on behalf of our regular coach provider, VR Travel of Merthyr Tydfil.

What an amazing night for the capacity audience at the Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare. This was part of a short tour by Cenestra within a visit to the Choir of the World Competition in London. Cenestra wanted to visit our part of Wales and particularly Cwmbach and "The Land of Song" from which the inspiration for the Cenestra Male Choir had sprung following a meeting with Cwmbach Choir in Cork. This had been the start of the great friendship shared between the two Choirs ever since. This was one evening in a busy week filled with music and local culture. Visits had included Big Pit, Cardiff Bay, Ferndale and the Mayor's Parlour, Pontypridd. In the Coliseum, Cenestra delighted us all with the quality and variety of their repertoire - from The Holy City to the Maskandi Medley. As well as performing some new pieces for the audience, Cwmbach Male Choir had the great privilege to join with Cenestra Male Choir to sing Morte Criste, Gwahoddiad and the very tuneful Shosholoza. It was certainly a night that none of us will ever forget!

Well it was brilliant to revisit Weston-super-Mare again, though the weather didn't oblige. The last time we sang here was just after the very tragic fire on the pier, but it was a delight to see the new pier in all it's glory as we left the front to finish the night in the Cricket Club where we had another delightful audience for our after-concert concert.

Once again the Choir were delighted to support another local charity on a particularly wet and windy night - but it was worth it just to be part of a very entertaining evening. It's always our pleasure to help raise money for good causes!

Yet again we take part in the wonderful pre-match and half-time singing on this momentous occasion in the Heart of Welsh Rugby. Thanks to the supporters who came with us and to Wales for the great match!

This was a brilliant Summer's Evening (Remember them?) in the local Country Park singing in the Quad. It was to raise money for the local Rotary charities, and we are proud to say that all monies raised that evening went totally to the charity funds! Well done boys!
24 MARCH 2012 The Blake Theatre, Monmouth

This was our first concert in Monmouth at the Blake Theatre. We were joined on the night by pupils from Kymin View Primary School, Monmouth. We were thoroughly entertained by the children who sang enthusiastically in both Welsh and English to a delighted audience. For this very successful second concert of the month we were again under the direction of Andrew Quick. The children joined the Choir on the stage for the finale in a splendid rendering of "Jacob's Ladder".

Evesham is a rural market town in Worcestershire, known for its tradition of fruit growing and market gardening. It was our first concert to take ever place in Evesham. We were joined for the evening by two barbershop groups from the local Prince Henry's High School. The first of these quite unusual in that it consisted of girls only. The second made up of boys. Both groups provided both the audience and the Choir with some wonderful and very unusual a cappella entertainment - a real treat for all! The Choir sang a selction from an extensive repertoire, including a "Les Mis" selection. We owe great thanks to Emily Porter and our very own Brent Owens (who fitted the concert in even though he was working on a weekend tour) for their contribution to the evening. Lastly many thsanks to the Royal Oak Public House for their warm welcome for our after-concert concert.

We set off early on Friday 11th November, Armistice Day, for our short weekend tour of the Isle of Wight. We were heading for Portsmouth to catch the afternoon Ferry to the port of Fishbourne. We were stopped at 11.00 am for a two minute silence to show our respect before continuing our journey to the South East. We made good time and managed to board the 2.00 pm ferry. We were staying at the Royal Pier Hotel in Sandown and arrived in time to explore the town before settling in for our evening meal. Even though we weren't singing until the evening of Saturday the 12th, the management of the hotel had kindly arranged some entertainment for us, in the form of a Karaoke ( which incidentally means Empty Orchestra in Japanese). Some members of the Choir showed their versatility by performing some old favourites "on the mike". After a satisfying breakfast, we were given a mini tour of the Island, taking us to Cowes where we spent some time taking in the sights. It's a very busy working harbour. We made for the Yacht Haven - a great photo opportunity for the "sailors" in the Choir. After some free time back at the hotel, we had a early dinner in order to make an early start to Shanklin for our concert at the Shanklin Theatre. The Choir was enthusiastically received by the audience , whose numbers included Clive who's 90th birthday treat was a visit to our concert. Both our soloists were unable to travel with us on this tour due to ilness and accident. Instead both the audience and the Choir were delightfully entertained by our very own Jayne Thomas with outstanding piano solos, including works by Katchachurian, Gershwin, Confrey, Nyman and Schubert. It was a wonderful opportunity for the Choir to hear Jayne's playing! We ended the evening with requests for, of course, Myfanwy and Calon Lan. We were asked to take part in the Memorial Service on the Sunday morning at the beautiful esplanade on Sandown sea front, culminating with the service at the 1921 Celtic Cross Memorial. We left Sandown at 1.00 pm to take the 2.00 pm ferry back to Portsmouth. We arrived back in Aberdare at about 7.30 pm

It has been many years since the Choir last sang at St Donat's Church, Abercynon. We took part in a very successful Charity Event to raise funds for the Church, and sang a varied selection from our repertoire including Bui Doi with our very own soloist Brent Owens. We shared the evening with a young talented soloist from Abercynon, Holly Davies who delighted both the audience and the Choir with her choice of songs including items from shows such as "Annie" and "Jeckyl and Hyde". Thanks to Jayne Thomas, accompanist, and Sheridan George (organa) and of course Norman Harris, our newly appointed Musical Director. Bob Thomas compered the event.

"Once again we returned to Bethany Chapel, Rhiwbina, to help raise money for Leukemia Research. It is with great pleasure that we help to raise money for a cause that is very close to our hearts. We have for several years now been committed to supporting this work not only locally, but as far away as London. It was a delight to share the stage for the evening with some talented youngsters."

Well this truly was an incredible night. The audience thrilled as the evening panned out - Cwmbach Male Choir, Only Aberdare Boys Aloud, Roy Noble entertained us with background stories on our theme, and our very own Brian Williams made this a very special evening indeed! With the use of some very up-to-date audio/visuals, the Choir were able to sing with the great Stuart Burrows and the late George Lloyd who sang instead of Paul Robeson in 1961. We were able to see and hear Paul Robeson's famous speech to the Miners of South Wales. Wyn Davies of Only Men Aloud conducted the OABA on stage and they didn't disappoint with their roof-lifting rendering of their popular songs set to fantastic movement. The Choir were thrilled to join OABA at the end of the Concert. Our tremendous thanks go to all involved in the production of the 90th - Norman and Jayne, of course, for their never-ending support of Cwmbach, the team from the Choir who researched and produced the paperwork and audio/visuals and of course Rob and the staff of the Coliseum for their support and professionalism throughout the planning and the performance!

It is with great sadness, after a long illness, that Lynda the wife of our Musical Director, Emyr Wyn Roberts, has passed away. Everyone in Cwmbach Male Choir sends their deepest sympathy to Emyr and his family at this very sad and difficult time.

What a special night it was at the Forum Theatre, Malvern. We were once again joined for this concert by a school choir - Great Malvern Primary School, and they were great! They had learned quite a few Welsh Songs and could give some of us a run for our money in performing in Welsh! The children looked wonderful in their Welsh T-shirts and were very skillfully led by their music teacher Mrs Kathryn Humphreys. Well done children and staff! They joined Cwmbach in the singing of Jacob's Ladder.

After the ceremony in LLandaff we journeyed on to Taunton where we took part in an outstanding night of music, performing alongside the Castle School. The children, led by talented teacher Sandra Sutton (Classic FM Lifetime Teacher Award 2010), were incredible in the variety and standard of performance during the evening. Indeed this was the icing on Cwmbach Choir's cake for this busy day!

ONce again we were able to assist St John's Cymru in a very special ceremony in the Cathedral. The Choir were absolutely delighted to receive a presentation during the ceremony in recognition of the charity work undertaken by Cwmbach for St John Cymru over the last few years.

As usual we readily accepted this invitation along with some up and coming youngsters to help raise money for this outstanding charity. The whole night was superb, and hosted by Sara Edwards.
20 May 2011 Website Back

We have had a problem with scammers attacking our website (among others) but we are glad to announce that we are back! Please check our website for updates on news and events taking place for Cwmbach including our forthcoming tour to Benidorm.

We had a brilliant night at the Coliseum in Aberdare for our 2011 St David's Day Concert. We were joined by the wonderful Stacey Wheeler, coloratura soprano, who hails from Indiana,Pennsylvania. Stacey is a graduate of Stetson University and Florida State University. We had the pleasure fo being led by our two conductors for this concert - Norman Harris (Associate Conductor) and Emyr Wyn Roberts our Musical Director. Jayne Thomas accompanied all evening and performed brilliantly. Thanks also to Ken Jones who compered for the evening. Thanks to all who helped with the drawing up and production of the programme for the evening.

In this Charity Concert for the Dystonia Society, Cwmbach Male Choir joined Cor Merched Canna at the Howardian Centre Hammond Way Penylan Cardiff. Our accompanist Jayne is going to Walk the Wall in China to raise money for this cause - watch this space!

We were pleased to once again support a local charity through our participation in this worthy concert at Ramoth in Hirwaun.

We were joined for our Concert for Christmas on Saturday 22nd January 2011 by the children of Aberdare Park Primary School. The concert had been delayed due to December's poor weather conditions. It was a night well worth waiting for - we were treated to brilliant singing from the children, including some very modern part-singing and solo work which was a real treat for both the audience and the Choir. The Choir sang a mixture of items including some pieces recently added to our repertoire including the Theme from Exodus. Our Chairman Brian Williams made two very special presentations during the concert:- Gwyn Evans Gwyn Evans has achieved Life Time Membership after many years of loyal service to the choir. Norman Harris Norman Harris has been particularly supportive of the Choir in his role of Deputy Musical Director for many years. Brian once again remembered Kerry Griffiths - a loyal and hard-working member of the Choir over many years, sadly missed by everyone.

On 6th November we once again entertained London Welsh in City Hall, Cardiff. We had an absolutely wonderful reception from our friends, many of whom (and some of the Choir) went off to the Wales v Australia match. We enjoyed a Welsh selection of food and drink while we watched the match on the "big screen". Wales showed passages of real fire during the 90 minutes. However Wales lost their sparkle against the powerful Australian side as the match ended on this bonfire weekend!

Our tour started early on Friday 23rd October when we boarded a Thomas of Rhondda double decker coach driven by John. We journeyed up through a sunny Wales to arrive just after lunch in Holyhead for the ferry crossing to Dublin on the Ulysses Cruise Ferry. The weather changed however as we landed in Ireland and we had a very wet journey up to Belfast. On Saturday morning we joined our hosts the Queens Island Victoria Male Choir for a rehearsal at the Theatre at the Mill, North of Belfast. This was followed by a buffet for the two choirs before heading back to Belfast for some free time. On Saturday night we took part in a joint charity concert with the Queens island Victoria Male Choir, and performed to a capacity audience. On the morning of Sunday 24th October, we were delighted to take part in a mass at the Saint MacNissi Catholic Chapel in Randalstown, County Antrim. This is the town in Northern Ireland where our Chairman Brian Williams’ son-in law was brought up. We had the most amazing reception from the congregation and a wonderful Irish welcome from the ladies who had prepared a magnificent lunch for us consisting of home-made soup with soda bread, sandwiches and home-made cakes. We had a city tour in the afternoon organised by Brian and Emyr, and we saw some amazing sights including the Stormont Parliament Building, the Harland and Wolffe Shipyard. For their Macmillan concert the choir have included as their special guest Tara McNeill. Tara is a local Antrim musician of many talents who is currently studying in Dublin. She will sing and play her Irish harp on the night. The concert will be held in St Macnissi’s Parish Centre Randalstown on Sunday, October 24, starting at 7.30pm. All proceeds will go the new Palliative Care Unit currently being built at Antrim Area Hospital. This twelve bed unit is due to open in June 2011, Macmillan’s centenary year, and will provide both in patient and out patient care. We were once again fed by the wonderful ladies of the parish, before finishing the evening in a country pub. Our final full day in Northern Ireland was spectacular! We were joined on an excursion and guided by some of Queens Island Victoria Male Choir. We travelled northwards from the hotel, skirting the North East coast with its picturesque villages and views of Scotland. At one time our rather high bus was expertly driven under a low bridge guided by our relentless organiser, Brian (with head and shoulders out of the bus roof). We continued finally arriving at the Giant’s Causeway. Some more athletic members of the group walked down and back up the track from the rocky bay (some of us took the shuttle bus!). The last evening was spent in the local golf club where we once again joined the QIVM Choir for an informal singalong. On Tuesday 26th we set off for home. However our planned fast crossing to Holyhead was cancelled and we had to make our way down to Rosslare for a very choppy crossing to Pembroke Dock. We arrived home around 3.30 am. We wish to thank everyone involved with the organisation of our visit, particularly our new Irish friends and of course our very own Chairman Brian Williams for all the travel arrangements he has made to make this trip possible.
16 October 2010 CONCERT AT THE ROSES

This was the first time that we had shared the stage at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury with a local school. The John Moore Primary School joined us for the night, and what a fantastic night it was! As well as singing a selection of their own items, the Children joined the Choir for a wonderful rendition of 'Jacob's Ladder'. We are sure from the quality of their performance that many of the children will become future stars in their own right! We once again used the Acoustic Shell for this Concert and received some brilliant feedback regarding the performance. Many thanks once again to Miss Sally King, Headteacher, and the children of John Moore Primary School.

On Saturday 9th October we took part in a service and investiture for St John Cymru. This took place in Parish Church of St Mary in Swansea. Celebrities taking part included BBC's Lucy Owen. Other music was provided by the Church Choir. Cwmbach entertained while the guests arrived and also took part in the afternoon's proceedings. We are grateful in particular to David Rees and Sheridan George who stood in for the first ten minutes for our musical team who were held up in heavy traffic. (Sheridan also transported all our equipment for the afternoon's service - well done to him and the boys who helped!)

Once again we were pleased to take part in a charity concert for a local cause. This concert was held in Siloa Chapel in aid of Friends R Us - a group who meet in the chapel to support sufferers and carers involved with mental illness. We were joined by Athena, a group of singers who continue to grow from strength to strength.. The Choir sang from its fine repertoire in both Welsh and English. We are, as always, grateful for our very own Emyr, Jayne and Ken for their valuable contribution to the evening.

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 includedthe tradition 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 compere 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 Woodberry 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!

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 Gower, 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.

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.

Because of the Choir’s 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.

A successful charity concert was held at Green Street Methodist Church, Aberdare on Thursday 24th June in support of Soroptimist 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".

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 us! 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.

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.

What a brilliant setting for a superb evening concert. Towcester is 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 with an after-concert concert accompanied by a fine buffet. Thanks to Mavis and the team for their wonderful hospitality. We are extremely greatful 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!

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 special thanks to Brian for the conducting of the after-concert concert!

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!

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.

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. Catrin 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.

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. Please explore our Picture Gallery which is being updated with a flavour of the trip.

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.

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. We wish Diabetes Peer support all the very best with their ongoing fundraising.

We were absolutely delighted to have been asked to sing on Remembrance Sunday at Taunton's Ex-servicemen's 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!

The Choir made their first appearance at the Artrix Theatre, Bromsgrove for an evening concert. We were very fortunate to be joined by the 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.

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 compèred by our very own Ken Jones. Proceeds from the concert go to the Arandora Star Memorial Fund in Wales.

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.

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.

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.


On Saturday 20th June the St John Investiture ceremony took place in Llandaff 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.

On Saturday 13th June the choir returned to the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. We were joined in concert by Cellist Marged Jones who is at present completing her second year in the Royal College of Music in London. During the evening Marged played a brilliant selection of accompanied and unaccompanied music including pieces by Bach, Saint Saens and Rubinstein, Marged was accompanied by both Jayne and Emyr. We once again used our Sound Shell and Staging to enhance the experience, and the Courtyard's own sound engineer remarked on the resulting high quality of our performance! The choir were pleased to see in the audience some supporters from Aberdare, who joined the Choir for an after concert sing at Hereford Welsh Social Club. Another excellent evening was enjoyed by all!

The Choir sang at the opening dinner of the European Youth Card Association's 25th Annual Conference. We were greeted with rapturous applause from the youngsters representing countries from all over Europe. The audience were treated to a mixture of Welsh songs, songs from the shows and some popular music as the Choir performed on the grand central staircase of the Angel Hotel. After the performance the choir and conference members were able to chat together and reform links spanning in some cases seventeen years (Our Chairman Brian Williams having been involved with EYCA from 1992). Both Choir and conference had a brilliant evening.

Cwmbach Male Choir returned to Taunton for their fifth appearance at the Brewhouse Theatre. The Choir’s programme for the evening included songs from the shows, operatic choruses and traditional hymns. The choir was ably conducted by our Deputy Musical Director Norman Harris. The choir was once again joined by Nicola Hughes, Soprano who sang from her extensive repertoire. The Choir has continued to perform occasionally with Nicola since she joined our Tour of North America in 2006. Nicola who graduated from the Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2005, has been a finalist for the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award.
7 May 2009 A SAD LOSS

It is with great sadness that the Choir heard of the passing away of one of our members, Aldo Bacchetta. Aldo had only been in the Choir 27 months but in that time made a great contribution to the work of the Choir, despite having poor health. Aldo was the driving force behind our visit to Bardi, Italy in 2008. The Choir took part in a commemoration for the victims of the Arandora Star tragedy in Bardi cemetery, and later on in 2008 in services dedicated to the disaster in Liverpool and Cardiff. Aldo, together with his brother, made a generous gift to the Choir of a watercolour of Bardi Castle which they commissioned for us. It is now on display in St Fagans Folk Museum (Please see Picture Gallery photographs from 2008 at St Fagans Natural History Museum). Our condolences to his wife Mary, and to the rest of his family and friends, both from within and outside the Italian community. He was a lovely man and will be sorely missed by all.

We were delighted to once again support St John Cymru in their efforts to raise money for the St John Eye Hospital, Jerusalem in a Gala Concert in Cardiff on 30th April. Cwmbach Choir, conducted by Emyr Wyn Roberts, were joined by many artistes including Gareth Rhys Davies - Baritone, Michael Clifton-Thompson – Tenor of the Welsh National Opera, and Catrin Aur Davies – Soprano. The audience were also entertained by a brilliant young harpist Benjamin Creighton-Griffiths. The accompaniment was provided by our own Jayne Thomas and WNO's Russell Moreton. The Concert took place in St Andrews United Reform Church, Cardiff and was compered by television and radio presenter Sara Edwards. Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic evening of entertainment!
25 April 2009 COMING UP ROSES

On Saturday 25 April the Choir had their first 'sing' using their newly acquired Sound Shell in the Roses Theatre Tewkesbury. The Choir were delighted with the performance which was greatly appreciated by the audience. The Choir were joined in concert by Rhian Lois Evans, the 2008 winner of the Bryn Terfel Urdd Gobaith Cymru Scholarship. Rhian delighted the audience with her varied repertoire of songs during the evening, which culminated with the Choir joining Rhian to sing “Cymru Fach”. This was the first concert outside Wales for the Choir's new Compere Ken Jones who continued to thrill audiences with his amusing look at life! The Choir wish to thank all those who helped with the logisitics of transporting our Sound Shell to and from Tewkesbury for the evening, including the staff at the Roses Theatre, our storage team in the Royal Opera House Aberdare, and the Choir members who gave up their time to assist in both Aberdare and Tewkesbury to ensure the success of the event.

On Monday 6th April the Choir were delighted to take part in the Investiture Ceremony of Anthony Williams to High Sheriff of Glamorgan. Mr Williams is currently one of the Choir's Vice Presidents and the Choir are grateful for his continued support.

We have a long-standing connection with this Penderyn based company. It was Cwmbach who sang “We are the cheeky girls” for a TV advertisement some time ago. This was filmed on a wonderful day in Caerphilly Castle and still features on the Welsh Whisky website. We were invited to view the unique processes involved in producing their wonderful range. We sang in the Visitors Centre and sampled some of their products. Wonderful!! (Please see gallery). If you would like to see our cheeky performance at Caerphilly once again please try this link.
12 March 2009 A Gala Concert

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the choir's appearance with the great Paul Robeson the choir will be arranging a Gala Concert in early April 2010 at a prestigous venue and with a famous guest. Full details will follow shortly.
12 March 2009 A bouncing baby boy

At our St David's Day Concert we were joined by a guest tenor soloist, Marcel Xerri. He appeared even though his wife was due to give birth to their first child at any moment. We have just heard that Marcel is now a proud dad to a bouncing 8lb baby boy. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Marcel again for his performance with us and to congratulate him and his wife on the birth of their son.
7 March 2009 Three wheels on my wagon.

It was a fantastic night of music in aid of luekaemia research at the Bethany Baptist Church in Rhiwbina. In addition to the choir there was Elicia Griffiths, a fine harpist, and two of our Musical Director's young daughters Elen and Hannah playing viola and double bass. All were fantastic including the choir, although the second tenor section sounded a little 'light', particularly in the first half as two of our choiristers were delayed when a wheel came off the car they were travelling in on the way to the concert. Luckily all the occupants were unharmed and one joined his section for the second half of the concert. Linking it all together was Ken 'Cardy' in only his second appearance in his new role as compere. He brought the house down with a few funny stories, which he assures us are all true. We are going to watch out that we are not rebilled as the Ken 'Cardy' show accompanied by the Cwmbach Male Choir!
1 March 2009 Photo Gallery

In the not too distant future we will be adding a new section to the website which will contain photographs from the past and to which we will add to. At the moment we are experimenting and attempting to iron out a few teething problems but we are hopeful that the gallery will be added by the end of March. If you have any photographs of the choir please pass them, or email them if possible, to the choir. (See the Contact Us page). Compromising photographs of choiristers may not make it to the gallery but send them anyway. I could find a use for them!!!!
1 March 2009 St David's Day Debut

After twenty or so years as our compere, bottom bass Mr Ray Davies handed over the reins to another from the depths of that section of the choir, Mr Ken 'Cardy' Jones. As Ken acknowledged, Ray will be a very hard act to follow having entertained our audiences for all those years with his dry wit and flawless delivery. It is rumoured that members of the audience came to our concerts to listen to Ray as much as listen to the choir. It is also rumoured that Ray started this rumour!! Our thanks go to Ray for his outstanding contribution to the choir and we wish him all the best for the future. He is not leaving the choir but has decided to concentrate his efforts on helping to keep the bottom bass section in tune! As for Ken, he made an admirable start to his new career and as no-one else has volunteered I am sure he will be our compere for years to come. Well done Ken. The occassion also saw life membership bestowed on two long serving members, Mr Ken Rees and Mr Derrick Williams, more commonly known as 'Herbie'. Again our congratulations to both for this achievement and to their contribution to the choir over the years. The St David's Day concert is a favourite with the choir. It's on home turf which usually means a good turnout of choiristers and audience but it also the one concert in the calendar where we have the opportunity of keeping alive many of the favourite Welsh hymns of old as we sing in the native tongue more in this concert than in any other. This is not an easy task as the majority of the choir are not Welsh speaking and therefore the credit for us being able to perform to such a high standard is down to our musical team led by our Musical Director Mr Emyr Wyn Roberts. Our thanks to them for their skill and perseverance. As well as being entertained by the Merry Men of Cwmbach the audience were delighted by our guest tenor soloist Mr Marcel Xerri who delighted with a mixture of operatic songs sung in Italian and English and who rounded off the evening with a rendition of the classic Nessun Dorma with the choir as his backing singers. This is the second time we have sung with Marcel and we are hoping that it will not be the last. Our thanks go to all involved in the organising of a very special evening.
17 January 2009 Another choir first?

Was this the first time the choir has sung in a bus shelter? Seriously, we were honoured to be invited to sing at the Edwards Coaches open day at Llantwit Fardre, an event which also celebrated a new addition to the Edwards fleet of coaches. This new executive coach is of a very high standard and is to be used as the official team coach for the Welsh Rugby team. We sung two 15 minute slots with our top tenor Brent Owens surprising his employers at Edwards Coaches by singing the lead solo part in a song from the musical Miss Saigon called Bui Doi. Unfortunately, the one song that everyone wanted to hear is not in our repertoire..........'The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round all day long'
15 January 2009 Cyprus here we come!

It has been confirmed that the choir has accepted an invitation to perform in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus in June 2009. Behind the scenes there has been months of preparations, which are still ongoing, but the decision has now been made that we will be flying on 24 June to return on the 1 July.
December 2008 Christmas Concert joy

As always the children stole the show. This year we were delighted to perform with the children of Abernant Primary School. All of them I think!! In the first half of the concert the smaller children appeared with the older children and gave the audience a real treat. There was laughter and clapping throughout their performance. Unfortunately, we in the choir are behind the children when they perform and cannot always see what is going on down the front of the stage but I am told that the children performed fabulously. The credit must go to Mrs Williams and to Mr Hawkins, the Headteacher, for the hard work and preparation in getting the children ready for the event. The choir boasted a near 100% turnout and had been equally well prepared by our hard working Musical Director, Mr Emyr Wyn Roberts. We always enjoy our 'home' concerts and the support we receive from the people of the Cynon Valley and surrounding area is outstanding and very welcome. Our Deputy Musical Director Norman Harris busied himself by videoing the performance and a commemorative DVD will be produced by him. Our thanks to Norman for his contribution, to Emyr for his direction and to our accompaniast Jayne Thomas who hardly puts a finger wrong! It was also a special occassion for second tenor Tom Lewis who celebrates thirty years as a choirister and it was with great pleasure that our Chairman, Brian Williams, presented Tom with a memento to mark this wonderful achievement. We now look forward to a busy 2009 with anticipation.
29 November 2008 The best acoustic in Britain?

A large sign outside the Hall boasts a venue with the best acoustic in Britain. A statement from the theatre reads "St.George's has a unique and extremely sensitive acoustic. Please ensure you have turned off any digital watches or mobile phones before the concert begins". I am pleased to report that this is not an idle boast. This Bristol venue has a fantastic acoustic which helped the ageing voices of the choir enormously. Where we needed to sing quietly we could do so without fear that those at the back of the Hall could not hear and when we 'opened up' we feared that ear drums could be damaged! It is a venue that we will look forward to returning to as I am sure we will. Many thanks to the theatre staff and especially to our guest soloist, Iona Jones, not that she needed any help from the acoustics of the Hall as she would sound fabulous in the acoustic of a padded cell!
3 August 2008 A visit to the seaside

We were told to leave our buckets and spades behind as it would be raining and not to nag to go on the pier because it had burnt down, but when we arrived in Western Super Mare yesterday the sun was shining and the pier was still standing. In fact, there appeared to be more visitors than usual trecking as far along the pier as is allowed to view the wreckage! Unfortunately time was short and we did not get the chance to play on the beach or run to the end of the pier. We had the more pressing business of entertaining the local residents at the Playhouse Theatre. Ably led by our deputy conductor Mr Norman Harris and accompanied by Jayne Thomas we set about a varied collection of songs from our ever growing repetoire, mixing traditional hymns in Welsh and English with spirituals and modern popular songs. With us were two ladies, both excellent sopranos, Sally Kingsbury (soprano) and Anne Braley (Mezzo soprano). Among Sally's songs was "Mr Snow" from Carousel, and among Anne's items was "Blow the Wind Southerly". They sang the beautiful "FlowerDuet" by Delibes and Ivor Novello's "We'll Gather Lilacs" together and performed "The Easter Hymn- Cavalliera Rusticana " with the Choir as a finale. The audience were very appreciative of both our performance and the two ladies, which made the evening a glowing success. Our after concert 'party' was at the Western Super Mare Cricket Club which we left in very good spirits just after midnight. Altogether a very enjoyable day at the seaside.
1 August 2008 Wedded bliss at Caerleon?

For the TENTH year in a row, the choir were delighted to sing again at the Annual Writer's Conference held at the University of Wales, Newport, Campus at Caerleon. Once again, the splendid audience of writers and authors, many of whom had also attended every one of those ten concerts we have given, gave the choir a great reception and ovation. They are one of our favourite audiences, so much so that one of us MARRIED one of them last year!! But not this year! After retiring to the bar the singing and friendship triumphed once again, and it is with great difficulty that all choristers dragged themselves back to our coaches well after mid-night. Indeed, all of them returned this time. Our grateful thanks go to the wonderful organising team of Anne Hobbs and husband Gerry, and we are pretty sure of the invitation to return next July 2009. Keep on blogging you authors !!
14 July 2008 Inner Wheel Concert

This event was originally scheduled for the evening of Thursday 10th July but due to inclement weather was postponed to 14th July. The weather held out but it was an overcast evening and quite typical of what we have come to expect of the great British summer! Again we were proud to be associated with this local fund raising event. Unfortunately, due to the change in date many of those who had bought tickets for the Thursday could not make it to the Monday event but nonetheless those who could make it appeared to enjoy the evening. Our thanks go to the organisers who work so hard at making this annual event one of the highlights of our calendar.
12 July 2008 Charity Concert for Leukaemia Research

The choir was delighted to be invited to this event which was organised by Mr Alan Watkins, the son of a former chorister. It was held at St.Peter's Church, Hammersmith, London starting at 6.30pm with a champagne reception with entertainment provided by Margaret Watson on the harp. The choir then shared the stage with an assortment of musicians. Keziah Thomas, another fine harpist, Marcel Scerri, a superb tenor, Sophie Gopsill, a wonderful mezzo soprano and an excellent tuba soloist from Beddau, Mr Kevin Morgan. All were accompanied by pianist John Human. To the choir's delight the event was sponsored by Fullers Brewery who donated three barrels of beer. The audience were very appreciative of the quality of all performances and as a result of the evening we believe in excess of £3,000 was raised for a very good cause.

We are safely back from our tour to Northern Italy and (briefly) the South of France. It was a tiring but very enjoyable experience, particularly the time spent in Bardi, where in addition to the Mass and the visit to the Arandora Star Memorial Chapel in Bardi Cemetery (see below), we performed a concert and sang for our Sunday buffet and drank a glass in Cafe Picollo!! Not only that, but this followed a lovely lunch at Medesano en route to Bardi, where we met Franco (the owner) and the local Mayor who presented us with a momento of our visit. Other momentos were given to us following the concert at the lovely new church in Monticelli Terme, our first tour base, and indeed by the Mayor of Bardi, Pietro Tambini whilst in Bardi. After singing again in a mass at Chiesa San Siro in San Remo, we sang outdoors in the lovely piazza outside the church, where we received, yes you've guessed it, a lovely momemto of our visit to San Remo. The town also generously gave us bus passes for our time there, a Bay Boat Tour and a guided walking visit to Villa Nobel, the former home of the Peace Prize Creator, all FREE af charge. We ended our singing tour at the Anglican Cathedral Church in Nice, following whistle-stop visits to Monaco and Monte Carlo on the way from San Remo. We sang in the evensong service and then performed a concert to a packed appreciative church audience. Our discovery of the tour was to find that Emyr Roberts (our conductor) has two brilliantly talented young daughters, Hannah and Elen, who wowed every audience with their vocal and piano skills. And to think Emyr has another daughter, Catrin, to come!!! A tired but happy group returned home with one question on their lips....where are we going next year?????

When Italy entered World War Two in 1940, Italian men living in the UK, including the Bracchis (cafe owners) of South Wales, were regarded as aliens, and were interned, many to the Isle of Man or prison-type detention centres across the country. There were too many to cope with, so Canada, amongst other Empire countries, agreed to take some internees. On 1st July 1940, the Arandora Star ( a converted cruise liner) left Liverpool with 800 Italian internees aboard, bound for Canada. During the first night, she was torpedoed by a U-boat off Ireland, and sunk with 446 Italian men lost, along with many British troops and German prisoners of war. Of the 446 Italian dead, nearly 50 were from the same small town in Italy - BARDI. Most of those lost were Bardi expats living in South Wales, some from the Aberdare area. A memorial chapel to the victims was built in Bardi Cemetery, and during our recent visit to Italy, the Cwmbach Male Choir joined the Mayor and members of the Arandora Star Victims Association for a Mass and commemorative service whilst we were in Bardi. Very emotional. The choir also conveyed a message from the Mayor of Bardi to the Mayor of Liverpool about the commemorations. Since then, the City of Liverpool has contacted the Choir, and asked us to sing at a ceremony and service on Wednesday 2 July 2008, to commemorate the loss of the ship and Liverpool's part in it (this as part of the Liverpool City of Culture 2008). The service will be at Liverpool Parish Church (St Nick's), Pier Head, followed by a reception and book launch at the Maritime Museum.The choir will also be singing aboard a Ferry across the Mersey as a wreath is laid in honour of the victims. Relatives of the victims will be at the commemorations. Evan Morgan Jones from Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, is the only known surviving crew member. He was a Merchant Seaman on the ship when it was torpedoed, and spent 12 hours in the sea off Ireland before being rescued. He is to be the Guest-of-Honour at the 2 July commemoration in Liverpool, at which Cwmbach Male Choir will be singing. We discovered him by accident as his daughter-in-law works with one of our choristers. The choir also has a chorister, Mr Aldo Bacchetta, who had a family member lost on the Arandora Star.
24 May 2008 Piccolo ciao ciao buon giorno

The time is nearly upon us. Next week we are off to Italy. We have practised our Italian and had test runs at Cwmbran and St.Fagans. The reception to our Italian renditions has been amazing, but what will the Italians think? We would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone involved in the organisation of this tour. There are in excess of 120 in the tour party which takes some organising. Special thanks to our Chaiman, Mr Brian Williams, for all his efforts. Also, to Mr Aldo Bacchetta and the Amici Valceno Galles Society for helping arrange this tour. Again, special thanks to Aldo for the gift he presented to the choir last week at St Fagans, being a painting of Bardi Castle. This painting will now be hung at Cafe Bardi at the Welsh National History Museum. Unfortunately, Webmaster cannot make the trip but would like to wish everyone a safe journey and a fantastic time.
April 2008 A latte to sing about

For a little bit of practice before we go on our second tour of Italy, on Sunday 18th May the choir will be performing in Cafe Bardi at St. Fagans National History Museum. “The name Café Bardi was chosen to highlight the Welsh-Italian community that exists in South Wales,” said Sioned Hughes, Curator at St Fagans. “It will be a real treat to have Cor Cwmbach, which through this initiative is highlighting the strong connection between both countries, perform at St Fagans.” The choir will perform at St Fagans’ Oakdale Workmen’s Institute at 2pm & 3pm and will finish their visit at Café Bardi at 4pm. Perhaps we will find a few Italian's who can help us perfect our accents while singing Italian Salad or better still, one who will serve us steamed pies or pasties. Do you remember them? Yum!!!! All are welcome to this event which is free, as is entry to St Fagans.
April 2008 Friends from Europe

In October 2007 we entertained 50 visitors from Belgium at one of our rehearsals. On Monday 21 April we will again be entertaining a large party of visitors from mainland Europe. Glenboi Community Primary School are the hosts to visitors from three partner schools who are all involved in an international project entitled 'The riches of nature for art'. The partner schools are from the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Poland. The visit to Wales is the last in a series of cultural exchanges. In 2005 the school representatives met in the Czech Republic, in 2006 in Poland and in 2007 in Slovakia. There is a full programme of events lined up for the eighteen travellers including visits to The Big Pit, Caerphilly Castle (to see where that famous Welsh Distillers advert for Merlyn was made), the Waterfront Museum & Mumbles and a trip to our capital city, by train. The highlight of the week will obviously be their visit to us!!!!!! We look forward to welcoming our visitors and hope that we can successfully demonstrate and delight them with the riches of our particular art form.
2 March 2008 St David's Day Success

A special concert was promised and after concert reaction suggests that we did not disappoint. It is always a pleasure to perform in front of a full house, no more so than at your 'home venue' and our local supporters did not let us down by filling the 597 capacity of the Coliseum. In fact, rumour has it that a few may have been beaten to the rush for tickets by a group from Taunton who could not get their hands on tickets for our concert there on 19 April! Highlights of the evening included the chastising of our compere by 12 year old violinist Hannah Roper after he had introduced her as being 11 years of age. How that matters to a 12 year old, but just wait until she is 30 something!! There were the tales of how the recent earthquake had affected the folk of Cwmbach to the point that the Cwmbach Earthquake Appeal had been launched. And what was the significance of the dragon facing the wrong way on the Welsh flag hanging behind the choir? Then there was the music. The men of Cwmbach performed with gusto, Rhian Lois our guest soprano soloist sang serenely and Hannah's performance was magical, being worthy of a performance of a maestra of her genre. She is a very special 12 year old. Our thanks go to all involved in making this first performance of 2008 a resounding success and to our very appreciative home audience for their continuing support.
March 2008 Acoustic Shell

Some people say we are loud enough as it is but we are about to get louder! In 2006 we travelled to western Canada and the USA and in the majority of venues we sung with the benefit of acoustic shells, which enhanced the quality enjoyed by our audiences as the shells ensured that sound was not lost in the rafters above the choir. Now we have our own. It will not be suitable for use at all venues but we will be using it where we can and we are sure that our future audiences will appreciate the difference it will make to their listening experience.
March 2008 Aur Cymru - Welsh Gold

Our new CD entitled 'Aur Cymru - Welsh Gold' will be released later this month. This offering is a complilation album of song in the Welsh language which includes recently recorded items together with popular tracks from previous recordings. Once available we will publish further details on the 'Recordings' page of this website, together with further details and sound samples of our December 2007 release called 'Take Me Home'.
March 2008 Tribute to Ron Jones MBE

The choir is honoured to have been invited to perform at a tribute dinner being held to celebrate the achievements of one of the Cynon Valley's finest athletes. Ron Jones competed in three Olympic Games and in four Commonwealth Games. He captained the British team at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 and the Welsh Commonwealth Team in Jamaica in 1966. He was regarded as one of the most talented sprinters of his generation and was a member of the British team that equalled the world record in the 4 x 100 metres (or was it yards in those days?) relay. Tickets for the dinner are available from Mr John Cynon Davies on 01685 874456.
February 2008 Italy Tour 2008

The details are finalised. We enjoyed Italy so much in 2007 that we had to return. Therefore the choir, together with guests totalling a party of 125, leaves for Italy on Wednesday 28th May and flies home on Friday 6th June. Wheras in 2007 we toured North Eastern Italy this time we are visiting North Western Italy and also crossing into Southern France for a few days. The tour has been arranged with great help and cooperation from Amici Val Ceno, the South Wales Society of Bardi exiles. Early in the last century many families from Bardi emigrated to South Wales and opened cafes throughout the valleys. More details can be found on their website at We will be performing in Bardi and also in Parma, San Remo and Nice Anglican Cathedral. Also, watch out for further details of a promotional day at St Fagans Museum in May where we will be performing at their new Cafe Bardi.
February 2008 60 Years for Mr Ray Challenger

At our St David's Day Concert we will be celebrating Mr Ray Challenger's 60th year as a member of the choir. For a short while Ray has been residing over the border but is in regular contact with the choir and is looking forward to being with us on 1 March at the Coliseum. He is also looking forward to meeting up with choiristers, old and new, past and present. All former choiristers are invited to attend. Please contact Brian Williams on 01685 874782 or at for details.
27 January 2008 St David's Day Concert

A Happy New Year to you all. Our audience will be in for a very special treat on 1 March. Performing with us will be two young ladies who shared the stage with us in 2007 and impressed us so much we had to invite them to perform with us again. Hannah Roper is a violinist of maturity beyond her eleven years (although she may be twelve by now!). Miss Rhian Lois is an excellent soprano. Hannah performed beautifully with us last July in Hereford and Rhian delighted us in September at Malvern. There are still a few tickets remaining but they will be gone soon so if you are quick you may be lucky. Contact the box office at the Coliseum, Aberdare on 01685 881188.
13 December 2007 St John City Parish Church, Cardiff

Apologies for the late report but the webmaster was forced to attend his office Christmas party on the same night so missed this highly prestigous Christmas Carol Service organised by the Order of St John, which attracts people from far and wide including local dignatories and local celebrities. The choir performed several items including a joint item with the guest soloist Mr Seungwook Seong, a fine baritone. The Church was full to capacity and the audience showed their appreciation by giving the choir a standing ovation. Our thanks go to all those involved in the organising of this wonderful event.
December 2007 Take Me Home

Our new CD has just been released and is entitled Take Me Home. Full details will be included on the Recordings page in the New Year. In the meantime if you would like further details or wish to place an order please go to the Contact Us page. Nigel from Kent who made a posting in the guestbook in August 2007 will be delighted to learn that The Impossible Dream is on the CD.
December 2007 A Concert at Christmas

The choir performed to a full house at the Aberdare Coliseum on a cold wintry evening. The performance included carols, sung in Welsh and English, and mixed in were a small number of songs from our concert repertoire. Two choirs were on stage that night. The Cwmbach Primary School Choir, very ably conducted by their Headteacher Miss Sian Yeo, delighted the audience performing carols accompanied by their very own percussion section. Both choirs sung together the carol O Holy Night. Apparently, at the same time Rhydian Roberts was also singing the same song in the X Factor final. One local wag suggested that Rhydian lost the final to Leon because there were so many people at the Coliseum who did not get the chance to vote!!! Obviously they preferred to be with us and who would blame them. Thanks go to all involved in making the night very special, in particular the children of Cwmbach Primary School. A Merry Christmas to you all.
November 2007 Shrewsbury

Webmaster missed this concert on 3rd November as he was looking for a suitable venue for the choir in Mexico. (I must remember to submit the expenses claim!). The main feedback from the choiristers was that despite the 'dead' accoustic on stage which made it difficult at times, this also lifted concentration levels with the result that the evening was a complete success reflected by a very appreciative audience that appoached 700. In fact our Secretary met his brother-in-law at the theatre and he said that he has heard many a choir sing but nothing like Cwmbach. Enough said.
October 2007 Future Engagements

Were you thinking that after a very busy 2007 we were about to have a year off? You could be forgiven for thinking that as our Future Events page stops in December. However, the programme for 2008 is nearly set and includes return visits to Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon, the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, the Forum Theatre in Malvern, the Playhouse Theatre in Weston-Super-Mare, as well as our first ever visit to the Congress Theatre in Cwmbran. We will also be performing in Chiswick, West London and in Redditch for the local Welsh Society, in addition to our annual St David's Day and Christmas Concerts at the Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare. For the tenth year in a row we will be appearing at the Annual Writer's Circle Conference at Caerleon College and once again giving a "Choir in the Quad" performance in the courtyard of the visitor centre of the Dare Valley Country Park. All this in addition to our concert tour to Italy and France in May and June! That's just for starters. No doubt we will be asked to sing at weddings and now that we are stars of the small screen with our appearances in Britain's Got Talent and 'the' advert the TV work could start flooding in. Who knows, we could be Dancing on Ice next!! Seriously, watch out for an update to the Future Events page in the very near future, which will confirm the dates.
October 2007 A record for a rehearsal.

On Monday 29 October, the choir will welcome its largest group of visitors to a rehearsal when a party of more than fifty people from Begium will be welcomed in true Welsh song!! Our guest book is full of special comments from visitors from all over the world, most recently from Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, as well as "locals" from Lincoln, Portsmouth and Dundee!!! We just hope that our guests from Belgium enjoy the evening, and take up more space in our prized guest book. Many thanks to Mr Ed Hillier of the Ty Newydd Country Hotel, Hirwaun, for pointing the group in our direction.
13th October 2007 Penderyn Wedding

On a dark dismal day Miss Emma Jones became Mrs Andrew Williams. Not that the weather affected the bride as she looked like a ray of sunshine, brightening up the proceedings with a sparkling smile. With the promise of a bottle of the best Pederyn whisky to one of the attending choiristers the choir boasted a near full turnout which was a bit of a problem in a very pretty but rather small church! In fact we were all given a bottle of whisky which lit up the choiristers (usually dour) faces, in competition with the brides smile. We would like to thank Andrew and Emma and we wish them all the very best for the future and look forward to seeing them at all our concerts.
October 2007 Have you seen us on TV?

Another first for Cwmbach Male Choir. Our own regular TV slot. The problem is it's a very short slot and we never know when we are going to appear!! Never mind. Ever resourceful we can take you straight to our latest appearance. Just copy the link into your browser, press go and enjoy the show:
Press BACK on your browser to come straight back to us and then tell us what you think in the guestbook.
22 September 2007 Malvern

It was the first time for the choir to sing at the Forum Theatre in Malvern and it won't be the last. It is a fabulous venue and the 700+ audience were very warm and appreciative. We sung a mixed programme consisting of traditional Welsh hymns, a medoly of songs from the 60's, other modern day favourites such as You Raise Me Up, a number of songs from Musicals inclding Bui Doi from Miss Saigon with our Brent Owens singing the solo lead and in tribute to the recently departed Luciano Pavarotti we sung our version of Nessun Dorma. The highlight was the Middlebrooks/Belland song What Would I Do Without My Music which was very apt (you had to be there). We were joined by an excellent soprano, Miss Rhian Lois who was accompanied on piano by her mother. I am sure we will have the pleasure of her company at future concerts. Our thanks to all those involved in the organisation and to the wonderful audience who made it all worthwhile for us.
13 September 2007 Cwmbach to New Mexico

One of the choir's elder statesmen, Mr Jack Palmer, informs us that his grandaughter Helen is performing missionary work in New Mexico. Helen is working in a hospital in New Mexico while studying to be a Doctor and while she is there she has been spreading the good news about Cwmbach Choir. Jack has sent CD's to help her educate those poor souls who have until now been ignorant of Welsh Male Choral Music. Will Helen's work lead to a concert tour of New Mexico? We will have to wait and see. Go Doc!!
4 September 2007 There's no business like show business

Tradition has it that we take a break in the month of August but last Thursday we met for a rehearsal before performing at the wedding of Lisa Roberts to Christian Bowen on Saturday 1 September. It was a beautiful day, the bride was beautiful, the groom looked happy and the service was wonderful. The choir wishes Lisa and Christian all the best in the future. At that rehearsal it was announced that during the break we had been approached to perform in a TV advertisment for Welsh Whisky Distillers, promoting their new products. So, having quickly added a new song to the repertoire, today we found ourselves in a recording studio followed by a trip to Caerphilly Castle for the filming using the castle as a backdrop. It is a cheeky advert which should be on your screens in October. Don't miss it.
July 2007 Cutting a new CD

"Simon Cowell declined to offer us a recording contract so we will have to go it alone, again. So, on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th July you will find us at Cwmbach Primary School surrounded by microphones and sound engineers as we toil through our most recent repertoire. It will be hard work but worth it when not one but two CD's are released, hopefully by the end of September. One CD will include many of the newer songs in the repertoire and will be recorded in English. The second CD will contain new recordings of traditional Welsh hymns and will also include a number of tracks previously recorded. Place your orders now! "
July 2007 Hereford Concert

Saturday 14th July and the choir made their way to the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. A full house of 450 were entertained by a varied programme of old and new songs, but the star of the show was Hannah Roper, an eleven year old violinist with an outstanding talent and a maturity beyond her years. Hannah has been accepted to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School based in Surrey. Yehudi Menuhin founded his famous school in England to provide the environment and tuition for musically gifted children from all over the world to pursue their love of music, develop their musical potential, and achieve standards of performance on stringed instruments and piano at the highest level. Entry to the school is limited and acceptance is a fantastic achievement. It was a privilege to share the stage with Hannah and the choir wishes her every success in the future.
June 2007 Britain's Got Talent

Did you spot us? We featured for approximately 30 seconds on the first show! We did well to get down to the last 120 acts out of the 50,000 who auditioned for the show but we just could not compete with the dancing dogs and the girl with the grinder, even though there are said to be sparks flying when we perform. Our best wishes go to the eventual winner, Mr Paul Potts from Port Talbot.
May 2007 Italy Tour

A wonderful tour. We flew to Pisa and travelled across country, with a short stop in Florence and then on to Riccione. We stayed in Riccione for four nights and sang at a music festival which was based in San Marino. A long trek followed, moving north to Lido de Jesolo. Lido de Jesolo is a resort not far from Venice and we enjoyed a sunny and hot day in Venice before singing in the Chiesa San Salvador, a concert which was attended by the British Honarary Consul. Our final concert was outdoors at Piazza Aurora in Lido which was attended by an audience approaching 1,000. It was so enjoyable that we are considering a return trip to Italy in 2008.
May 2007 New President

The new president of Cwmbach Male Choir is Cynon Valley pharmacist Alan Sheppard. Mr Sheppard, who was formerly a Vice President has just come to the end of his year as the High Sheriff of Glamorgan and the Choir is delighted that he has accepted the position which became vacant due to the sudden death of Mr Keith Rowlands, who served the Choir for many years and whose death saddened us all.

Photograph courtesy of the Cynon Valley Leader.


Alan Sheppard is new president of Cwmbach Choir
9.5.2007 New Soloists

The choir is currently working hard since the return from Canada in 2006 learning new work for concerts scheduled for 2007. We have lost two experienced soloists who passed away during the past year and the Musical Team have been developing new singers who can take their place and hopfully will be able to undertake solo work in future concerts.

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