On an emerald green cloth of Monmouthshire farmland, amidst the pastoral tranquillity of a summer’s night, Caldicot Male Voice Choir joined forces with the village of Llanishen to support the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity. The concert was a sell out in the superbly appointed, state-of-the-art amenity of Llanishen Hall.
The choir regaled the audience with a varied repertoire from around the world, cleverly inter-woven with stirring Welsh classics such as ‘Llanfair’ and ‘Myfanwy’. The musical journey incorporated the high ‘veldt’ of South Africa with the haunting Zulu melodies of ‘African Trilogy’, the green ‘Fields of Athenry’ in Ireland and Peking, China, as the choir sang ‘Nessun Dorma’ from Puccini’s opera Turandot. Towards the end of the evening, the choir melded harmoniously with Musical Director Siân Hatton in an ethereal rendition of ‘Lily of the Valley’ and throughout the concert both choir and audience were enchanted by the oboe recitals of Rhian James, the talented daughter of Assistant Musical Director, Shirley Ann James. The concert concluded with a rousing performance of ‘Morte Criste’, during which Siân invited ex-chorister and friend of the choir, Alan Evans to join the baritone section for the finale.
At the end of the concert, the choir reassembled at the Star Inn, Llansoy, for a few more hours of revelry, refreshment and song.
- African Trilogy
- As long as I have music
- Tydi A Rhoddaist
- Lleucu Llwyd
- Somewhere Out There
- Nessun Dorma
- Let it be me
- Lily of the Valley
- Fields of Athenry
- Speed your Journey
- Morte Criste
From ‘The Libretto’ – September 2011
Magnificent Music Makers!
As things often do, it started with a certain person (you all know who), volunteering the Caldicot Male Voice Choir to help us raise money for Help For Heroes.
They didn’t know this at the time and, being such a wonderful choir, their diary was already full but, being such a wonderful group of people, they agreed to come to us anyway. And so it was. Not only did they come and sing, they also brought laughter and joy in abundance.
But they didn’t just come; they brought their own, newly repaired keyboard which they had vowed not to move again, post-repairs! They also brought a young oboist-star-in-the-making with them. In the interval they bought raffle tickets and, post interval, they strayed from their beautiful programme and generated one of those unforgettable and poignant moments in inviting Alan (for the uninitiated, that’s Alan Evans of course) to sing their final number with them (Morte Criste). Get the picture? The amazing generosity of the Caldicot Male Voice Choir created a magical evening and helped us raise a shed-load of money!
The varied programme included many favourites such as She, Let It Be Me, Speed Your Journey and Gwahoddiad. Stirring stuff gave way to comical Marina and, in response to a request from an individual in the audience, we all had a spine-tingling moment during Myfanwy. As Siân Hatton (Musical Director) said, none of the men could quite manage a soprano solo so she offered some thrilling trilling amongst the men. But the solo spots belonged to Rhian James and her oboe with multiple beautifully played short pieces.
Returning from trekking across Mongolia on another fund-raising event just a few days before the concert night didn’t stop Diana McCrae, H4H Volunteer County Co-ordinator for Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen, joining us to tell us a little about the work of H4H and to emphasise that every penny raised from events such as ours goes directly to those in need. So how much did we raise? Not sure yet but it’s in the high hundreds; we’ll bring you the exact total next month.
Those of you who read the related piece last month will remember that the plan was to return to The Star where John and Julie were waiting with beer and sandwiches (what else could it be?) for the choir. That’s exactly what happened and, yes, there was more singing. As someone remarked, “it doesn’t get any better than this”.