Saturday, 29th November 2014
WALES 12 SOUTH AFRICA 6
A MILESTONE MOMENT AT THE MAJESTIC MILLENNIUM.
Caldicot Male Voice Choir were highly honoured to have been invited to the majestic Millennium stadium, on Saturday 29th November, 2014 to join with choral colleagues from Maesteg a’r Cylch and Penybontmawr, as guest choirs of the Welsh Rugby Union. The richly rewarding requisition for the three choirs was to deliver the national anthems of Wales and South Africa to the sell out crowd; as a preface to the titanic test match between the two proud rugby nations.
The 2:30pm kick off necessitated an early start for the choir and a significant number of the Caldicot lads used the opportunity to savour the sizzling delights of the breakfast menu at the Haywain pub. The back of the coach resounded to the impromptu and slightly cautious, final rehearsal of “Nksosi sikelel’i Afrika” as it meandered through the streets of Newport, on its circuitous route to the citadel of Welsh rugby.
By the twelfth hour of the day, the three guest choirs were entombed within the bowels of the stadium, in a cavernous grey area known as “The Dragon’s Mouth”. Under the tutelage of Dr Haydn James the final rehearsal commenced before the choir and Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh were instructed to egress onto the hallowed turf. In coordinated synchronicity and marching proudly behind the men in red tunics, the choristers entered the arena to a wall of sound.
A short performance of traditional Welsh hymns and rugby themed classics were sung at the perimeters of the pitch before the choir and band assembled to greet the players. A crescendo of unrestrained cheering followed the ignition of a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and the stage was set. The anthems then delivered and the pre-match ritual completed, the band and choir filed away towards the stands; where they cheered Wales to a milestone victory over the mighty ‘Springboks’.
The choir then made its way to the usual Cardiff stamping ground, the Gatekeeper pub on Westgate Street and were joined in the post-match revelry by the Cardiff Blues Choir (Côr Y Gleision) to end a memorable day.
Photos by Nina Hughes and David Price
For more photos, see those taken by Stefan Edwards on his Facebook page.