Photos by Colleen Gauntlett. Left click on the images to enlarge.
What an incredible occasion! The culmination of 18 months of hard work practising and learning twenty pieces for this fabulous event. There were times of despair, thinking that we would never learn all these pieces, some familiar, some totally new to us but in the end we got there by shear determination.
About 60 of Caldicot’s finest joined as the largest single contingent with more than 700 or so other choristers from another 27 choirs across Wales and a few including Mansfield Welsh, Snowdown Colliery Welfare from Kent and Oxford Welsh from England made their way to London to join in the Festival of Song, held only every three years. Gwent was also represented by Abertillery Orpheus, Beaufort and Pontnewydd Male Choirs,
The Massed choir was conducted by Dr Alwyn Humphreys MBE and accompanied by Caradog Wiliams who appeared at our Choir Hall at our 2017 Annual Concert. Solo artistes included Magor’s Ffion Edwards and Caldicot choir is proud that it sponsored Ffion to enter the competition and that she was thrilled to appear with us at this year’s Annual concert.
The audience leaped out of their seats to the tremendous, explosive sound of nearly 800 voices opening up with Welsh Hymn, Llanfair, accompanied by the magnificent Royal Albert Hall organ played by Huw Tregellis Williams. Things calmed down a little with the gentle refrain of Ar Lân y Môr and then back to the finishing crescendo of Stout Hearted Men.
In the programme, this alternation of loud and soft continued throughout with offerings of There is No Death, delightful Anfonaf Angel and Morte Criste conducted by Mair Lewis, musical director of Swansea Male Choir. Among the more memorable pieces, although how can we forget any of them were Cwm Rhondda, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, the wonderful poem Y Tangnefeddwyr and African Prayer both set to music by Eric Jones who was in the audience.
The whole evening was complemented by wonderful performances from winners of the Geraint Morris Award; Rhydian Jenkins (2015), Ffion Edwards (2016) and Samantha Oxborough (2017) and completed with the eighteen incredible voices of the Bella Voce Ladies Choir from Pembroke
Exhausted but wonderfully happy, the choir left to return to its hotel for an Afterglow of singing in a crowded lounge to be joined in our version of A Grandfather’s Clock by none other than Alwyn Humphreys himself. Dai Gould would not give up the baton though.
If you would like to join this incredible choir, please visit our web site www.caldicotmalevoicechoir.co.uk or come along to our Choir Hall in Mill Lane, Caldicot on any Monday or Thursday evening.