Caldicot Male Voice Choir has sung in many prestigious events and venues including International Sports Stadia, The Royal Albert Hall, (to which it will return on April 27th this year), huge Cathedrals and Churches and Concert Halls throughout this country, the USA, Canada and across Europe, not to mention the National Eisteddfod stage, but few of these compare to the wonderful welcome and enthusiasm for our singing given by the villagers of Catbrook, high up and hidden in the dense forests of the Wye Valley. Venues such as these remind us of the humble roots of the great tradition that is Welsh male voice singing.
After an absence of 6 years due to Covid restrictions, the choristers wound their way on two buses through the long and winding forest roads (again in the dark and rain) to arrive at the small Catbrook Memorial Hall to entertain an audience of about fifty villagers who always greet the choir with a warm and encouraging welcome.
Conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson, the programme not only included songs such as ‘Anfonaf Angel’ and ‘Benedictus’ written by Robat Arwyn but also included contrasting performances of ‘African Prayer’, ’16 Tons’, ‘A Miner’s Song’ by Dan and Laura Curtis, ‘Yma O Hyd’ by Dafydd Iwan, ‘Cwm Rhondda’ of course and ‘Bring Him Home’, ’76 Trombones’, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘This is the Moment’ from various stage shows showing the versatility and variety of the Choir’s singing repertoire. A solo performance was also made by Siân Hatton who recited the humorous two verses of the poem ‘The Lion and Albert’ by Marriott Edgar much to the delight of the enthusiastic audience.
The concert was followed by a traditional ‘Afterglow’ in which choristers and the audience are entertained by a mix of unaccompanied choir singing led by John Nicholson
Once again, the choir left to the plaintive strains of ‘On the bus, on the bus’, with the hope that it will not be another six years before it will return.