Choir holds first concert since lockdown

John Nicholson, Stephen Berry, Glenna Parry, Shirley Anne James, Sian Hatton and Gavin Parry
Mark Campbell (left) and Nigel Keen at their first concert

On Saturday 5th March Caldicot Male Voice Choir performed its first concert at the Choir Hall in Mill Lane two years to the day from its last at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, Northern Ireland. The concert was arranged to raise funds for the St David’s Hospice which cares for so many people in the area in their last remaining days.

The Choir also included two bass choristers Nigel Keen and Mark Campbell who were making their first appearance in a concert. Nigel has had a long wait for this since he passed his second voice test just before the pandemic restrictions were imposed.

To a seated limited audience of about 100 the Choir, conducted by musical director Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson performed several pieces including Cwm Rhondda, Y Darlun for the first time, Shenandoah, A Miner’s Song, Rock-a my soul, again a premiere,16 tons, Yfory and of course Deus Salutis (O Iesu Mawr) to the tune ‘Llef’.

The Choir was delighted to welcome back it’s guest artiste, mezzo soprano Glenna Parry accompanied by her husband Gavin. As well as her solo pieces she joined with her sister Sian, in Rossini’s ‘Cat’s Duet’ and later was included in a trio of herself, Sian and Shirley Anne in ‘Three Little Maids from School’ from the Mikado.

During the interval Jaz Cuggy, representing the St. David’s Hospice Care gave a short talk on the work and needs of the charity, explaining that from its humble beginnings of just a few patients, it now cares for over 2500 and needs to raise eight million pounds a year to provide care for these. The Choir finalised its performance by continuing with Anfonaf Angel, Benedictus and Ride the Chariot which included soloists David Gould and Sian Hatton.

Following its first ever performance of ’76 Trombones’ from the musical The Music Man, the Choir in tribute to the brave, suffering people of the Ukraine appropriately sang ‘World in Union’ to show its support . On display throughout was a candlelit photograph of the Ukrainian Flag mounted on a draped Flag of Wales. All choristers displayed a blue and yellow ribbon as well as a daffodil to show solidarity with Ukraine.

The Choir’s diary for the rest of the year is slowly filling up and if you would like to join please come along to practice on any Monday or Thursday evening from 7pm. You will be very welcome.

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