This year 27 members of Cor Meibion Aberhonddu, together with their wives, partners and supporters attended The 26th London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs. Held in The Royal Albert Hall, London under the baton of Dr. Edward-Rhys Harry. This was a special event as we were privileged to be joined by The Band of the Welsh Guards and Aled Jones M.B.E (compare), in recognition of the approaching centenary of the end of WW1. This was reflected by the massed 15 choirs of 800 voices, singing a medley of song from the First World War, along with a full and varied programme of songs in Welsh and English. Everyone had a fantastic evening and a special thank you must go to Lyn Thomas B.E.M our musical director, for all her assistance in preparing the choir so well for the occasion. And to Eileen Jones, Ann Bevan and Mary Robinson from The Choir Friends, for making all the excellent travel arrangements. Needless to say the post concert party at our hotel went on well into the small hours. With musical accompaniment from Lyn, Becky and Colin on the key board with plenty of singing from all present in the packed bar. We even sang two especially composed humorous pieces by Richard Hale from our choir. To finish off the weekend the choir visited Windsor before returning home.
Last Sunday members of the choir attended The Tabernacle Chapel in Morriston, Swansea, for the last scheduled practice for The Royal Albert Hall. Over 400 choristers were there to rehearse the programme under the baton of The Musical Director, Edward-Rhys Harry, for the Festival of Male Choirs on Saturday 13th October 2018.
Last Friday after our usual practice at Llanfaes School, members of the choir complete with Lynne Griffin (our Deputy Musical Director), met at The Castle Hotel in Brecon in secret! This had been prearranged so that we could practice our piece for a surprise flash mob style entry to our very own Lynnette Thomas’ investiture at The Guildhall in Brecon on Tuesday. Dame Shân Legge-Bourke The Lord Lieutenant of Powys, was party to our secret and was in full support of our surprise, in view of the fact she would be awarding Lynnette a British Empire Medal along with awards for two other recipients from the area. We assembled as planned at 1800 hours in full kit outside Lloyds Bank in Brecon as planned by Marc our Secretary, ensuring no one arrived any earlier! We then as quietly as possible waited outside the entrance to The Guildhall, to spring our surprise on Lynnette, and those assembled within following the awards by Dame Shân. Upon a signal that our time had arrived, we all marched smartly in. It was nice to see our accompanist Becky Drysdale with the latest addition to her family in the entrance hall. Once assembled inside and to the obvious surprise of Lynnette and her family, we sang Gwahoddiad unaccompanied and ably directed by Lynne Griffin. Edwin, our Chairman, said a few words about Lynand her dedication to music, education and the Welsh language. Suffice to say we successfully resisted the buffet prepared in the entrance hall for the post investiture party and repaired to The George for liquid refreshment! Diolch yn fawr iawn’. Lynnette later sent a message of thanks to the choir: ‘I honestly cannot believe that all of you went to the Castle after practice last Friday night WITHOUT ME!! Seriously, thank you so much for my surprise. It was wonderful to have not only my family there, but all of my ‘extended’ family as well. I’m so pleased that you could be there, and thank you to those that arranged it and also to Lynne & Becky as well as to all of you for making the effort to be there.
We had some special guests at last Friday’s practice in the form of two musical directors from Delaware U.S.A. David and Linda had asked to join our practice, and we were delighted to have David join in with the top tenor section, to boost their numbers. After our practice a presentation was made by our chairman Derek Price, by way of a choir photograph for David’s study and a copy of the choir’s C.D. David was kind to give us a piece of music he had composed especially for the choir. Afterwards many choir members along with Lyn and Becky went to The Castle Hotel in Brecon. Where our new American friends joined us. Everyone present enjoyed a singsong, which will be the first of many such occasions for our Pub of The Month programme. Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook which pub we will be attending. We maybe visiting one near you!