A Festival of Massed Male Voice Choirs – Saturday 19 May 2018 – Royal Albert Hall, London
This was a very special experience for performers and audience alike. 28 separate choirs and over 800 male choristers blending as one thrilling voice in celebration of music and masculinity in all of its diversity and beauty. The concert really did demonstrate the astonishing variety and depth of the repertoire.
We were privileged as a choir to join our voices, under one mother-hen of a roof, in celebration of Welsh culture and something which we all recognize as core to Welsh national identity namely, singing and especially choral singing. Of course, the love of singing and the love of music is core to our identity as well.
Let’s not get carried away by the idea that this event was all about the blokes. The contributions of the guest conductor, Meir Lewis, the female soloists Ffion Edwards and Samantha Oxborough and the girls choir ‘Bella Voce’ so lifted that wonderful auditorium to even further heights on this memorable evening.
We should also offer recognition and appreciation, once again, to all the ladies (and their male colleagues of course) as we re-call such warm expressions of gratitude from all choristers as MDs and accompanists took to the stage at the start of the second half to take the audience applause. This included our very own MD Ian Grice and accompanist Margaret Ball together with previous MD Meryl Chambers who have worked so hard to prepare our choir for this event.
“I think the concert was the best we have been involved in. Super songs and so well appreciated by the audience. I was so proud of our choir” said Ian.
The male soloist was Rhydian Jenkins. The festival accompanist was Caradog Williams and the festival organist was Huw Tregelles Williams. The festival conductor was the incomparable Alwyn Humphreys. Compere was Phil Lloyd.
It would be re-miss not to mention first tenor Timothy Bexon who, celebrating his 18th birthday, enjoyed a moment in the limelight and received special best wishes from the audience with an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
It was truly a joy to applaud individual choristers across the generational span amongst the massed choir including the eldest chorister in his 90s, a grandson/grandfather first tenor team and the youngest chorister of 13 years of age.
Special appreciation on this blog also goes to all of our own choristers who have worked so hard, individually and collectively, to prepare themselves for the concert. Also to the committee and especially Geoff Mansfield who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the weekend ran smoothly.
It was a weekend when we were all so proud to have been there!