A choir Gala Concert celebrates the 25th anniversary of Denbigh and District Male Voice Choir at St Asaph Cathedral.
In addition, prestigious guest artistes Rhys Meirion and Annette Bryn Parri were appearing.
Choir Gala Concert Support
Faithful followers of the popular choir had come from far and wide. Supporters even came from Biebertal, Germany.
Furthermore, the cathedral was full to capacity. A sense of excitement and expectation filled the air.
The Choir, resplendent as usual, took to the stage.
Choir Gala Concert First Half
The choir opened the concert with ‘Y Ddau Wladgarwr’. This patriotic song is now a popular opening song of the choir.
A Maori lullaby ‘Hine e Hine’ brought a change of mood and tempo.
Then, the contemporary standard ‘The Rose.’ Baritone soloist Peter Davies again making the most of the poignant lyrics.
‘Yn y Man,’ a hymn from the revivalist movement, ended the choir’s first spot.
Choir Gala Concert Special Guests
A special, prolonged welcome greeted the ever-popular Welsh tenor, Rhys Meirion.
“Its a thrill and delight to be taking part.” Together with his accompanist, the incomparable Annette Bryn Parri.
Rhys opened with a stirring rendition of ‘Nella Fantasia.’ Scored for the film ‘The Mission.’ This song is tailor-made for his vocal range and timbre.
A poignant rendition of Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum’ followed. Rhys then completed his first set with the popular Neapolitan song ‘Core N’grato.’
Annette then took centre stage. The audience captivated with her virtuoso performance on the piano.
She started with ‘Tico Toco,’ ‘Lara’s Theme’ and a Glenn Miller Medley.
The first half ended with the choir singing a ‘Welsh Trilogy’ and ‘African Prayer.’
All things considered, an excellent first half.
Choir Gala Concert Second Half
In the same format, the choir opened the second half with ‘Cwyn y Gwynt’, ‘Abide with Me’ and the Welsh anthem ‘Oleuni Mwyn’.
Annette Bryn Parrireturned to enthrall the audience with ‘My Heart will go On’ (Theme from Titanic).
Likewise, a wonderful interpretation of ‘Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn.’
Then a Scott Joplin ragtime medley had the audience clapping and foot-tapping in admiration.
Rhys Meirion started his second appearance with ‘I’ll Walk with God.’ Immortalised by Mario Lanza in the film ‘The Student Prince.’
Then two classics from the traditional Welsh tenor repertoire. ‘Dafydd y Garreg Wen’ and ‘Bugail Aberdyfi.’
His lyrical interpretation moved the audience. As a result, the prolonged ovation ensured an encore.
Rhys sang ‘Tell my Father,’ the haunting song from the musical, ‘The Civil War.’ Simply perfect!
Choir Gala Concert Standing Ovation
Both guest artistes won the audience over.
Moreover, a justified prolonged standing ovation. Both artistes receiving gifts and presentations.
Choir Gala Concert Finale
The memorable Choir Gala Concert ended with the choir singing ‘Nos Da’ and ‘Craig yr Oesoedd.’ Conductor Arwyn Roberts also providing the solo in fine style.
To sum up, the prolonged standing ovation and audience approval really said it all. Furthermore, the chorister standing next to me said:
“I’ll never forget this night in a hurry.”
Footnote: Monies from the sales of the Choir Gala Concert Souvenir Programme are donated to Wales Air Ambulance.