Saturday 3rd May 2014 saw the start of the concert season for the choir. First outing is a charity concert away at Llanfair Caereinion, St Mary’s Church, in High Street to be exact. “An hour and a half from Ruthin and we’ll be outside the church,” was Harry, the driver’s announcement. So the motley crew on board settled down for what was really, a relatively short trip. Some, however, settled down more than others………..
The youngest and newest Choristers clearly overcome with excitement and anticipation of the evening to come.
Sure enough, Harry was right, and we arrive outside the church at 6.30pm.
Charity Concert Commences
Now at last we were ready to perfom the charity concert, in aid of a very worthy cause, The Severn Hospice. We took centre stage in front of the impressive stained glass windows.
We started with ‘Y Ddau Wladgarwr’ or ‘The Two Patriots’. This was followed by three more items, including ‘The Rose.‘
Tenor Rhodri Rhys Jones delivered an assured performance of five pieces. This young man undoubtedly has a really bright future in performing ahead of him. Unfortunately, Rhodri had to leave at the interval to fulfill another engagement elsewhere.
The choir then returned and sang a further four items, ending the first half with the rousing ‘African Prayer’.
Once again, Clwyd, our compere had to explain beforehand that we sing the first and third verses of the song in the Xhosa Zulu dialect. Just in case anyone in the audience thought we were singing them in a Welsh dialect unique to the Denbigh area!
Charity Concert Second Half
After a short break, the choir returned and opened the second half with the hymn ‘Sirioldeb’ or ‘One Blessing. Then ‘Cwyn Y Gwynt’, in which Keith and Richard, were impressive with their Tenor solo opening.
The last item of this set was ‘ Cadwyn Cymraeg’, a trilogy of three welsh songs ‘Ar hyd yr Nos’, ‘Dafydd y Garreg Wen’ and ‘Sospan Fach’.
It was then the turn of Sarah Garrett, Soprano, to take the stage. Sarah’s programme was a wonderful mix of songs, including one of my favourites, ‘Summertime’.
It is no overstatement to say that Sarah’s performance had us spellbound.
She finished her set with a magnificent rendering of ‘The Waltz Song’ from the comic opera ‘Tom Jones’ by Edward German.
This resulted in a richly deserved and prolonged standing ovation from the choir and audience alike.
Many thanks Sarah, it was worth anyone’s entrance charge just to hear that.
The choir then returned to close the charity concert. The final item of the set being our signature tune, ‘Craig yr Oesoedd’ or ‘Rock of Ages’.
Arwyn Roberts, Choir MD, performing the bass solo in ‘ Craig yr Oesoedd’
Mrs Dodd held the copyright to ‘ Craig yr Oesoedd’ for many years and it could only be performed by a choir that she conducted.
Prior to her passing, Mrs Dodd generously handed the copyright to Denbigh & District Male Voice Choir, which we still hold.
Coincidentally, Mrs Dodd was the conductor of the Llanfair Caereinion Male Voice Choir before she returned to her home town of Denbigh.
Following an entertaining vote of thanks on behalf of Severn Hospice and presentations the choir retired to the vestry, where we were fed and watered.
Charity Concert Refreshments
On behalf of the choir, I would again thank the ladies who provided and served the feast. It was very generous of you and very much appreciated by us all.
For some strange reason, arrangements had been made beforehand that our coach would not be leaving until 11pm.
As it was only 10.10pm we had almost an hour to kill and, solely in order to kill time you understand, we retired to the Goat Hotel.
Conveniently for us, this just happened to be situated directly opposite the church.
I think I will end here, as I’m sure you will be able to gues what happened next…
Many thanks to the licensee and staff of The Goat Inn for your hospitality and ensuring that we were all able to lubricate our very dry throats.
I can’t tell you whether the youngest and newest choristers slept on the way home, because by then it was my turn.
We hope that the charity concert was a fund-raising success for the Severn Hospice.
We are glad to have been of service.