A charity concert, featuring two Welsh male voice choirs, raises vital funds to provide basic essentials to motherless children in the Gambia.
Charity Concert Combined Choirs Welcomed
For two long years choral voices were silent. Moreover, with Covid pandemic restrictions lifted, Denbigh and District and Llanddulas male voice choirs joyously returned to the stage at Denbigh Town Hall.
A guaranteed welcome in the hillsides and vales.
Mother and son, Nia Roberts and Sam Pritchard, seamlessly exchanged baton and keyboards all evening. The silence about to be broken.
The concert opened with the combined choirs performing ‘Rachie’ (I bob un sydd ffyddlon), composed by Caradog Roberts and arranged by Alwyn Humphreys.
An excellent choice of opener judging by the enthusiastic audience response.
Then, a change in mood and tempo followed, with local composer Robat Arwyn’s contemplative composition ‘Benedictus’.
The choirs finished the opening with a medley of ‘Pan F’or Nos yn Hir’ and ‘Ti a Dy Ddoniau’, popular songs by Ryan Davies.
Kizzie Cooper Soloist
The first soloist of the evening was Kizzie Cooper, a pupil of St Brigid’s School, Denbigh. With a love of singing, acting and musical theatre, Kizzie is currently working towards her grade 6 singing examination.
Kizzie opened with ‘Secret Love’ from the film and musical, Calamity Jane, immortalised by Doris Day.
This was followed by the more modern ‘Heart of Stone’ from the West End stage show ‘Six”.
Sustained applause followed a good, solid performance which Kizzie could be very proud of.
Choirs Return in Charity Concert
The combined choirs returned with the evergreen ‘Arwelfa’, written by Arwel Hughes and arranged by John Hughes. A popular choice to start.
Next, a perennial favourite, ‘Myfanwy’. Peter Davies, baritone, providing an excellent second verse solo.
From old favourites to a new arrangement by Sam Pritchard of four welsh folk songs, simply titled ‘Medli’ (Medley). The choirs incorporating some movement with their singing. The term movement being very loosely used!
Deiniol Jones, baritone, was also in fine voice for his solo parts.
‘Medli’ will certainly become a future favourite of Denbigh & District Male Voice Choir.
Bethan Guiver takes Centre Stage
Bethan, 17 years old, is a year 12 pupil at St Brigid’s School. She is a Senior Chorister at St Asaph Cathedral, with aspirations to become a teacher. In addition. Bethan is also a flautist in her spare time.
Bethan’s first song was ‘Wishing’ from the West End musical ‘Phantom Of The Opera’. A really captivating rendition and very deserving of the prolonged applause received.
Nia then joined Bethan to perform a very poignant and moving duet of ‘Pie Jesu’, from Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. Voices combining perfectly, this was a rare treat to hear.
For someone so young, Bethan provided a very captivating and assured performance.
Closing first half
Llanddulas Male Voice Choir closed the first half with ‘Prayer in the Twilight’ (Ave Maria). Clearly a choir favourite and well received by the audience.
Charity Concert Second Half
Denbigh & District Male Voice Choir started with Alwyn Humphreys’ arrangement of ‘An American Trilogy‘. A surefire winning opener.
Then, another new Sam Pritchard arrangement, Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. Keith Jones also providing an assured first tenor solo.
Jennie Coates Professional Soloist
Originating from Beverley, Yorkshire Jennie Coates now resides in Ruthin. Now a self-employed singing and piano teacher.
She also runs the Ruthin Youth Singers and Choir In The Cafe.
Widely experienced with a fine musical pedigree, Jennie started with Stephen Sondheim’s ‘I Remember’ from the TV production Evening Primrose.
Jennie held the audience in her hand from the start. A powerful and arresting performance.
Moreover, a treat followed with a wonderful rendition of ‘Je veux vivre’ from Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette.
Sustained applause was guaranteed.
Charity Concert Finale
Renditions of three popular pieces ‘Deep Harmony’, ‘Gwahoddiad’ and ‘O Gymru’ brought the concert to a close. Judging by the audience reaction, the concert clearly a huge success.
Charity Concert Thanks and Acknowledgements
Both choirs and soloists had generously given their services free of charge.
Thanks also to all who donated raffle prizes, donations and refreshments.
Councillor Mark Young, Vice President of Denbigh & District Male Voice Choir, for his very generous sponsorship of the concert.
And most of all to the audience for supporting the event and showing such stimulating appreciation.
Last, but certainly not least, Nia expressed her thanks to Clwyd Wynne for being an excellent compere.
Good Luck Nia
Furthermore, the choir also wishes Nia good luck for her forthcoming volunteering work at Wullinkamma Clinic & Lower School in the Gambia. Proceeds in excess of £2,000. from the concert will greatly assist Nia with her project.