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Welsh choir celebrate 40th birthday

Published date: 17 July 2013 |
Published by: Sophie Francis
Read more articles by Sophie Francis


 

A TOP Welsh choir is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special concert this Saturday (July 19).

Corwen-based Cor Meibion Bro Glyndwr is staging a concert on its “home patch” in a barn on the Rhug Estate on the outskirts of the town.

The 34-strong choir was formed in 1973 to compete in the Powys Eisteddfod and since then has gained numerous eisteddfodic successes, travelling extensively in the UK and Europe.

The first Musical Director was local postman Robin Williams and he was succeeded in 1985 by Ann Atkinson, who remained until 1990, when she left to study at the Royal Academy of Music.

Gwerfyl Williams took over the reins, followed by Paul Johns, and on his retirement in 1998 Ann returned to pick up the baton again.

Ann led the famous Fron Male Voice Choir to worldwide fame and is artistic director of the North Wales International Music Festival in St Asaph.

Ann said: "There’s an old saying ‘Never go back’, but I don’t regret for one minute that I came back to the choir.”

Cor Meibion Bro Glyndwr are currently rehearsing for next month’s National Eisteddfod in Denbigh, where they will compete in the section for choirs with fewer than 35 members, and their first CD is about to be released.

The sense of being a genuine community choir is one of the attractions, according to tenor Derek Hughes, who has been a member since its inception. He was one of four brothers in the choir in 1973 but is the only one still remaining.

The 71-year-old retired butcher said: “I just love singing and we are all friends in the choir, so every rehearsal and performance is a social get-together as well.

“And we are so lucky to have Ann because there’s no doubt that she’s one of the best around ."

The CD, which was recorded at Rhug, contains 14 tracks which reflect the choir’s varied repertoire, ranging from popular Welsh hymns and spirituals to operatic and show pieces.

The anniversary concert will be held in a barn at Rhug.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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