Cymric Concert

An Evening of Hymns & Arias
with the Port Talbot Cymric Choir

Last Saturday evening (7th June), the land of song came to St. Luke's in the voice of the Port Talbot Cymric Choir.

They sang to us from their repertoire, opening with the appropriate Let All Men Sing before singing Make You Feel My Love (made famous recently by Adele but originally Bob Dylan) in sharp contrast to their opening number. They paid tribute to the 100th anniversary with a sing-a-long of songs from World War One before concluding the first act with World in Union. In the second half, we were treated to a harmonious version of Unchained Melody and even Old Man River. Who could forget the spine-tingling sound of Myfanwy - often referred to as the best Love Song in the world or the rousing Calon Lan or the passionately sung O Gymru. They launched into what has become a signature piece of theirs - an African medley which included Siyahamba (“We are marching”), Shosholoza (a Zimbabwean miners' song)  and Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa – part of the South African national anthem). The choir finished with a passionate singing of the Welsh National Anthem (Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau - Land of my Father) and marched out singing We'll Keep a Welcome. The Choir were conducted by Mrs Mair Jones (Musical Director) and accompanied by Matthew Lewis on Piano and the Pipe Organ which added to the amazing sound from the Choir.

They were ably supported by Miss Annie Howard (mezzo soprano) accompanied on piano by her father (and St. Luke's Organist) Dr David Howard with a selection of classical and show songs. Annie's voice soared to the heavens with a classical selection which included Music for a While, O Rest in the Lord, Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun and Er, der Herrlichste von Allen . For her second stint, Annie sang Sea-Fever (John Ireland) and followed by songs from the musicals - I Don't Know How to Love Him (Jesus Christ Superstar) followed by On My Own and I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables.

The contrast in voices could not have been more stark with the rousing voices of a Welsh male voice choir against the sweetness of a mezzo soprano. The differences in language were no barrier either - the passion in Welsh and Zulu needing no translation – and the sweet tones from Annie needed no interpretation either as she sang the German Er, der Herrlichste von Allen by Schumann.

Both the audience and Choir had a memorable evening that will live long in the minds of those who were there. We'll certainly Keep a Welcome for the Choir to return. Who knows … we could see the Cymric make a return to St. Luke's as they enjoyed the warm welcome they received and we enjoyed their enthusiastic response.

The concert managed to raise over £550 to fund St Luke's Church redevelopment of its buildings for the benefit of the local community. More on this will follow later in the year.



For those who were unable to make it this time, please do check out this YouTube video of the Cymric choir performing their African Trilogy.

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