Many thanks to all contributions and especially our newsletter editor Roy Fisher.
March was a busy month....
It started well on St. David’s Day. Our concert with the Newport choir was a big success with both choirs performing well, the artistes on top form and Barrie weaving his magic.
Our thanks to both musical teams for steering us safely through another ‘first’.
Memories of the concert tour to Southend-on-Sea (March 8 – 11) .....
The tour started on the morning of Friday 8th March and before arriving at our hotel we attended a reception at the Porter’s Civic House and Mayor’s Parlour. Although the Scotland v Wales game started at 2.15pm we had to leave the hotel at 3:30pm for a 6.00pm start at the Baptist Church for our joint concert with the Leigh-on-Sea Male Choir. The concert was followed by an afterglow at the same venue.
Sunday’s engagement takes place in the Pavilion at the far end of the famous pier from 1.00pm sharing the programme with an a capella group, "take note".
Then Cwmbrân Town Centre was the location of short performances on 22nd and 23rd – would any other choir be prepared to turn out on three successive days? The first of these was at the Friday 10:00am opening of a new Cancer Research UK shop and the second at a Singathong on the bandstand in aid of the Tenovus Cancer Care Fund.
Three other choirs took part on the Saturday and it was a real treat to be able to listen to such a variety of songs sung so entertainingly. The audience obviously enjoyed it and the Tenovus Cancer Care Fund inform us that £623 was raised from the collection. Perhaps this would have been increased if the event had been better publicised – in the week preceding the event there had been no mention in the ‘Forthcoming events’ section of the Cwmbran Town Centre web page!
On the evening of Thursday 21st we entertained senior citizens at the New Inn Community Centre. As ever it was a pleasant and not too taxing evening. Tea and biscuits are always welcome and some were in bed before ten.
On the morning of Thurs 9th May we sang at the opening of a conference for Serious and Organised Crime held at the Celtic Manor Golf Club.
Fourth from the right is our very own new baritone Ian Roberts, Gwent Police Chief Superintendent of the Divisional Committee for East Local Policing Area !!
There is no correlation between the theme of the conference and the talents of members of the choir !! (Ackowledgements to the official photographer).
There were two other May concerts in which we performed. Choristors are now used to coping with variety in staging at venues with the fund raising at St Peter's Church, Goitre ....
…. and the ShineBright event at Rougemont School, Newport giving stage manager Paul Reynolds very different challenges (thanks to Paul and Graeme). The occasions were also quite contrasting in character and sufficient to say that we coped admirably and upheld the choir's reputation thanks to our iindominable music team of Keith and Annette. The highlight of the Peter Carrie concert at Rougemont School proved to be the singing of a remarkable 11 year-old girl - she was amazing !!
On the evening of 27th July we entertained a large group of golfers and their wives / partners at the Captain’s Day in the Celtic Manor Golf Club. From our very first item (The March of the Men of Harlech – sung in English!) they listened intently and responded warmly. Keith had chosen a programme (just over a half-hour long) that was a sensible mixture of Welshness and popularity. Choristers quickly corrected him when he told the audience that we would sing that all-time favourite Cwm Rhondda in Welsh! Our final item, Rachie, was sung in Welsh with a finish that lifted the roof – the tenors really let it rip!
A group of choristers performed at Leadon Court Care Home in Thornhill at lunchtime on Thursday 15th August. It was a late request but those who turned out did a grand job and their efforts were much appreciated.
The 7th September 114th Annual Concert was dedicated to the memory of dear Pauline and was inevitably a very special occasion. It was pleasing that the new pieces were particularly appreciated leaving us with feelings of a job well done. Not everyone would have realised that we had two members of the House of Lords seated on the front row. In addition to our very local Paul Peter Murphy, Baron Murphy of Torfaen, KCMCO, KSG, PC there was Lord (and Lady) McFall of Alcluith. Lord McFall is the Senior Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords.
Choir members turned out in force for Pauline’s funeral on Friday 12th September. We occupied most of the gallery upstairs in Richmond Road Baptist Church and, during the service, sang An Evening Prayer and Gwahoddiad (with understandable emotion). Members of Pauline’s other choirs were also present and we were reminded of what a ‘little’ bundle of joy she was. It was a memorial service that will stay in our minds. Following the cremation many proceeded to the reception at the Greenmeadow Golf Club.
Cwmbran town centre was the setting for a Cancer Research supporting event on the morning of Saturday 19th October. Several organisations took part, including members of Pontnewydd Male Choir. Their participation was in response to a late invitation to open the event. Those who were there did a grand job under Keith’s direction.