It’s a well-established truth that Brecon’s residents need not travel too far for an excellent night of entertainment.
This was no truer than on Saturday evening, when almost 300 people took their seats in Theatr Brycheiniog for Aberhonddu & District Male Choir’s 85th Anniversary Concert.
What followed was 150 minutes of pure entertainment, much to the delight of an appreciative audience.
Aptly named ‘Together Again’ the concert was a celebration of being exactly that. The evening featured not only the honeyed tones of the Brecon-based choir, but some excellent performances from special guests in the Kent Police Male Voice Choir, Sorela and Darcey George.
The Kent Police outfit, founded in 1978, made the journey across the country for the night’s performance. They performed an array of six songs individually, all very well received, including a lively performance of The Rhythm of Life from the musical Sweet Charity.
Sorela, three sisters from Aberystwyth, delighted the audience with their three-part a cappella harmony. The close harmonies were beyond impressive, and the energy and talent they showed on stage showed exactly why there are such a big hit across the Welsh landscape.
The third guest was soloist Darcey George. The 18-year-old captivated the audience with her voice from her very first note, singing a mixture of classical and musical theatre numbers, while also performing an encore to the delight of both the audience and fellow performers. Darcey is a member of Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS), an organisation which identifies, nurtures and supports talented young musicians and singers from across South Wales.
One of the many highlights of the evening was the Brecon choir’s performance of a newly commissioned piece of music. ‘Haul ar y Llanne’ (Sun of the Parishes) was commissioned by the choir in April 2021, with words by Twm Morys and music by Richard Vaughan, and was funded by Menter Iath. The words convey the difficult times we have all suffered during the Covid pandemic and the how the parishes of Brecknock were silenced and still. Towards the end of the pice, the bells ring out across the land once again and normalise resumed. It was a real treat to hear Haul ar y Llanne for the first time and there was a sense of relflection and togetherness in the auditorium as the choir sung. During the performance, a slideshow of photos displaying the Brecknock landscape was displayed on a screee. Compère for the night Richard Morris, who kept the evening running smoothly with mirth and good humour, captured the feeling of the room after the song by remarking how lucky he felt to live in such a beautiful area.
Accompanists on the evening were Becky Drysdale and Karen Barton-Holman.
Brecon Male Voice Choir musical director Lynnette Thomas and deputy musical director Lynne Griffin conducted the choirs on the evening. Special mention must go to ’Lyn number one’ - as she was playfully referred to as during the concert - for stepping in to conduct the Kent choir after their MD was unfortunately unable to attend.
Notable attendees on the evening included honorary patron of Brecon Male Voice Choir Dame Shân Legge-Bourke DCVO and Mayor of Brecon Councillor David Meredith.
Proceeds from Saturday’s concert have gone to a crucial Brecon Mountain Rescue Team campaign. The voluntary search and rescue team, which has covered over 700 square miles of Mid Wales over the last 54 years, is fundraising for a new HQ base. Having already secured 75 per cent of their target, the team has has put together a final fundraising campaign to help raise the remaining £99,000 needed. To donate to their GoFundMe page visit www.gofundme.com/f/bmrt-new-hq-999
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