Welcome to the new Sydney Welsh Choir website.  Each page is long: please scroll down to play the video of the end of Men of Harlech.

    THE SYDNEY WELSH CHOIR WEBSITE

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The Sydney Welsh Choir website



Choir photographer David Kelly with famous Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins
Choir photographer David Kelly with famous Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins
The choir singing at St John''s Wahroonga
The choir singing at St John's Wahroonga
Viv at Erina with choristers in the background
Viv at Erina with choristers in the background
Consul-General Richard Morris displays the photo presented by the choir
Consul-General Richard Morris displays the photo presented by the choir
Choir singing at St David''s Cathedral, Wales, in 2006
Choir singing at St David's Cathedral, Wales, in 2006
Sydney Welsh Choir with the British & Irish Lions Rugby Choir and other singers at the Opera House
Sydney Welsh Choir with the British & Irish Lions Rugby Choir and other singers at the Opera House
Viv and Cheryl with ladies at  Cremorne Orpheum
Viv and Cheryl with ladies at Cremorne Orpheum
Helen and other choristers at Windsor
Helen and other choristers at Windsor
The Seniors Week Achievement Award 
presented to the choir in 2008
The Seniors Week Achievement Award
presented to the choir in 2008







Four bearded basses at the official Anzac service
Four bearded basses at the official Anzac service
Singing Advance Australia Fair in Parliament House, Canberra
Singing Advance Australia Fair in Parliament House, Canberra
 
The Sydney Welsh Choir in action at the Riverside Theatre Parramatta
The Sydney Welsh Choir in action at the Riverside Theatre Parramatta
 

WE ARE THE SYDNEY WELSH CHOIR

The Sydney Welsh Choir has more than eighty members, male and female, drawn from all parts of the greater Sydney area.  Since 1978 we have been responsible for putting theWales into NSW. Not all choir members were born in Wales; some have Welsh family links while others simply like being part of a group which sings with such evident enjoyment and enthusiasm to very appreciative audiences. The concert schedule is busy but enjoyable with around two weekend performances a month. The choir has sung at all the main performance venues in Sydney as well as at such famous overseas venues as York Minster, Canterbury and Winchester Cathedrals in England, the American National Cathedral in the USA, The Madeleine in Paris and Assisi Basilica in Italy. Since 1990 the choir has made six trips back to Wales, with performances in many of the main castles, cathedrals and concert halls there, as well as in many countries along the way.

Practices are held most Wednesday evenings at 7pm at the church hall of Concord Baptist Church, Carrington St, Concord just off Concord Rd near the end of the M4. The Sydney Welsh Choir is always happy to welcome visitors or potential new choristers at its practice sessions.  The choir returned from its tour of Wales, England and Ireland in October 2014 and will content itself with shorter domestic tours for the immediate future.  Upcoming events are shown on this website.  If you need to know more please phone 02 9617 0401 or email our president, Rob Horlin, at jrhorlin@optusnet.com.au  for further information.

 

 

                   REPORTS ON ACTIVITIES FOR THIS YEAR (2016)

      (Most recent activities are shown first; please scroll down for events earlier in the year)

We had a wonderful Concert at St Ives Uniting Church on Sunday 23rd July 2017, the audience was very appreciative and our Solosist Greg McCreanor delighted us with his choice of music and impresive voice. Our very own Clive Woosnam entertained us with his humorous monologs. A very enjoyable afternoon. .
The Choir with Ros & Viv Dorothy''s daughters
The Choir with Ros & Viv Dorothy's daughters

We had a wonderful afternoon of music on Sunday 5th March celebrating St David's Day and catching up with many of our friends.

Our speaker was the very entertaining Prof. Geraint Lewis and we were joined by our Patrons Menna Rawlings CMG and her family, John & Marlene O’Shea ( Matthews) and Prof. Jonathan Wooding

 

 
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Our Patron Menna Rawlings CMG her family and our Conductor Viv Llewellyn and his granddaughter
Our Patron Menna Rawlings CMG her family and our Conductor Viv Llewellyn and his granddaughter
Our Patron Prof.Geraint Lewis
Our Patron Prof.Geraint Lewis
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The Choir Christmas Dinner was a great success
 
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The final few practices of the year were hit hard by sickness but included two important occasions.  We always like to include a picture taken at the end of  the last rehearsal: here is the 2016 version.
 
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                                             Choir members about to enjoy supper after the last choir practice of the year
 
A few weeks earlier came the final practice to be attended by one of our stalwarts - Carey Lewis,  who has been a key member of the tenor section since 1988.  Carey is going back to live near Neath in Wales in his original home village of Cwmgwrach, where he has a furnished house and car waiting for him.  Carey has provided so many newspaper cuttings and DVDs of Welsh events over the years that he will be sorely missed not only for his friendship, his voice and his personality but also for his role as the  font of information on Welsh culture.  We wish him every success in this new phase of his life.
 
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                        Choir president Rob Horlin presents Carey Lewis with a picutre of the choir in action at St John's Wahroonga
 
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                                                   Carey with the picture at the centre of the table, at his farewell practice
 
Choir members were very sad to farewell Carey, but another supper was on hand to ease the pain.
 
The final two performances of the year were both out of the ordinary.  The first consisted of two sessions of singing at Westfield Shopping Centre, Burwood, as a promotion for the choir both to acquire new members and new concert bookings.  Committee member Graham Pratt was the source of this initiative.
 
The final concert was at Henry Kendall Gardens village on the Central Coast.  Three of our choristers, Dorothy Horne and Bill & Jacqui King, live in that village and organised a concert as a fund-raiser for the choir.  Dorothy presented a cheque to the choir at the last practice.
 
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                                                        Viv is always guaranteed to put a lot of energy into his conducting
 
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                                                                     Greg McCreanor singing at Henry Kendall Gardens
 
St John's Uniting Church in Wahroonga was packed for the choir's important charity concert on Sunday 30 October.  The local Rotary Club was raising funds for two local schools, St Lucy's and St Edmund's, as well as for the remarkable School of St Jude in Tanzania.  Choir president Rob Horlin persuaded the British High Commissioner, Her Excellency Menna Rawlings CMG, to fly from Canberra with her Welsh parents especially for the occasion.  Menna had been guest of honour at the choir's St David's celebration where she made a great impact on the choir and the audience, so it was a special pleasure to see her again and meet her parents.
 
        Rob Horlin (left) Menna Rawlings (centre) and Viv Llewellyn with Menna's parents Ann and Chris
 
Wahroonga Rotary president Neil McWhannell addressed the audience as did local Rotary member Rob Ferguson, who is also a member of the Sydney Welsh Choir and of St John's Church.  Viv Llewellyn conducted the choir with his customary flair and, as usual, quickly established a rapport with the audience.  The choir was in fine voice, with the tenors revelling in their increased numbers, while David Short was immaculate as ever as accompanist.  The program consisted of such uplifting songs as Let There Be Peace On Earth, Always There, You Raise Me Up and Y Tangnefeddwyr.  
 
                                                       Rob Ferguson (left) and Neil  McWhannell
 
Gail Waizer, who was one of our two guest singers at the St David's celebration, returned as guest soloist, while Clive Woosnam kept the jokes flowing.  There was an excellent reception to follow and the whole event was successful both as a fund-raising exercise and as a lovely afternoon's entertainment.  Choir and audience members alike expressed their delight with the occasion.
 
  Viv acknowledges the choir's performance, as he leads Gail Waizer back in front of the audience
 
 
 

There are many long-serving members in the Sydney Welsh Choir, some going back to the choir's creation in 1979.   William Owen Williams is not one of these originals, joining the choir in 1986, but he has established himself as clearly the senior member of the choir in terms of age and the most consistent in terms of performance.  He was not able to go on the 2014 tour to Wales; otherwise, he has barely missed a single practice or concert in his 30 years of singing with us.  And on 14 October 

 

2016, he reached the ripe old age of 90.  We held a celebration after choir practice and president Rob Horlin presented Will with a photo book covering his many experiences with the choir.  Go to http://bit.ly/2dcM325 to see the photo book.

 

                                Will blows out the candles on his birthday cake

 

 

 
 
The concert at Davistown RSL Club on Saturday 8 October was the second we have held at that venue in the last eighteen months.  The last concert was a special commemorative concert with a Gallipoli theme; the recent event was more in line with our normal offerings, with more humour - mainly provided by Viv and Clive - and a lighter selection of music.
 
                                                       The choir onstage at the Davistown RSL Club
 
However, the audience showed great enthusiasm for some of the more serious music such as Vivaldi's Gloria, in which accompanist David Short showed his consummate skill on the keyboard in organ mode.
 
                   Regular baritone soloist Greg McCreanor displayed the full range of his music
 
Greg McCreanor was in fine voice as usual, singing examples of different music genres, from The Way You Look Tonight to Schubert's An Die Musik and The Floral Dance made famous by Peter Dawson.
 
                        Viv, resplendent in his red jacket, conducts the choir in the second half of the concert
 
Now that we are well into Spring, the sopranos and altos were back in their Summer uniform.
 
 
 
 
 
The choir had a special concert on Sunday 11 September at St Finbar's Church in Glenbrook with the Blue Mountains Concert Band.  St Finbar's is a truly beautiful modern church with impressive acoustics and we love singing there.  Since our last visit we had managed a short performance in St Fin Barre's Cathedral in Cork on our tour of Ireland, Wales and England just under two years ago - a magnificent but very different building with strong links to Cardiff Castle.
 
                       Viv conducts the choir in Amazing Grace after an introduction by piper Lachlan Wiggins
 
The band made a powerful impact in its two brackets of songs, especially in such dramatic compositions as Where The Sun Breaks Through The Mist.  The choir sang twelve songs in total, two of them with the band.  
 
              Band Music Director Garry Clark looks across towards the choir as he conducts his instrumentalists
 
These were special arrangements of I Dreamed A Dream and Amazing Grace.  Other songs that were particularly well received were Men of Harlech, American Trilogy, African Alleluia and I Am Australian.
 
                                         
The choir sings "...Time can bend your knees", and Poppy shows grandpa Viv how it's done
 
 
 
On 21 August we  were back at The Grange, Waitara, where we have sung many times before.  Cheryl, our soloist, phoned in sick, but we were able to call upon Di Strong (Stanford) from our soprano section to replace her, while still performing as a member of the choir in the rest of the program.  
 
                                    Di acknowledges the applause of the audience 
 
As ever, Di performed excellently, and combined brilliantly with accompanist David Short, especially in Gershwin's Embraceable You.   The choir was strengthened by the return from overseas holiday of Rob and Jane Horlin and the return from illness of Warwick Ball.  Wife Mary was present in the audience.
 
                                                     Viv turns to the audience at the end of the concert
 
The music was well received by the audience, I am Australian drawing a particularly enthusiastic response.  There was also a contingent in the audience with Welsh links who especially enjoyed Clive's narration.
 
               Clive entertaining the audience with his story on A Chapel Childhood 
 
 
On 14 August the choir made its way to Blue Hills Village in Prestons, a location guaranteed to pose challenges to those travelling without GPS assistance, despite our previous visits.  As usual at this venue, there was a pleasantly casual atmosphere with the audience still enjoying their meal as the concert began.  Cheryl was the soloist on this occasion, and the concert as a whole was well received.  Unfortunately, we do not have any photographs of this concert. 
 
 
 
On 31 July we performed at Dee Why RSL Club for the fifteenth consecutive year.  As usual, we had a very responsive audience - extremely attentive during the individual items but vociferous in their appreciation - and a group of Welsh supporters we had not met before.  
 
The choir in front of the large audience at Dee Why RSL Club
 
Viv was back from his long caravan journey and in typically fine fettle, creating a great rapport with the audience and conducting the choir with authority and subtlety.  The Seekers Medley seemed to be especially popular.  
 
The Pirate of the Piano
 
David Short posed for a pirate picture before the concert then accompanied the choir expertly, without an eyeshade this week but still with little vision in one eye.
 
 
Matthew Hearne about to sing
 
Our soloist was Matthew Hearne who sang for us at the St David's Celebration.  He had lost his singing partner to illness on this occasion but made a great impact on his own.  'Anthem' from Chess was particularly well received.  Clive's jokes went well and he was able to recite A Child's Christmas in Wales for the very first time at this venue on top of the variety of material used on the fourteen previous visits.  It seems we can always rely on Dee Why to provide us with a great reception every year.
 
 
 
 
 
On 24 July the choir gave one of its regular three-year concerts at Castle Hill Uniting Church.  It was a special occasion for Brian Lewis, conducting the choir in Viv's absence, as this is his home church where he performs as organist.  With a large and receptive audience the concert was a great success.  
 
                     Brian Lewis speaking to his home congregation as the choir prepares to begin the concert
 
Once again we had some songs from our older repertoire brought back into the program to good effect.  Soloist Cheryl Priest showed her range, control and versatilty in her choice of music while Clive's stories and narration were well received.  
 
            It's not the Phantom - it's David Short showing his outstanding prowess in the face of a new challenge
 
We had David Short as usual as accompanist, but on this occasion he had a greater challenge than normal, as his right eye was covered.  Listening to him, no-one would have known.  
 
 Shirley waves a Welsh flag while the choir pause their exit at the end of the concert to finish 'We'll Keep A Welcome'
 
 At the end of the concert, the choir sang 'We'll Keep a Welcome' while filing out along the sides of the church, staying in position until the song had ended.  It was an effective end to an excellent concert.
 
 
 
 
On Sunday June 26 the choir sang for the first time at Caringbah Uniting Church in the southern suburbs of Sydney.   The audience proved to be very responsive, helping create a most enjoyable concert.  In Viv's absence, Brian Lewis conducted the choir and did a fine job.  He re-introduced a number of songs from our former repertoire, such at Down By The Riverside, Love Changes Everything and You'll Never Walk Alone, while retaining our newer songs such as Tears in Heaven and Let the River Run.  David Short provided a brilliant accompaniment as ever.
 
     
                                     Brian Lewis speaking to the audience
 
Greg McCreanor made a big impact as usual, especially with his final offerings: The Toreador Song from Carmen and The Floral Dance.  Clive's jokes and narrations were also well received.  
 
                                          The choir singing in the second half of the concert
 
The supper was particularly impressive and was greatly appreciated by the choir members, most of whom had to prepare for long journeys home.
 
 
 
On 22 May, the Sydney Welsh Choir had a concert close to home at Alan Walker Village, Carlingford.  It should have been familiar territory, but such has been the amazing size and scope of building projects in the area that the journey to the venue seemed strikingly new.  
 
    David prepares to operate piano and electronic keyboard as Viv starts the Carlingford concert
 
 
                  Viv conducts at Alan Walker Village.  In the foreground is part of the large audience
 
The large audience responded well to the program and, as ever, elicited an even higher performance from the choir, more than compensating for the lack of singers through illness on the day.  Viv, Cheryl, David and Clive were all in top form on what turned out to be a very successful afternoon.
 
    
                Helen P, Inge and Shirley 'keeping a welcome' on the sales table
 
 
 
After years of performing in a wide variety of churches in the Blue Mountains, the Sydney Welsh Choir managed to break new ground by giving its first ever concert in Blaxland Uniting Church on May 15.  The small church was comfortably full and the audience was in a very receptive mood.  The program included our first ever performance of 'Tears in Heaven' by Eric Clapton.
 
                           Viv conducting the choir at Blaxland Uniting Church
 
Cheryl Priest once again showed her versatility in her choice of solos, while accompanist David Short used harpsichord and organ sound as well as piano.  As the concert was the day after 'Dylan Day',  Clive's introduction to Under Milk Wood was well received.  Viv, as ever kept the audience entertained and the choir under control throughout the performance.
 
  
                    Cheryl Priest forging a strong bond with the audience at Blaxland
 
 It was only after the concert that we discovered that we had sung at Blaxland Uniting Church 21 years ago.  And the diary entry for that concert was full of praise for the enthusiastic audience!
 
 
 
The Anzac Day 12.30pm service seems certain to become more important as the years pass, especially with the permanent re-routing of the march past the memorial, and the expensive refurbishment of the memorial itself. The Sydney Welsh Choir has been the only choir to perform at the service in the
 
 
          The Choir hums Troyte's Chant as Clive prepares to recite 'In Flanders Fields'
 
last thirteen years.  As well as leading the singing of the hymns, the choir performs Troyte's Chant/In Flanders Fields and joins the Police Band for a singalong of wartime songs after the official service has ended.
 
   The Choir and Police Concert Band and soloists join to entertain the audience after the service
             
The 2016 event was marred by the building work currently being carried out, and by the absence of both the Premier and the Governor for the first time in our years of attendance.  Nevertheless, the program ran smoothly and the weather was perfect.
 
        Happy onlookers clap and snap as the Choir & the Band entertain them after the service
 
 
 
Our concert on 17 April was the choir's first in the Futter Hall at The King's
School, Noth Parramatta.  The concert was arranged by Parramatta City
Rotary Club's president Malcolm Brown, a long-standing committee member of
the Sydney Welsh Choir, as a charity event.  Malcolm is an Old Boy of rival
GPS school Newington College, while soloist Cheryl Priest is a teacher there
and narrator Clive Woosnam taught there for 35 years, so there was a
 
 
 
 
cheerfully competitive edge to proceedings.  With Cheryl, Viv Llewellyn and David Short in top form, the music was of a high standard and the concert was very well received.  
 
 
Every year the Sydney Welsh Choir does a number of charity concerts; charges for other concerts vary between a modest amount for retirement villages, slightly more for churches and a higher figure for lincensed clubs. Over the years the choir has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities in Australia and overseas.
 
 
 
The choir's first performance after Easter was at Terrigal Uniting Church, where we sang twice in 2014.  Viv Llewellyn conducted in his inimitable style, while Brian Lewis was accompanist in David Short's absence.  Brian had his first taste of conducting the choir at this same church two years ago while Viv was overseas.  Greg McCreanor made his usual powerful impact while Clive Woosnam kept the audience entertained with his jokes and narration.
 
 
 
 
 
One highlight of the program was a song we rarely sing - and then only at this time of year - All in the April Evening.
 
          Viv conducts while Brian accompanies the choir at Terrigal Uniting Church
 
 
On 13 March the choir sang at the War Vets on Collaroy Plateau - our first visit there for many years.  Once again we had a new soloist, David Sanders, who made an immediate impact.  
 
      It was a very full program with every item appreciated by the substantial audience
 
                  Soloist David Sanders in front of the Australian and Welsh flags
 
 
 
The St David's Celebration for 2016 was a special occasion in that the guest speaker was the British High Commissioner in Australia, Menna Rawlings CMG.  Menna has a strong Welsh background - her parents and brothers still reside in Wales - so it was most appropriate that she should respond to the toast to St David with a talk on 'Hiraeth'.  She impressed everyone with her modesty, friendliness and her clarity of message.
 
The choir hums Troyte's Chant as Viv conducts, Clive recites and David takes a rest on keyboard
 
As usual, the choir was in a celebratory mood and sang with passion.  Viv Llewellyn conducted, David Short was the accompanist, and Clive Woosnam proposed the toast to St David.  We had two new soloists performing with us: Gail Waizer and Matthew Hearne, while Taras Jones created a melodic background on his electric harp.  One piece we sang for the first time was Sir Karl Jenkins' Adiemus - based on St David's final sermon.
 
         Ladies & children in Welsh costume, Menna in red, and Viv in his St David's tartan 'cilt' 
 
Some choir members dressed in traditional outfits and we had children in similar costume creating a colourful scene.  Our chief patrons, Warwick and Jan Lane, were present despite Warwick's ill-health.  Other patrons in attendance were John & Marlene O'Shea, Dr Griff & Llayna Richards, and Professor Geraint Lewis.
 
 
 
                                        THE 2016 CHOIR AGM
 
The 2016 AGM took place on 27 January with more than sixty choir members present. The meeting ran swiftly and smoothly and left ample time for a short choir practice and a supper to start the new choir year.
 
The four executive positions and eight committee places were all filled unopposed.      The new committee comprises: Robert Horlin (president), Brian Lewis (vice-president), David Evans (secretary), Kay Hardman (treasurer) along with Malcolm Brown, David Chapman, Jane Horlin, Viv Llewellyn, Margaret McLachlan, Jan Penhorwood, Graham Pratt and Di Strong.  
 
    
                           Rob Horlin with Helen & Clive Woosnam
 
  
                                      Olwen Barnes with Clive
 
Presentations were made to Clive Woosnam who stood down after 23 years as president, and to Helen Woosnam who first served on the committee in 1992.  Sheila Rule, who has worked on the committee since the 1980s, was unable to be present because of ill-health while another long-serving key committee member, Olwen Barnes, received a presentation delayed by sickness in 2015.
 
 
 
 
The Sydney Welsh Choir singing the final section of 'Men of Harlech' on the 2006 tour at Harlepool in N E England in a concert  organised by the Hartlepool Male Choir.  Our tour choir sang in York Minster the previous day and two days later were far away in Wales giving a concert in Brecon Cathedral.

History of the Sydney Welsh Choir

 

THE HISTORY OF THE SYDNEY WELSH CHOIR 

 

The Early Days

 

The Welsh Rugby Union tour of Australia in 1978 inspired the formation of the Sydney Welsh Rugby Club, whose teams made an immediate impact with their singing at the post-match celebrations. A male voice choir was created at the club, broadening into a mixed choir in 1980. Margaret Hughes was Music Director from 1981 to 1999, building up the choir into a separate entity with an international reputation. The Sydney Welsh Choir now has over eighty members and has outlived its parent rugby club, which was wound up in 1997.

 

The Nature of the Choir

From the outset it has had a core of Welsh-born members but has increasingly attracted singers with no obvious Welsh link, though it is amazing how many Welsh ancestors can be discovered by a spot of genealogical research. The one attributes all the choristers share is a love of singing, a unifying force providing harmony that is social as well as vocal. The repertoire is extremely broad - “from Bach to Bacharach” - oratorio, hymns, opera, folksongs, stage musical numbers and quality popular songs. Over a quarter of the songs are in Welsh, a language that looks unpronounceable at first glance to the average Australian, but which soon becomes a manageable challenge.

Performances & recordings

The choir usually makes at least thirty public performances a year, most of them full concerts. The choir has sung in such famous venues in Sydney as the Opera House, Sydney Town Hall, Convention Centre, State Theatre, Queen Victoria Building, Stadium Australia and Conservatorium of Music, though most concerts are held in local churches, clubs, schools and retirement villages. Special occasions at which the choir has performed include the Royal Easter Show, Darling Harbour Christmas Pageant, the official Australia Day Luncheon, and the official NSW Government Anzac Memorial Service, in which we are the one choir chosen each year. Our audiences range in size from the overflowing but modest congregation of any small church to the packed house at Stadium Australia for the final Wallabies v Lions match of 2001. Apart from overseas tours the choir does a lot of travelling within Australia, with concert tours to South Australia in 1992, Queensland in 1996 and a very successful tour of Tasmania in 2010.  We have made many visits to Canberra and three tours to the far South Coast focusing on Merimbula and Narooma.  We frequently give concerts in other parts of rural NSW such as at Dubbo, Port Macquarie and Gunnedah.

 

We have have brought out one new CD in 2012: "A Time to Remember", recorded in late 2011, and hope to produce a second disc soon, covering much of our recent new work. The 2006 recording “As Long As We Have Music” was the choir’s fourth CD, following two earlier cassette tapes and other recordings featuring several choirs. Choir tours are also covered in DVD format. The choir has appeared on Australian radio and TV on several occasions and has made a few radio and TV broadcasts in Britain, including a memorable live performance of “Men of Harlech” from Harlech Castle itself.  The choir has performed on stage with such well-known Welsh artists as Aled Jones and Max Boyce, and has sung for the First Minister of the Wales National Assembly on his three visits to Sydney.

 

 

The choir plays a central role in the Welsh community of Sydney, especially with its St David’s Day Celebrations at Carnarvon Golf Club and its annual reception at the British Consulate or Consul's house.  The Choir’s quarterly newsletter, The Clarion, and this website (www.sydneywelshchoir.com) are important links with the general public.  The choir is grateful for the help it has received from its patrons, especially from chief patrons Warwick and Jan Lane. 

 

Our First Five Overseas Tours

1990

The Choir’s first overseas tour, in June 1990, began with a concert in California before moving on to a second in Ontario (Canada), allowing side-trips to Niagara Falls and Toronto before flying to Britain. After a broadcast performance from atmospheric St Michael’s Mount and a full concert in Penzance, the Choir moved to Wales. Performances at Caerphilly Castle and the magical Castell Coch were followed by concerts at Margam Park’s historic Orangery and at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall. In North Wales, the Choir travelled to Anglesey and to the summit of Snowdon, sang in ancient Bangor Cathedral, and visited the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen. The Choir staged its final concert at King’s School, Gloucester Cathedral, (home of the TV series “The Choir”), before a delightful social evening at the London Welsh centre.

 

1994

The ’94 tour began with an epic flight to Minneapolis for a great reception and a fine concert. After a few days in New York City, the Choir flew to Scotland for concerts at Melrose Church and Edinburgh’s Ross Theatre, as well as a tourist jaunt to Fort William.  The Choir moved via the Lake District and Chester on to Llangollen and Llandudno for a concert followed by performances at Caernarfon and Conwy castles. A few idyllic days at picturesque Tenby included a performance at St David’s Cathedral and a visit to Dylan Thomas’s boathouse. We then enjoyed the warm hospitality of our friends in Cor Meibion Llanelli, with a concert at Theatr Elli, before moving to Swansea for a TV broadcast and a reception by the Morriston Orpheus Choir. In the Caerphilly area we received two civic receptions, sang at castles, took part in a major combined concert and performed in Margaret Hughes’ home town of Aberdare.  The final concert of the tour, sandwiched between sightseeing trips to the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Oxford and Windsor, was at Bedworth. The tour ended, like its predecessor, with an excellent night of music and conviviality hosted by the Gwalia Male Choir in London.

 

1998

 First stop was San Francisco, with a recital at Grace Cathedral and concerts at Palo Alto and at the romantic Spanish Mission Basilica at Carmel. In WashingtonDC the choir sang in two huge venues: the National Cathedral and Union Station, as well as at nearby Silver Spring. The first concerts in England were at the famous Great St Mary’s Church in Cambridge and the equally imposing wool church at Clare in Suffolk. Our next concerts were at Knutsford in Cheshire, Coedpoeth in North Wales and Church Stretton in Shropshire, before heading northwest. After a concert at Llandudno we sang at Conwy, Caernarfon and Beaumaris castles, visited Portmeirion and gave a concert at Porthmadog. We then travelled down to stay with Cor Meibion Llanelli and sing at the Theatr Elli. A trip to Tenby was followed by two recitals in CardiffBay before travelling through the Wye Valley and Cotswolds. We stayed in historic Chepstow for a concert and reception with the Chepstow Male Choir as well as a recital in the castle. Then we went down to Cornwall for concerts with the Polperro Fishermen’s Choir in Looe and Polperro. After further sightseeing we drove back to London for our traditional end-of-tour musical evening at the London Welsh Centre.

 

2002

We began in Austria with a workshop and concert with the Vienna Male Chorus, followed by a concert in beautiful Hallstatt, where the Celts were first identified as a separate race. After performing in stunning Baroque churches in Salzburg and Innsbruck the Choir moved into Switzerland, exploring Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald before singing at another large ornate church in Lucerne. Next stop was Paris, with concerts at the huge and famous Madeleine as well as at the American Cathedral, before crossing the Channel to sing at Canterbury Cathedral. Concerts at Clare in Suffolk and Knutsford in Cheshire were followed by a recital at the renowned chapel in Rugby School, a concert in Abergele and singing visits to Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech castles. We stayed once more with the Llanelli Male Choir and followed our concert there with one at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea and a recital in Viv Llewellyn’s family church near Bridgend. We sang at Caerphilly Castle, Castell Coch and Llandaff Cathedral before our major three-choir concert in Caerphilly. After a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament (to follow our tour of the Welsh National Assembly) our final engagement was a social night with the London Welsh Choir.

 

2006

 

Our performance venues on our fifth European tour included such famous Italian landmarks as Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and the Basilica in Assisi, along with St Paul’s within the Walls (also in Rome), the Lutheran Church in Naples and St James’ Episcopal Church in Florence.  We even sang in the amphitheatre in Pompeii!  Other European concert venues included Bruder Klaus Church in Bern, Switzerland, and St Kastor’s Basilica in Koblenz, Germany.  In one day starting in Bruges, Belgium, we sang in Burg square, in Tyne Cot war cemetery, in St George’s Chapel in Ypres and inside the Menin Gate Memorial before giving a short concert on our ship en route to Yorkshire.

In England we sang at York Minster and Winchester Cathedral, and to large audiences at Lancing College Chapel in two concerts which raised $22,500 for the local hospice. The hosting of many of our choir members by the Hartlepool and Haverfordwest Male Choirs was very successful, as were the joint concerts with those choirs. We also linked in with the Cardiff Arms Park Male Voice Choir and the Milton Glee Club in Portsmouth. We had a small mayoral reception at Haverfordwest and a larger one at Portsmouth Guildhall involving the whole tour party.  In Cardiff we sang at the new Welsh National Assembly building and in the Wales Millennium Centre next door where we were given a reception by the Wales Tourist Board.  We also sang at St David’s Cathedral and Brecon Cathedral in Wales.

Special sight-seeing visits included Monte Cassino, Amalfi, Siena, Montreux, Geneva, Heidelberg and the Rhine Gorge.  We sang at Governor Phillip’s grave outside Bath and in Viv Llewellyn’s ancestral home of Court Colman near Bridgend.  We followed the Captain Cook Trail from Marton to Whitby, Henry Tudor’s steps from Pembroke to Tenby, and soaked up some Shakespeare in the Stratford-upon-Avon rain before all 89 group members returned to Australia intact, having packed a huge wealth of experiences into four short weeks.

 

CONTACTS:

President Robert Horlin 02 9617 0401 ;  Vice President Brian Lewis 02 9629 6236 ;

Music Director Viv Llewellyn 02 4739 0384;  Secretary David Evans 9630 2561;

Treasurer Kay Hardman 02 9877 0684  Other committee members:  Malcolm Brown, 

David Chapman, Jane Horlin, Margaret McLachlan, Jan Penhorwood, Graham

Pratt and Di Strong