Listen to a Welsh Choir
The Bala area has a strong tradition of choirs including traditional Welsh male voice choirs. To listen to the singing of a Welsh choir is a unique and moving experience.
There are several choirs in the Bala and Penllyn area, North Wales. Most choirs welcome visitors to listen to their rehearsals.
Choirs in the Bala and Penllyn area, include:
- Côr Godre'r Aran (Llanuwchllyn)
- Meibion Llywarch (Parc)
- Côr Meibion Llangwm (Llangwm Male Choir)
- Côr Merched Edeyrnion (Edeyrnion Ladies Choir)
- Côr Meibion Bro Glyndŵr (Glyndŵr Male Choir)
- Côr Meibion Llangollen (Llangollen Male Choir)
Côr Godre'r Aran (Llanuwchllyn)
Côr Godre'r Aran is based in the village of Llanuwchllyn at the south-western end of Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala). The choir membership represents a spectrum of rural occupations and is unique in that all members are natural Welsh speakers.
Since its inception the Choir has regularly entertained audiences all over Wales and at many principal venues in England including The Royal Albert Hall, The Globe Theatre, The Sage and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Concert tours have taken them to Scotland, Ireland and Portugal and extended international tours include three visits to Canada / U.S.A., and eight tours of Australia with visits to New Zealand, Tasmania, Hong Kong and Singapore. After 30 years a return visit was made in November 2007 to Patagonia, Argentina, where a strong community of Welsh descent still thrives.
Over the years Côr Godre’r Aran has successfully competed at National and International levels and won principal awards at the National Eisteddfod of Wales and four male voice championships at the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen. In 2005 the Choir won the BBC Radio Cymru competition for Male Voice Choirs.
Côr Godre’r Aran usually rehearse weekly on Thursday evenings between 8.00 and 10.00pm at The Llanuwchllyn Village Hall. Individual visitors are welcome but seating may be limited. Visitors are advised to confirm there is a rehearsal by contacting the Secretary or any Choir member in advance. You can find details of music for sale and events from the Côr Godre'r Aran Website.
Meibion Llywarch - Parc
Meibion Llywarch, a choir of young men – only one was over 30 when formed in 1987. By now some have left and others taken their place. The majority of the members come from an agricultural background but only half are full-time farmers. The accent is on folk singing, often unaccompanied, and "Cerdd Dant", the singing of poetry to harp accompaniment. Their hallmark is the close harmony typical of the “plygain” carol-singing style prevalent in central areas of the Welsh heartland. Since the beginning the choir have taken part in competitions both locally and nationally and have regularly been successful. Each year the choir have at least a dozen invitations to hold concerts all over Wales and some of the members add to the programme by giving solo performances. The choir have travelled overseas to Ireland in 1998, Canada in 2002, Spain in 2008, Anglesey, Oswestry and Chester!
The choir practice in the School Hall in Parc at 8.30pm every Wednesday evening, apart from the months of April (lambing) and August (holidays). There is a warm welcome to all to go along and see the choir rehearse but it would be advisable to phone 01678-540525 to be sure there is a practice.
Conductor – Dan Puw
Accompaniment – Gwen Edwards and Eirian M. Jones
Côr Meibion Llangwm
Côr Meibion Llangwm, the Llangwm male voice choir is based in Llangwm, near Corwen, North Wales (LL21 0RA). Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings between 8pm and 10pm in Llangwm Village Hall.
It has around 40 members who come mainly from an agricultural background and who speak Welsh as their first language.
The choir hold concerts all over North Wales and further afield according to demand, and also regularly competes at the National Eisteddfod where it has gained first prize on many occasions. It also competes at local eisteddfodau and supports charity concerts regularly.
The choir travels a great deal to concerts both at home and abroad. The choir have visited Bavaria and Austria twice and have formed a lasting friendship with the Bavarian male voice choir ‘Sangerrunde Mittich’. They have also travelled to Spain, Jersey and this year Canada.
The choir have entertained audiences in Scotland many times, including the ‘Celtic Connections’ festival in Glasgow. In 1995 they sang at the Arran Celtic Music Festival where they shared the stage with the famous Gaelic singer Mairi MacInnes. They were so enchanted with her distinctive voice that they invited her to sing with them on both their CD’s. The song they sang together, ‘Ysbryd y Gael’ (The Gaelic Spirit) was an immediate huge success and has proved to be one of the most popular songs ever recorded by a Welsh male voice choir. According to Dafydd Iwan, the owner of Sain recordings, it has been one of the most popular and best-selling CDs. The title song ‘Ysbryd y Gael’ is sung in Welsh and Gaelic, and can be heard every week on Welsh radio programmes.
Côr Merched Edeyrnion
Côr Merched Edeyrnion (Edeyrnion Ladies Choir) is based in Corwen ansd draws it’s membership from the area of Edeyrnion formerly in Merionethshire now in Denbighshire and referred to as “Dee Valley West”.
Formed in 1979 the choir has entertained audiences throughout North Wales and further afield. Successful international tours have also been undertaken in Germany, Catalonia, Ireland, Southern Bohemia and Barbados.
Competitively the choir has won the Ladies Choirs competition at the Royal Welsh National Eisteddfod on no fewer than eleven occasions and has won the Silver Cup at the Verona Music Festival.
Côr Merched Edeyrnion usually rehearses at Neuadd Edeyrnion in Corwen from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Monday evenings, visitors are welcome.
Côr Meibion Bro Glyndŵr
Côr Meibion Bro Glyndŵr (Glyndŵr Male Choir) is based in Corwen is named after Owain Glyndŵr (1359-c1416) the last native Welshman to be Prince of Wales whose estates included the area where the choir is drawn from.
The choir was formed in 1973 and since its inception has taken part in concerts, competitions and community events in North Wales. Concerts have also been held further afield in Colchester, St Helens, Chester and Llantrisant. The choir was the first Welsh choir to compete at the Celtic Mod in Oban. In 2006 the choir took part for the second time in the Liberation Celebration at s-Hertogenbosh in the Netherlands, the town that was liberated from German occupation by the 53rd Welsh Division in 1944.
Côr Meibion Bro Glyndŵr usually rehearses from 8.00pm to 10.00pm on Wednesday evenings in Neuadd Edeyrnion in Corwen, visitors are welcome.
Côr Meibion Llangollen
This male voice choir is based in Llangollen the home of the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod. The choir rehearses on a Friday (not in January), 7.30 - 9.00 pm at the Hand Hotel, Church Street, Llangollen, LL20 8PL.