5 - 7 March
12/10/2012 10:03
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Cor Glanaethwy

What a weekend!

This year for the 26th year of The Willmott Dixon North Wales Choral Festival we welcomed a record breaking 43 choirs to Venue Cymru in Llandudno; they travelled from every corner of Great Britain to be with us – Wales, England, Ireland and Scotland!

Our first ever Schools day

For the first year ever we presented a Schools day competition, which kick started our weekend off on the Friday. We saw 11 excited schools arrive in Llandudno, including 7 junior schools and 4 senior schools. Not only did they get chance to wow the judges they also took part in a workshop with ‘Can Sing’ Jenny Pearson.

Each school gave it their all and impressed the adjudicators, making their decision difficult. The winners of the Brenig Construction junior schools category was Ysgol Dewi Sant, with Southdown Primary school coming 2nd and Llandrillo’s Music Angels taking 3rd place. In the Enterprise Education senior schools category Ysgol Dinas Bran bagged 1st place, with Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen coming 2nd and Ysgol Y Creuddyn coming 3rd.

Friday Night Concert

Friday night introduced a line up to remember which saw our headliner Wynne Evans step out of his Gio Compario outfit and show us what he is really about. Singing songs from his new album ‘Wynne’ he didn’t fail to impress. The performances didn't stop there, we also saw mezzo soprano singer Sioned Terry, local tenor Elgan Llyr Thomas and runners up from the BBC’s ‘last choir standing’ Côr Glanaethwy take to the stage. Not only did they do solo performances we also got the opportunity to hear beautiful duets along with a powerful finale with all artists performing together.

Saturday's Competition

As if that wasn't enough, the weekend competitions started the following morning with Male voice choirs, ladies choirs and youth choirs. The powerful sounds of the male voice choirs started things off with Chester Male Voice choir proudly receiving 1st place, Cor Meibion Y Flint were given 2nd place and Rossendale Male Voice choir came 3rd. The ladies then took to the stage to wow the judges, 1st place was given to Entourage, Rastrick high school chamber choir were awarded 2nd place and Lleisiau Llannerch were given 3rd place. The next category to impress the judges was the youth category, 1st place was awarded to Cor Glanaethwy, 2nd place was proudly received by Cor Ieunctid Mon and 3rd place was given to DonIau’r Dyffryn.

Choirs Hit the Town!

This year we wanted to share the love, so we got choirs to take to the streets of Llandudno and give them a treat for their ears! Eight choirs managed to find time in their busy schedule, these included DonIau’r Dyffryn, Scottish Police and Community choir, Flint male voice choir, Vivacity, Reading A440, Peterborough voices, Lleisiau Llannerch and The Gallery singers. Locations included St Johns Church, ASDA, Debenhams, St Georges Hotel and a touching tribute to the troops at Llandudno’s cenotaph. There was also another exciting first for the North Wales Choral Festival as Cor Meibion Y Flint shocked the shoppers at Debenhams in forming a flash mob!

Festival Celebration Concert

Saturday night’s concert gave choirs the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves without the eyes of the judges on them. Nine choirs from the festival: Rossendale male voice choir, The academy chamber choir of Tullamore, Di Voci ladies choir, the Scottish Police and community choir, Rossendale ladies choir, the gallery singers, vivacity, yours in harmony and Cor meibion y Fflint gave it there all as they focussed on entertaining instead of competing. Our thanks go to all the choirs that performed that evening, the concert was enjoyed by all who attended.

Sunday’s Competition

Sunday soon came around and it was time for the bright and bold Barbershop choirs to take to the stage, 1st place was awarded to The Crystal Chords with Vocal infinity receiving 2nd place and the Clwyd Clippers being positioned at 3rd place. Next up was the biggest category of the weekend, the mixed choirs. With 12 choirs in this category the competition was a tough one to call but after much deliberation 1st place was awarded to The Gallery Singers, 2nd place was received from Cor Aethwy and 3rd place was given to The academy chamber choir of Tullamore.

Re-live the Weekend!

If you want to re-live all the excitement of the weekend – you can! We have a DVD of each day which covers the categories on that specific day along with some festival highlights. The DVD costs £25, if you wish to purchase one just contact Adrian Jones on Adrian@thinkorchard.com or on (02920) 590334 / 07815931295 and just state which day you require on your DVD.

Overall, it is easy to say that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves! We met lovely choirs from all over the UK and were honoured to witness everyone’s unique talents. Don’t forget to save the date for next years North Wales Choral Festival which will be taking place from 7th-9th November 2014.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who attended, competed and got involved!

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