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“We are Pendyrus!”

There seems to be much talk of male voice choral singing being in decline at the moment – the gentlemen of Pendyrus Male Choir are here to dispel that statementAthe largest of the five male choirs in the Rhondda Valley alone, they travelled from their Tylorstown base to rural mid-Wales to give a sell-out concert at China Street Chapel, Llanidloes for the Rotary Club.  The last time the choir performed at this venue was in 1959 and four members of the choir from that concert made this return visit. This concert raised over £3000 for the Rotary Club Of Llanidloes. 

Choir compère and much respected author and historian, Professor Gareth Williams opened proceedings with a series of witticisms and introduced a wealth of musical offerings which included the rousing Llanfairthe beautifully atmospheric ‘Hiraeth’ and the epic ‘The Prayer’ from Lohengrin by Wagner.  Special mention must be made of the sublime solo singing from Bill Richards who soared above the choir in a stunning rendition of ‘Lily of the Valley’.  The Welsh hymns in the programme were given added sparkle with the inclusion of Scott Williams on the organ – a great addition to any male voice choir!

A number of new additions to the repertoire were given an airing including a Welsh translation of a folk song by Janacek called ‘Aredig’.  This year, the choir hopes to repeat their 2010 & 2012 success in the Gwyl Fawr competition in Cardigan and if they sing as well as they did in this concert, success should surely be coming their way!

The second half of the concert continued in lighter vein with selections from the choir’s ‘lollipop’ repertoire – a phrase used by Pendyrus’ Glynne Jones – a previous Musical Director of the choir.  A notable inclusion in the programme was a stirring rendition of Alwyn Humphreys’ of ‘What Would I DWithout MMusic’ – the exposed opening was delivered with accuracy and was pitch perfectfollowing the a cappella introduction.  

The performance from the choir was punctuated with a number of excellent soloists.  Nick Wayland-Evans gave a tranquil performance of ‘Caro Mio Ben’ by Giordani followed  by Ivor Novello’s beautiful ‘My Life Belongs ToYou’.  

Sydney Richards belied her youth with her mature delivery of ‘Losing My Mind’ (Follies; Sondheim).  At 15, she certainly shows considerable promise – a name to watch in the future.

A regular soloist with the choir, Tom Richards exclaimed in declamatory fashion that he was “in love with another man’s wife” in his rendition of ‘Proud Lady’ (The Baker’s Wife; Sondheim).  This was followed by the beautiful ‘Till I Hear You Sing’ (Love Never Dies; Lloyd Webber).  It is easy to see why Tom has enjoyed recent success on the Asia Tour of Les Miserables – this young man has a very bright future ahead!

The finale of this fantastic gala concert saw all of the ‘forces’ joining together for a selection of hits from Boublil and Schonberg’s Les MiserablesThe soloists were joined by Sarah Board who gave a fine performance as CosetteThe controlled singing from the choir in ‘Bring Him Home’ was particularly beautiful and Jordan Davies (from the choir’s first tenor section) gave a commanding performance of ‘Stars’.  The final chorus of ‘One Day More’ brought the capacity audience to its feet – and the praise was wholly deserved!

Stewart Roberts, the Musical Director, can feel justifiably proud of his boys after this concert and the choristers can feel lucky to have a man of this calibre at the helm.  Together with stalwart accompanist, Gavin Parry, Pendyrus surely has one of the bet music teams in Wales.  

Ryan Wood

Musical Director, Bridgend Male Choir

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Recent Events

Following a highly successful concert at Mountain Ash in aid of the local YMCA on 17 June,  Pendyrus has been involved in less formal but exceptionally well-received events in Pontyclun (27June) and Pencoed Hall (8 July). At Pontyclun Athletic Club the choir sang for the assembled delegates of the RMT Union who were holding their summer  conference in Cardiff. Introducing the choir, compere Gareth Willams reminded the delegates that they were the descendants of the Triple Alliance of trade unionists of a hundred years ago comprising the railwaymen, dockworkers and miners. The RMT clearly know their own history and gave a rapturous reception to the fact that Pendyrus come from what was then one of the storm centres of the British coalfield when the red flag flew above the collieries of Tylorstown, Ferndale and Maerdy, ‘little Moscow.’ The choir sang a well-chosen programme beginning with ‘Men of Harlech’ that won the acclaim of the predominantly non-Welsh audience, who preferred to listen to Pendyrus than watch an inept England failing to overcome the might of Iceland. As Gareth pointed out, they would have struggled to beat Tescos and Poundstretcher on that showing. The 2-1 triumph of Iceland rounded off a  superb evening.

On Friday 8 July the choir entertained the guests at the wedding in Pencoed Hall of Lisa and Stephen, son of chorister Mike Chapman. Not only are father and son doctors but Mrs Mike Chapman has recently become one too. Christine Chapman stood down from the Senedd as Assembly Member for the Cynon Valley, but can now substitute for AM the letters Ph.D. Since she began the research for her doctorate under the supervision of Professor Gareth Williams the choir was linked to the Chapman family at this happy event at several levels. The choir, under Stewart and Gavin, sang during the civil ceremony and afterwards. Their varied programme was greatly appreciated, and apparently two of the guests were anxious to book the choir for their own weddings. Since one of these lived in Oxford, and the other was yet to find a girlfriend, it was difficult for the choir to make a commitment. Again, a hugely enjoyable occasion at which the contribution of Pendyrus was regarded as the highlight of the day.

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New CD ‘Portrait of Pendyrus’ released at our Gala Concert Fri 22nd April

The long awaited CD ‘Portrait of Pendyrus’ is now released and was available at our Gala Concert tonight.

It will feature timeless Welsh classics like Myfanwy and Llanfair but also include some items from musical theatre and Karl Jenkins “Benedictus” from the “Mass For Peace”.

Also to feature will be a fabulous arrangement of “Tell My Father” by Ryan Wood

You can order yours from our website www.pendyrus.org or contact any Committee Man or  Member of Pendyrus

RBS 6 Nations Wales v Scotland Principality Stadium 13th Feb 2016

Pendyrus entertains capacity crowd of 74,000 at the new Principality Stadium

RBS 6 Nations Wales v Scotland Pendyrus entertains a capacity crowd of 74,000 at the new Principality Stadium for the 2016 RBS 6 nations match between Wales and Scotland.

The choir sang Welsh and Scottish favourites such as Calon Lân, Sospan Fach, Cwm Rhondda and Loch Lomond which was very well received by the visitors!

This was followed by the two anthems Flower of Scotland and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau which was a great prelude to what was to become a great match.

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Tom Richards hits the big time

Tom Richards, a former member of the Pendyrus Male Choir, has been offered a part in the Les Les Misérables Asian tour working with top artists from Broadway, Australia and the West End.

It was reported in the Mail on Sunday Tom was very excited and that singing was always what he had wanted to do.

We in Pendyrus are very proud of Tom’s achievements and this is proof of the benefits of joining Pendyrus as a good way of advancing young peoples’ ambitions in music. Four young members of Pendyrus have gone on to University this year following a couple of years singing with choir under the baton of Stewart Roberts, one of the top leaders in music education.

Any young man who loves music should seriously consider joining this excellent means of education in music and would be warmly welcomed.