Welsh Choir Amass Near Welsh Bridge!

Treorchy Male Voice Choir

Theatre Severn

20/June/2015

Obviously being a border town there is much fun to be had between the English and the Welsh. But tonight all ribaldry forgotten as the spirit of Wales was released on the audience and for the evening we were all honoury Welsh citizens to the last.

When one ventures to see Treorchy Male Voice Choir one expects the very best in choral singing and one gets it. With not a note out of place the boys sang their way through a little of the Welsh hymn book, Vera Lynne,  Westlife  and others. The beautiful anthem from Carousel, You’ll never walk alone, was also amongst the highlights..

It was  to say the very least, an uplifting experience and I defy any member of the fortunate audience to say that at one time or another during the set,  they did not feel emotional and maybe a little tearful.

Treorchy has an incredibly sensitive approach to their music and with such stunning arrangements they are able to beautifully bring out the pathos in any song. All complemented with their rich Welsh accents.

The show ran in two halves with contributions also from the Welsh Soprano,  Ros Evans. She was not only delightful in her patter to the audience but her powerful voice rang throughout the highest regions of the theatre, so clear, so strong and so alive.

Initially the Grand Piano accompaniment was mixed slightly too high in the levels and distracted from the main sound which is the music made from the beauty and simplicity of the human voice. When the choir sang acapella one really witnessed exactly what sixty voices can do.

However overall, the piano added another dimension and the show was indeed even better for it.

Moving much more for a contemporary feel in the second half the boys were creatively steered through their numbers by the conductor Simon Jones. Like a single operative of a powerful machine he held the choir back and trickled the mighty power of their voices through, just when it needed it most.

Roses are blooming in Picardy had a touching feel as it was pointed out the next year will be the centenary of the Battle of Mametz Wood in Eastern France. Many Welsh men were killed and two members of the choir had also  lost relatives there. So as they sang the melody we were treated to the poem, In Flanders Fields by John Macrae. The marriage of this song with verse was poignant without over sentimentality and will be a fitting tribute, as they have been invited by the Western Front Association to go across and sing at the memorial events next July.

This was a great night. There was none of boasting or name dropping that one can receive on nights like this. Instead the boys from Treorchy took hold of the Theatre and the audience and stated firmly this is what music can do and this is what we can do with music.

Could one ask for anything better?  I think not and in true honoury Welshman style I shall say to them all Diolch Yn Fawr!

This is a four star review.

Owen J. Lewis.

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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