By Val Javin
If you’d like to hear a prize-winning ladies choir singing in harmony with the male voices of one of Wales’ leading vocal ensembles then head for Lindley early next month.
On Saturday, April 1 (7pm) Marsh Ladies Choir, which last autumn won the Challenge Choir Class at Holmfirth Music Festival, will host a spring concert at Lindley Methodist Church.
Its guests will be Penrhyn Male Voice Choir from Bethesedain North Wales making the trip to Yorkshire as the return leg of a two concert arrangement which saw the ladies choir singing in Wales last September.
Marsh Ladies chairman Mrs Helen Clayton said: “Marsh Ladies received a warm welcome when they travelled to sing alongside Côr y Penrhyn last year and we are delighted to be hosting them back here on our home ground.”
The Penryhn Male Voice Choir is one of the busiest in Wales with around 30 concerts each year. The choir has sung more than once as part of the pre-match concert on the pitch at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to a capacity crowd of nearly 75,000.
The choir has its roots in the slate-quarrying village of Bethesda in the Ogwen Valley which lies on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park about five miles to the south-east of the university city of Bangor.
Its origins go back to the 1880s when a united choir was formed from a number of smaller groups which existed on the various galleries or levels of the Penrhyn Slate Quarry. That early choir’s music was heard not just in Wales but across the Atlantic where its singers travelled in 1893 to sing in Chicago.
A hundred years later in 1993, members of what is now known as the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir marked that pioneering trip by its founding members with an anniversary singing trip to the Windy City.
Today, it draws its singers from all walks of life and continues to sing on tours to America as well as to Canada and various venues in Europe. A relatively short trip to Yorkshire in early April will give Huddersfield audiences a chance to sample the lively and exciting musical presentations for which this Welsh choir is deservedly known.
The Penrhyn choir is conducted by its musical director Owain Arwel Davies and its accompanist is Frances Davies, who teaches at the University of Wales in Bangor. Marsh Ladies will be conducted by its musical director Ian Abbott with accompanist Kim Kaye.
Tickets cost £10 and are available on the door or by ringing 07712 767041.