Spirit of America Concert & ROYAL Visit - July 2015
Date: 19th August
In a land of myth and fantasy a choir might sing of a slave set free in far and distant lands; or a girl might dream a prince would come and hold her hand and greet her mum. Welcome to Llanarmon-yn-Iâl, the home of the dreamcatcher.
For Côr Dewi Sant the month of July has been like a fairy tale. First, on 4th July, American Independence Day, Yankee Doodle came to Wrexham and if Harold Raitt did not come on a pony he certainly deserved a feather in his cap. His creation, the Spirit of America Concert performed at St Giles Church (burial place of Elihu Yale, the founder of Yale University) was an eclectic mix of American music and readings evoking traditions of settlers and slaves, of white and black, of simplicity and patriotic bombast. Solo performances from Harold, Helena Thomas and Ruth Evans were nicely complemented by Côr Dewi Sant’s rendition of music by Aaron Copland, Negro spirituals and the Star Spangled banner and American Trilogy. Will Hay and Heather Williams accompanied brilliantly. Now it may well be true that some pieces had been learnt/altered at the very last minute but the fact is they worked. Who Dares Wins! It was a concert greatly enjoyed by a full house on a lovely summer’s evening.
And then, just three days later, Royalty in the persons of HRH the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall came to visit Llanarmon. Prince Charles clearly enjoyed his visits to the Raven and the Village Shop (both manned by volunteers from the Choir) but the highlight of his visit was undoubtedly (in our eyes at least) his visit to the Church where the choir sang Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau to the future King. Who sang those high notes? Well, really, girls!!
So, pinch yourselves all you dreamers. This really did happen as it only could in Llanarmon-yn-Iâl: where the red-dragonned banner in triumph doth wave o’er Côr Dewi Sant, the choir for the brave!
by Richard Martindale
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