An appreciative audience was delighted by a gala evening of choral singing at Caldicot Castle last Saturday (18th June) evening with a concert hosted by TV star Alex Jones and Welsh tenor Wynne Evans. Featuring three of Monmouthshire’s male voice choirs performing a number of traditional Welsh and international favourites, the show raised funds for the Monmouthshire & District National Eisteddfod to be held in Abergavenny in less than six weeks’ time.
The choirs – from Chepstow, Caldicot and Monmouth – delivered such favourites as Calon Lân, Men of Harlech and many other well-known numbers. Caldicot Castle provided a spectacular backdrop for the event and the audience of over three hundred clearly enjoyed the performances.
Hosts Alex Jones and Wynne Evans won the hearts of those attending with their warm and witty delivery and Evans entertained with solo performances of Granada and O Sole Mio, best known for its associations with the Cornetto ice cream, as well as singing other favourite tracks. Bathed in warm sunshine, the choirs performed separately before joining for a finale culminating in a rousing rendition of Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox attended with Monmouthshire’s Chairman, Councillor Jim Higginson and Caldicot Mayor David Evans. Councillor Fox remarked: “This eagerly-awaited concert exhibited Welsh choral singing and culture at its best and was obviously enjoyed by everyone in such a magical setting. There’s no doubt that Caldicot’s castle is an ideal venue for events of this nature and I look forward to more occasions like this.”
He added: “The National Eisteddfod visits Abergavenny next month and will be a fabulous opportunity for Monmouthshire’s residents to enjoy similar stellar performances on their doorstep.”
The Monmouthshire & District National Eisteddfod comes to Abergavenny from 29th July to 6th August when it is expected to attract over 150,000 visitors to the county. It will be the first time for over a century that Monmouthshire has hosted the festival of Welsh language and culture – it was last held in the county in 1913, in Abergavenny.