GQ Magazine Men of the Year Awards – Covent Garden, London
Following on from the Blue Monday recording by the Choir an invitation was received to perform at the prestigious GQ Men of the Year awards at Covent Garden in London, a glittering event attended by celebrities and stars from the world of music, sport and films. The invitation came at short notice which required some extra special commitment by the Choir members as the event was held on a Tuesday evening and meant that the journey home had to be made straight after the event. Would there be a Choir of sufficient numbers to do justice to the occasion was the big question. The response was almost a 100% yes and the arrangements were made.
On Tuesday the 4th September the Choir travelled down to Covent Garden and the magnificent Opera House. On entering the main area a quick look at the place settings revealed the prestigious nature of this event. A rehearsal was scheduled and with military precision the Choir was put in place and Elizabeth placed out of view of John Eifion, a gamble indeed!! The rehearsal over successfully , it was time for a break before the actual event.
At 6pm the Choir were shown to a large rehearsal area to change and a last minute rehearsal, which did not go well, nerves perhaps, but which caused John Eifion to have a few worried moments.
However there was no turning back and at precisely 7.28pm the Choir were led on to the stage to see Tom Jones, Robbie Williams , Kylie Minogue, Katherine Jenkins, Andrew Lloyd Webber and most of the Olympic Medallists, to name but a few awaiting the event to start.
The Choir began with 'Blue Monday ' with Elizabeth, John Eifion and the Choir in perfect unison despite not being able to see each other. Before we had time to think, our allotted spot was finished and the Choir left the stage to generous applause.
What a fantastic experience. The journey home was long with members arriving back
in the early hours, ready to go to work the next day. A superb effort by all involved.
The following comment appeared 'live ' on the blog of the GQ event as it happened
19:45 The first surprise musical guests of the night are on: the remarkable Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir. Needless to say, they're all in impeccable black tie. They sound amazing, although we can't help wondering what would happen if fellow Welshman Sir Tom Jones got involved.
Bahamas Concert Report
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -
Brought to the island by philanthropic GBCH supporter David Wynn-
“It was truly delightful having the choir perform at our Count Basie Square,” said
The next morning selected members of the choir travelled to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home and presented gifts and enjoyed breakfast with the home’s current 26 children. “It was the highlight of our trip,” said one choir member. “Their smiling faces and enthusiastic hugs made my vacation.” The choir also sold CD’s of their songs and donated part proceeds to the home as well – an overwhelming gift to add to their performances and personal gifts.
On Saturday, the grand concert was held at the Regency Theatre to an almost full
house. The wonderful facilities of the theatre truly showcased the talents of the
choir as they performed for a two-
Mr. David Wynn-
The success of the trip also has to be credited to Christopher Baker who helped organize
the choir while in The Bahamas. “I was really happy to work along with the choir
to make it all happen as their singing was so special to listen to. Everyone who
heard them was blown away with the music.” Additional assistance was given by the
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism who helped coordinate and arrange all the travel arrangements
for the 70-
“The choir was magnificent,” said Sarah Kirkby, GBCH Executive Committee. “I was
able to see both shows and, as a Bahamian, I can tell you their rendition of the
National Anthem was phenomenal. We cannot thank them enough for all they have done
for us at the Children’s Home. The funds raised will help us complete the project
of installing hurricane shutters on the first of our buildings and our children also
have keepsakes and memories of those lovely, friendly, funny-
Côr y Brythoniaid © 2017 Website designed and maintained by H G Web Designs
On the 9th July 2013 the Choir appeared at the opening concert of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod along with the Godre’r Aran , Froncysyllte and Rhos Male Voice Choirs. This concert will be shown on S4C at 9pm on Sunday the 25th August 2013.
The Choir will begin their rehearsals after a summer break on Thursday the 5th September 2013 with a concert at the Town hall in Pwllheli with John & Alun on Friday the 6th September.
The following weekend the Choir will be appearing on three consecutive nights at the No6 Festival in Portmeirion. The Choir have been looking forward to this event for some time and will be singing cover versions of well known songs. You will have to wait to hear them!!!!!!!
There will be no Choir rehearsal until Thursday the 5th September 2013. The next concert will be on the 6th September at Pwllheli as guests of John & Alun.
The promotional video has just been released by Festival No6 featuring the Choir singing Chic’s disco ‘anthem’ Good Times. We said this was as far removed from the Choirs traditional repertoire and OK our movement needs a bit of work!!! But we had great fun filming and the video should be seen in that light. We hope it brings a smile to your face.
In the first 24hrs the video has been viewed 6,500 times with great comments on You Tube and on Twitter, go and have a look. Nile Rodgers himself likes our version, so that cant be bad. Just in case you missed it, here’s the link to the video (right).
It’s going to get very busy from now on!!!! Wait till you hear our other cover versions to be revealed at the Festival.
Great photos from last night Festival Number 6! Hope the rain stays away tonight too!
Thanks to Andrew Whitton for the photos!
Festival No6 2013
Well there we are another Festival No 6 done and dusted. The question is was it as good as last year. Not to put to fine a point on it, it was AWESOME again. We had a rehearsal on site on Thursday evening in the pouring rain which didn't go too well, all the expletives from the conductor gave us a clue, but that was that. It would be alright on the night wouldn't it???
Friday night came and all the doubts came to the fore, would it be dry, would there be anybody listening to us, would our choice of music be suitable and after Thursday night, would the Conductor turn up!!!! As last year, the Choir formed up before we went 'on' and we could see the crowd below, what a sight, about 2000 people crammed in the Piazza area with a fantastic atmosphere. Well, when we walked down the steps in the light what a reception. As one commentator said "I thought David Bowie had walked on".
It was amazing, with each song being rapturously received and to finish off with Design for Life and our surprise song Uprising by Muse got the crowd on to their feet shouting for more. Great credit should go to John Eifion our conductor who sang the solos in the songs which he would not normally sing, but did so as if on the X Factor, brilliant. And our accompanist Elizabeth who, with headphones on and a head torch to see the music and playing blind from the conductor, how she managed and so brilliantly defies belief. What a first night.
This time we had a special CD available called 6 for No6 which contained all the songs we were commissioned to sing as well as two others and sold very well over the weekend. Here again, a huge thank you to some of the wives of the Choir, affectionately called the Brythonwags, who sold the cd's with gusto and a smile, diolch.
The second night was also very special with a lovely moonlit night and a HUGE crowd giving us a reception you would never associate with a Male Voice Choir. Every member walking to the stage with a huge smile and tremendous pride. If there had been a roof on the Piazza, it would have been lifted, fantastic. And more of the same on the third night, tempered by a downpour midway through the performance, but nobody budged, apart from the technicians who rushed down as Elizabeth was playing an electric keyboard!!!!
Plus the fact her music sheets turned into a soggy mess resulting in her playing the 'big' songs from memory, what a star. And with John singing under a brolly, it was truly a memorable occasion.
There are so many people to thank we cannot do it here but Festival No 6 and Luke Bainbridge in particular many many thanks and also to Rich Roberts of Ferlas Studios in Penrhyn, what a talented and obliging producer who did a superb job over the weekend and on he CD itself, he made us sound very good !!
Roll on 2014 I say.
P.S. have a look as some photographs which were taken on the weekend on our website.
Take a look at what the Newspapers had to say about us by following these links:
There will be no choir rehearsal on Thursday, 17th April, 2014
The Brythoniaid are going to be on ITV in January! Read the story here.
The Choirs version of ‘Good Times’ is number 1 in the Charts of Paste Magazine! For more details please visit our ‘Comments’ page.
Our CD ‘Six From No.6’ is now on sale! For more details please visit our ‘CD’s’ page.
Please Note: There will be no choir rehearsal on Thursday, 31st October 2013
For the Choirs latest video in collaboration with Festival No. 6 please follow the link (right). You can view photos in the gallery below also. This is the best yet.
Festival No6 2014.
Once again the wait was over and we found out who the headline acts of Festival No 6 2014 were going to be, the question was which act would we be asked to cover one of their songs. Always a nervous time for us. We were more than happy when ‘Go West’ by the Pet Shop Boys was announced as the song we would cover this year and so it began.
We had a month to prepare and learn the song to a good standard in order to film the promotional video for the Festival itself. Firstly John Eifion produced his arrangement of the song bearing in mind the time constraint and knowing how long some of us take to learn songs!!
Next, Liz our accompanist and John visited Ferlas Studios in Penrhyndeudraeth and
spent hours with the genius that is Rich Roberts preparing the track by which the
Choir could learn and sing to -
Then, thanks to the collaboration of Festival No 6 with Virgin Trains, the adventure began as we were off to London for a days filming.
At 5.30am on a beautiful sunny June morning we travelled by coach to Bangor and then on to London to our first location… Euston Station where to very surprised but delighted commuters we sang ‘Go West’ to much cheering . All went very well, we were even joined by a Hen Party and a down and out who loved the song so much he wanted to conduct!!!!!
From here on to a red open top London bus with the Portmeirion destination on the front and around the streets of London singing Go West all along the way which was great at all the traffic light stops watching the pedestrians enjoying the show and cheering. This was great fun.
Our final stop was at Shoreditch House, a private club for media people which boasted a swimming pool on it’s roof. Off up to the sixth floor and to the pool where we performed surrounded by swimming trunks and bikinis, a performance we will not forget in a hurry as we were still in our suits under the scorching sun. Job done.
The next bit was the hardest, trying to get back to Euston in time to catch the train home. This finally involved sprinting carrying keyboard and all down the platform to jump on the train which had been held back for five minutes for us to arrive. This was almost a last performance for some of the elder statesmen of the Choir!!!!!
Back home for about 9p.m. with the second part of the project complete. The next stage was officially putting the song to disc with all the trimmings attached.
On another beautiful day we arrived at the Memorial hall in Criccieth where Rich Roberts had already set up ‘Huston control’ to record. After three or four takes the work was complete and following another filming session at Portmeirion itself during a wonderful summers evening, our part in the project was complete, now we waited to see the finished project with baited breath.
On the 24th July 2014 the video was launched and we all nervously looked and listened to the final product. Was it good? We think it’s the best to date which made all the effort worthwhile. We hope you enjoy the video.
To Festival No. 6, the production crew, Virgin Trains and Portmeirion a very big thank you for a job very well done.
Festival No. 6 2014
Well, Festival No 6 2014 was upon us and even though we had two Festivals under our belt, so to speak, the level of anticipation and nervousness was as great as previous occasions.
The conductor had once again had all his stress level tested to the limit by our rehearsal on Thursday night but now all the rehearsals were over and it was time for the real thing. Our genius of a producer, Rich Roberts had once again done a brilliant job with recording some backing tracks and so, everything was set.
The Friday arrived to brilliant sunshine. A good start, and as dusk fell the choir gathered for the first performance. At this point the excitement grows with scored of people wanting photographs and wishing us well and as we walk up the incline to our staging point the audience noise can be heard and then we got the ‘nod’ to walk onto the ‘stage’ in front of the Collonade and the noise that greets us is breathtaking. Even the longstanding choir members find this reception unbelievable.
Once formed the Choir launch into the first song which is greeted at the end by huge applause and cheering, it was going to be a great evening. And so it proved that by the end of the night the sense of pride and satisfaction was almost overwhelming. Even Elizabeth our fantastic accompanist was ‘helped’ onto the stage in front of the Choir by, as she says, rather a handsome Scotsman in a kilt to tremendous applause!
The same was repeated on the Saturday night with even greater number in the audience who were very keen to join in on the signing and made it a very special occasion under a beautiful September moon.
Sunday bought with it a new experience and will be a day that all choir members will remember for a long time.
Firstly we had an early start with a rehearsal on the main Festival stage with the production team of the Pet Shop Boys. Everything planned down to the last details, how we walked on, where we stood what to do on stage and the sound check!! Even with an empty arena the sound was amazing.
That done it was a wait then for the afternoon performance. This was a special event
as the Choir were celebrating our 50th Anniversary the Festival organisers kindly
allowed us an hours performance at an earlier time at the Piazza. Again the weather
was glorious but the slight worry was, would there be as good an audience on this
occasion. The answer was a resounding yes, as the photographs on our website prove.
The Piazza was packed to the rafters and the audience response was amazing. It was
nice to actually see the huge numbers and to see people who had already listened
to our previous performances and also youngsters wearing the Choir tee-
Now the long wait for the big moment -
Then the moment came when we were escorted on to the stage with a truly unforgettable reception from the thousands gathered in front of us. We stood and waited and then the music started and the stage literally shook with the beat and then The Boys appeared through the Choir on to the stage….. what a moment.
The song went perfectly with Neil Tennant almost guiding the Choir through the set. And almost as soon as we had begun the moment had ended, but what a moment. Unforgettable with special thanks to the Pet Shop Boys for allowing us to share the stage with them.
There are so many to thank for making the weekend so successful and memorable it would take another page. But special thanks must go to Luke Bainbridge of Festival No 6, John Eifion and Liz our Musical leadership team, Wyn Symonds who worked so hard to make things happen. And to the thousands who attended our performances both old and new.
The Choir will be featured in two programmes on Television in the coming weeks.
Firstly on the 31st January the Choir will be appearing on the welsh programme 'Noson Lawen' on S4C which was recorded in Dolgellau. And secondly the Choirs version of Uprising by Muse will be featured at some stage during Scrum V Six Nations preview show on Sunday the 1st February.
We are not sure as to how the song will be featured but we are certainly looking forward to hearing this item.
2015 is starting well for us.
At last our version of ‘Uprising’ by Muse is now available to download on Itunes.
You can buy it here!
How time flies. The fourth Festival No 6 was upon us and we were lucky enough to get an invite back to this
magical event. This year was different in that we were told that we could ‘do our own thing’ and that we did not have to do a cover version of one of the headline acts so we chose one for ourselves and hoped it would be as well received as previous efforts. Grace Jones would have been very difficult to cover, so to speak !!!
This year was different. We had our normal Friday night performance but on the Saturday we would be taking part in the World Premier of a 3D audio version of Under Milk Wood by Keith Allen showing on a big screen in the Piazza with the Choir singing ‘La Vergine’ at the beginning of the film with Buddug Verona James as a soloist and then Eli Jenkins Prayer at the end.
The Friday night arrived with grey clouds overhead, would this dampen the spirits of the audience? ….. Not in a million years. The reception, once again was amazing with people packed in at every vantage point which never ceases to amaze us. And so to the performance. Halfway through and two things happened… one, the heavens opened, and two unfortunate technicians had to stand, holding a plastic sheet over Liz our accompanist, so not only did she have soggy copies, and a headtorch she now couldn’t see the Conductor but somehow or other managed to keep going. This coincided with the ‘premier’ of our cover song namely One Day Like This by Elbow which was received at the end by a fantastic reception, and as several twitter users remarked “the best yet”. At the end of our ‘set’, the response was brilliant.
The Saturday performance posed numerous problems. The Choir had to start singing La Vergine exactly three seconds after the opening credits started, which sounds easy except the Choir, Conductor and accompanist were behind the screen!! With John peering into the darkness for a cue, we came in, smack on time. The soloist Buddug James complimented the Choir perfectly with a performance that was both powerful and sensitive as required. Again, comments on the internet remarked “a magical experience”. Many Thanks to Buddug.
We arrived on Sunday for our final performance in bright sunshine and no wind…. Perfect. The afternoon performance always has the question of whether the audience will be as numerous as previously. No problem, there were people everywhere, stretching to all corners of the Piazza. Even when Liz walked down to check the keyboard, dressed in her glittering sequined Welsh flag dress, the applause rang out. It bode well for the rest of the performance.
And so it was, the Choir revisited past Festival covers and sang Uprising by Muse with Rich Roberts giving his all in the solo bit, Blue Monday which had started our adventure off in 2012, and another performance of our Elbow cover which again received a fantastic response. The response at the end was breathtaking for the Choir and this always amazes us as a large number of those present would not normally go within a hundred miles of a Male Voice Choir concert, but here they were, on their feet and cheering and shouting for more.
So that was it, singing done, many interviews and filming completed, a very tiring but stupendous weekend.
Many, many thanks to John our Conductor and Liz our accompanist who as always did a fantastic job. To Festival N.o6, Portmeirion and the absolutely fantastic audiences. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!
Photographs of the Choirs recent appearance at the Grand opening of Llechwedd’s newest attraction are available to view on our Gallery page.
Well, after months of practice the big day had arrived. The Brythoniaid competing at the National Eisteddfod for the first time in years with a long trip to Abergavenny, yes a North Wales Choir travelling South to compete.....very risky. It was a very early start for the Choir, too early for one member, who missed the coach but much to his credit he then drove alone all the way down, with a slight detour to Welshpool!!!!!!!!!
On arrival at the Eisteddfod site the weather was very warm and with little time to spare, into the nearest marquee for a rehearsal. This can be a confidence breaker, but it went well with John reasonably happy. Then with the Choir singing next to last it was the long wait for the competition with eight very good choirs taking part, it was going to be some challenge.
At last our time came, with nerves jangling, especially for a number of members who had not competed before, and even for those who had, we took to the stage. We had heard many of the Choirs before us sing so we knew that the standard was very high. It was lovely to hear our supporters cheering us on. Straight into our first song, Liz giving us our opening few notes, before we began, unaccompanied, into Jerusalem from I Lombardi. One thing which was evident was the focus on John and the response to his conducting.
This one went well and gave us confidence to the second song, the unaccompanied, Kwmbayah. This song looks simple to sing but is full of tuning pitfalls. At its conclusion, it was a good sign to see all three judges applauding and the reaction of the audience. The final 'big' song "Bryniau Melynion" by Gareth Glyn. This song is always a challenge at the best of times but we managed to get to it's climactic end without collapsing, especially the first tenors. Our performance ended with a smile on John Eifion’s face, which doesn't happen often, so we were happy with our performance.
Then it was the long wait for the adjudication with lots of unofficial adjudications taking place between us with all sorts of results being aired. Then came the official version. Most of the Choirs collecting in the waiting area together to listen. This is the worst part of the whole proceedings. As the adjudicator went through each choir in turn being very constructive in his appraisals. The he came to us and was very complimentary from the outset, but we were all waiting for the dreaded word "but", it did not come. Then the result, Cor Meibion Taf third, Cor Meibion Machynlleth second, and first.......... Y Brythoniaid.
To say it went rather crazy at the rear of the pavilion is an understatement. The emotion of the moment was clear to see especially when John joined us with the trophy, with many a tear being shed. Even for those who had experienced this before, it was a special moment.
A huge thank you is due to both John Eifion our conductor and Liz Ellis our accompanist for their extremely hard work and patience and also Huw Alan who stepped in on the piano when required and did a great job. Many Thanks to All. Next stop Festival No6....