Voices Of The Valley 30/6/2017
Thirty members of Valley View High School choir in the Lackawanna Valley, Pennsylvania had been hand-picked for a two-week tour of south Wales. Their area has had strong links with ours since 90 mining families emigrated there from the Swansea Valley in 1830 to share their expertise in extracting anthracite, the fuel that enabled USA industry to flourish.
This concert, held in Morriston Comprehensive school’s overflowing theatre, was one of several they gave during their stay. Under the direction of their Choral Director Gina Pascolini and accompanied by Marty Ort and student Eric Lee they gave a highly polished performance, which included Freddy Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody (with torches!), and a lovely arrangement of Calon Lan in Welsh. The rhythms of Sililiza had many toes in the audience tapping, and Kasidy Leggin overcame a problematic sound system to give a creditable performance of Death Of A Bachelor.
With their conductor Ruth Evans and accompanist Craig Rees the youngsters of Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School choir sang a confident and most enjoyable programme, which included Calon Lan sung to the tune of The Rose, Doh Ray Me, and Open My Eyes Lord. So much did we enjoy hearing them that we hope to invite them to sing with us again before too long.
Three students from the Comprehensive school added to the evening’s entertainment: guitarist Sam Ellis played Surfing With The Aliens with a multi-track backing, Ellie Jones sang Bring Him Home and Forever Young, deftly overcoming a momentary mental block, and Kyle Owens sang Bowie’s Life On Mars.
Conducted by D. Huw Rees and accompanied by Hywel Evans, our own programme was quite short to allow the young people to enjoy entertaining in public, and it ended with the USA youth choir joining us in singing Rachie, again in Welsh, and without copies! They also joined in the Welsh national anthem to bring an enjoyable concert to a close.
There are several photos on our Photo Gallery page.