Friday Evening Concert for the Forget-Me-Not Chorus

On Friday 21 April, the Aber Valley MVC will be gearing up for a concert at St. Helen’s church in Caerphilly which will be in aid of the Forget-Me-Not Chorus. Starting at 7pm the concert will see the choir perform a range of music from its 2017 repertoire and it promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment. The Aber Valley Male Voice Choir has just returned from a successful tour to sunny Bournemouth and they are looking forward to singing in front of a home crowd.

Paul Newman, Chairman of the choir is keenly anticipating this Friday’s performance. He said: “It is a brilliant cause, as the Forget-Me-Not Chorus helps to provide weekly choral classes for dementia sufferers and their carers. Having witnessed the calming effect music can have on a dementia sufferers, I am keen that we help support this cause.”

You can find out more about the Forget-Me-Not Chorus on their website: http://www.forgetmenotchorus.com

Aber Valley Celebrates St. David’s Day at Penyrheol Community Centre

The Aber Valley MVC braved some torrential late winter weather in order to perform a wonderful St. David’s Day concert at the Penyrheol Community Centre on Wednesday 1st March. The men of the Aber Valley were joined by Joanne Griffiths, one third of local trio Serin, and up-and-coming soprano Katie Phillips.

The choir performed a range of music from its Welsh language repertoire, including classics such as ‘Myfanwy’ and ‘Tydi a Roddaist’ as well as a couple of songs the boys have been working on over the last few weeks. Some of the newly worked on pieces included the late Leonard Cohen’s classic ‘Hallelujah’ and Billy Joel’s lesser known work ‘And So It Goes’.

Joanne performed as a solo act which did nothing to diminish her outstanding voice, her rendition the timeless Welsh lullaby ‘Suo Gan’ being a particular highlight. Meanwhile, Katie, who is a student at Lewis Girls’ School, produced a polished performance – wowing the audience with an American folk song entitled ‘The Water is Wide’.

Away from the music, the audience enjoyed a plethora of Welsh cakes and sales of the choir’s CD went very well indeed!

The choir now prepares for a busy few weeks with concerts for a range of worthy charitable causes such as LATCH, the Forget-Me-Not Chorus and Breast Cancer Research. We look forward to seeing you at our forthcoming events.

Happy New Year – Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

The Aber Valley MVC has enjoyed a spectacular 2016. We enjoyed not one, but two international visits and performed at a dozens of concerts, fundraisers and weddings. It was a record breaking year for the choir (we have never had quite so many concerts!) and by Christmas, the choristers had earned a thoroughly deserved break. However, now we are into 2017, it is time to go again and rehearsals have begun in earnest, with the choir getting their teeth into some new pieces of music.

We will be making our first public performance of 2017 at the Twyn Community Centre, Caerphilly on Saturday 28th January from 10.30am where we will be holding a 3-hour sponsored sing. Choristers will be fundraising for the choir by collecting sponsorships for this event, so we do hope that friends of the choir can give generously. Following our sponsored sing, our next public engagement will be our ever-popular annual St. David’s Day concert at the Penyrheol Community Centre on Wednesday 1st March, at 7.30pm.

Our ‘Events’ page has now been updated with details of our confirmed engagements and keep an eye on the website and our social media (Facebook and Twitter) for all of the latest choir news. We wish you all a happy and healthy 2017 and we look forward to catching up with you soon. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd!

PS – Do remember that we are always on the lookout for new choristers to join us. So, perhaps you are retiring this year, or maybe you’re just looking for a new hobby, then come and check us out!

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Concert at the VAN-Guard Centre a Great Success

On Sunday 6 November, the Aber Valley MVC performed at a gala concert for the VAN-Guard Centre of the Caerphilly United Reformed Church. We were very pleased to perform in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and on the night we were able to raise over £1,160 which is a fantastic sum for such an important medical cause.

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Paul Newman, Aber Valley MVC Chairman was very pleased with the response from choristers and the community. He said: “The boys were on top form on Sunday and there was a great local crowd to hear us. It was particularly pleasing to see Hefin David, our local Assembly Member in attendance.” He added: “To raise such a generous sum at a time of year when there is a lot of financial pressure and charity fundraising is testament to the drawing power of the Aber Valley choir and our community’s generous spirit.”

John Wade, Honorary Treasurer of the VAN-Guard Centre thanked the choir for their efforts. He expressed his appreciation for a “memorable night” and also highlighted our bass section for particular praise on what was a fantastic Sunday evening of music.

The Aber Valley team now look forward to Remembrance Sunday in Senghenydd, singing at the URC from 10am. We have also updated our Events page with all the latest for a busy Christmas period and 2017 is fast taking shape.

Aber Valley MVC Annual Concert – Friday 21 October

The Aber Valley MVC is very proud to announce that it will be singing alongside a very special guest at its Annual Concert on Friday 21 October at St. Helen’s Church, Caerphilly.

Siobhán Owen, world renowned soprano and harpist will be flying all the way from Siberia to join the choir as it marks its 57th year. The concert will also feature piano duets from the marvellous Aurelia Jones and Harriet Jenkins.

The choir will be performing a diverse repertoire of music, traditional and contemporary including pieces that it has been working on since returning from the Loirent Iner-Celtic Festival in August.

During the festival in Brittany, the Aber Valley MVC sang alongside Miss Owen at the Stade du Moustoir in front of audiences of thousands. The boys were very impressed by the sheer power and ethereal quality of Siobhán’s singing and so to bring her home to Caerphilly, for what promises to be a magical evening of music, is a huge success.

Siobhán Owen emigrated from Llanfairpwllgwyngyll with her parents at a young age to move to Adelaide, Australia. She has performed across Australia and now brings her music to audiences across the world. She has a Celtic and folk repertoire although she has also been known to perform some jazz numbers. She has released 5 albums to dates despite only being 23 years of age.

Aurelia Jones is the Aber Valley MVC’s regular accompanist. She has been playing alongside the choir since 1982 and has performed in hundreds upon hundreds of choir concerts. She is joined by the choir’s Deputy Musical Director, Harriet Jenkins. Miss Jenkins has worked with the choir on a range of new music this summer, and she is also a fabulous pianist.

Tickets for this exciting concert are available now from Trevor Davies, AVMVC Secretary. He can be contacted on 02920 864 246 or 07443 591 381. Alternatively, for more information, you can contact Trevor via email on thed7144@gmail.com

We look forward to welcoming you all to St. Helen’s on the 21st.

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Aber Valley MVC Join Clare Robertson to Raise Money for Christian Aid

On Saturday 24 September, the Aber Valley MVC was very pleased to perform its first concert of the autumn. The boys travelled over the Severn to Cheltenham, home of National Hunt racing in order to perform a concert at the Highbury Congregational Church.

The concert in aid of Christian Aid took place in front of a packed out crowd who enjoyed some fine singing and a varied programme. Musical Director, Geraint Evans was on form as usual in his conducting duties and our brilliant accompanist, Aurelia Jones was magnificent as usual. Not only did she play for the choir, but she also accompanied the wonderful soloist, Clare Robertson. The Aber Valley MVC is very fortunate to sing alongside such talent. We were also ably assisted by our Deputy Musical Director/Accompanist, Harriet Jenkins who both conducted and accompanied several numbers. The choir is extraordinarily fortunate to have such a diverse and talented musical team to support it and help it wow audiences across the U.K. and indeed the world!

The next engagement for the choir will be Friday 30 September. The choir will perform at a concert in aid of the Caerphilly Miners Centre for the Community at St. Helen’s Church, Caerphilly. Tickets are available on the door and the concert starts at 7pm. We look forward to welcoming you there.

Recruitment Evening

The Aber Valley MVC is hosting an Open Rehearsal at the Caerphilly Cons Club on Wednesday 28th September, from 6.30pm.

The choir, having just returned from a successful Summer tour to Lorient, France, is looking to recruit some new members who share our love of music, singing and, of course, “wine tasting!” We are hosting an Open Rehearsal so that men with an interest in the choir can come along, listen to our practice and have a go at singing, with no obligation. It will be an excellent chance to meet choristers, both new and veteran, and ask them about their time in the choir and what they get out of it.

It promises to be a fun, informal evening where we can reach out the the local community and show them the benefits are choir can bring. We hope to see you there.

We will also be hosting another Open Rehearsal on Wednesday 30th November at Bedwas RFC.

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All aboard the banter bus!

Concert for Christian Aid in Cheltenham on Saturday 24 September

The Aber Valley Male Voice Choir are pleased to announce that they will be performing a concert alongside soloist Clare Robertson at the Highbury Congregational Church in Cheltenham, on Saturday 24 September at 7pm.

Fresh from their return from the world’s biggest Celtic festival in Lorient, Brittany the choir will be performing a variety of music at the concert which will seek to raise money for Christian Aid’s “Healthier Futures for Women and Girls” project in Ethiopia. You can read more about this wonderful initiative here.

Advance tickets for the performance can be obtained from Highbury Congregational Church for £10.00 each. You can send a cheque payable to Highbury Congregational Church along with a stamped-addressed envelope to M. Michael, 9 Crown Drive,  Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham.  GL52 8EF. Alternatively, you can contact the church on 01242 677897 (or 238838) for further information. 

Aber Valley MVC Return from Successful Tour to World’s Biggest Celtic Festival

The men of the Aber Valley MVC have just returned from an unforgettable trip to the Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival. The festival, which hosts over 700,000 visitors every year, saw us perform 10 concerts at a variety of locations, including Stade du Moustoir, home to Lorient FC. It is estimated that we performed in front of over 40,000 people throughout the week.

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During our nightly concert at the Stade du Moustoir, we sang ‘Ar Lan y Môr’ and ‘Llanfair’ as we represented Wales alongside talented Welsh-born Australian singer-harpist Siobhan Owen. We then helped bring the show to its pulsating crescendo by singing ‘Highland Cathedral’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ with a massed pipe and drum band made up of our Irish, Scottish and Breton cousins.

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In addition to the spectacular concert in the stadium, we had the honour of representing Wales in the Grand Parade of Celtic Nations, where we “marched” through the centre of Lorient as the streets were lined with many thousands of cheering well-wishers. The parade took us through the centre of Lorient and we sang for the supporters as we passed. The humbling experience came to head in the stadium where the grandstand was packed with even more people.

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Other concerts included several in the Celtic Village and the Welsh Pavilion of the festival and at the impressive local church, l’Église de St. Louis. At the church we performed a somewhat different repertoire of religious and traditional Welsh music which was highly rated by a large audience. Away from the performances, the choir enjoyed excursions to Port St. Louis, Quimper and a few of the local bars!

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It was a huge honour and a privilege to have been invited back to the Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival for a second consecutive year. We had a brilliant time and we are very grateful to Claire and Hélène, our festival guides, and the musical team that worked hard to make our tour a success. Keep your eyes out on our Facebook, Twitter and website for more pictures of stories from our tour to Brittany. We will also be announcing concerts and events for the latter half of the year very soon.

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Aber Valley MVC to Perform at the World’s Biggest Celtic Festival this Week

The Aber Valley Male Voice Choir will be heading to France on 4 August to perform at the annual Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival. For the second year in a row, the choir will be representing Wales in the world’s biggest Celtic festival located in Lorient, Brittany. The choir will spend 8 days at the festival, which attracts over 700,000 visitors each year to enjoy the best of Welsh, Irish, Scottish and pan-Celtic culture. The Senghenydd-based choir will perform in a variety of locations, including the Welsh pavilion and the Stade du Moustoir, singing a wide range of music.

Chairman, Paul Newman expressed the choir’s enthusiasm for this year’s festival. “It is an honour to be invited back to Lorient,” he said. “It is the first time a Welsh choir has be invited back to perform at the festival for a second consecutive year, so we are keen to put on a show Wales can be proud of!” Geraint Evans, BEM, the Musical Director of the Aber Valley MVC also commented on the commitment of the choristers. “It is a testament to the hard work of the choristers that we have been invited back to the Festival Inter-celtique de Lorient. When we went there last year we had such a good time, especially as we thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. To go back again is simply incredible.”

The Festival Inter-celtique de Lorient runs from 5 to 14 August. More information about the festival can be found at www.festival-interceltique.bzh