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.
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.
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.
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!
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.