Pen-y-Bont Fawr is a small village in north Wales, moulded into the foothills of the Berwyn Mountains between Llanfylin in the south and Bala in the north. Although a small village, it can claim the envied distinction in having produced a thriving male voice choir. Sixty three years ago the embryonic Cor Meibion Penybontfawr choir was formed by a small group of like-minded and enthusiastic individuals. Nurtured by success and support the choir now has more than 40 members.
The enthusiasm of the founder members has been such that choristers' sons and relatives have been encouraged to join, creating a family atmosphere and retaining the vital ingredients of youthful vitality coupled with the experience of age. While always in demand locally it has been the custom of the choir, once a year, to accept invitations to sing further afield, and an invitation way back in 2014 from the chairman of the Mayo International Choral Festival, Edward Horkan, has resulted in the choir’s four-day visit this October to Mayo. The customary annual trip has also resulted in performances in prestigious venues such as Waterford Cathedral, an inaugural concert in the Web Theatre Newtownards in Northerb Ireland, Lockerbie in Scotland, Isle of Man, Jersey, and beyond.The choir has won several awards, notable among them first on four occasions at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
The repertoire of the choir, while retaining some cosmopolitan aspects, remains firmly rooted in Welsh choral tradition, and the audience are in for a treat in Christchurch, Castlebar. 2011 was a very important year for the choir in that it was the year of the choir’s 60th anniversary and the choir marked the occasion with the release of a second CD and a celebration concert featuring a number of well known artists and performers which was broadcast on S4C. In 2012 Rhonwen Jones of Llandderfel became musical director, driving the choir with an ambitious busy yearly schedule of performances and rehearsals.
The concert will take place on Saturday October 22 at 8pm in Christchurch, Castlebar, and tickets cost €10 and are available from Downtown Records, Castlebar, or on the door. The concert will also feature the Irish traditional music youth group The Rolling Waves Band under the guidance of John Killkenny.