Australian Welsh Male Choir

Wednesday 21st February ‘Singing in the Pub’

This exciting venture heralded an evolving chapter in the history of the choir. Our MD Tom Buchanan has seen what was an idea morph into reality. Along the way Geoff Selby ably assisted Tom in securing this fabulous hotel in Mornington.

This venture looks like shaping up to be a win/win enterprise for the hotel and the further promotion of the Australian Welsh Male Choir to Welsh expats living on the Mornington Peninsula.

The image from the bistro shows the hotel’s spectacular view of Port Phillip Bay. On Wednesday it was a very busy place with patrons dining and remaining for the singing in the upstairs function room.

 

The publicity for the event worked a treat with a crowd of 170+ in the upstairs function room which was abuzz with energy and expectation, as the images show. With 33 choristers, wives, friends, a group of 11 from the Melbourne Welsh Church, ex-pats, and people who felt drawn to the spirit of the valleys, rugby, and the sounds of the language of the angels, Kirk’s was definitely the place to be.

We were absolutely delighted to have among us Kees (pronounced Kays) Huysmans, the winner of 2016 National Eisteddfod of Wales Blue Riband. Kees is also the guest soloist at this year’s Dydd Gwyl Dewi Gymanfa Ganu — St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne.

He lead us in the singing of that funny Welsh song, “Cyfri’r Geifr” – “Counting the Goats”. The last verse is definitely not one for the faint hearted especially with a metronome mark of = 132 and a slight acceleration to the end, meant some of the patrons were left behind.

There were 5×2 song brackets with a song in English and one in Cymreig. The first song Senzenina (Sth. African) was a great way to begin, this was followed by ‘Hiraeth’. Other songs included, “The Fields of Athenry”, “Cwm Rhondda”, “Calon Lân”, “There is Nothing Like a Dame”, “G’Day, G’Day”, “Gwahoddiad”, and fittingly, “M.V.C. Anthem”, ending with “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau”.

A quick note on “G’Day, G’Day” this was the premier performance of what is a very Australian song. You can’t get more dinky di than this one. Incidentally, Tom has only recently arranged this song for us, and judging by the enthusiastic response by those gathered on Wednesday, it will become a great song to sing on any overseas tour.

The M.V.C. Anthem is the perfect party piece. Ideally suited for “Singing in the Pub”, it addresses the question of recruitment, in a whimsical, and tongue in cheek, way.

Ending with a three-fold Welsh style Amen, we hope for enquiries to follow, with an influx of men, who, might just like to hang ‘out with a bunch of blokes who have discovered they can sing’. 

(Words from M.V.C. Anthem, Copyright © 2016 Tom Buchanan).

Our next “Singing in the Pub” will be at Kirk’s on the Esplanade, Mornington, on the last Wednesday of the month — Wednesday 29th March at 8pm. See you there.

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