One of Wales’ oldest choirs, the Whitland Male Choir, is emerging from the Covid pandemic as busy as ever.
The choir has remained united throughout the lockdown periods by meeting weekly online and has even managed to learn a few new songs via the internet.
Choir President Richard Lewis explained: “I’m sure our online rehearsals have been essential in maintaining the spirit of the choir throughout the pandemic and the benefits are evident now.
“Unfortunately we have heard of a number of choirs struggling because members have not returned and it was only last week that we learned of a nearby choir missing.
NO MORE NEWS:
“I am happy to say that we are always recruiting singers at Whitland. We have just welcomed three new singers and we have an average of nearly 40 members at each rehearsal.
During the winter, the choir sang
- twice in the grounds of Whitland Abbey;
- to an outdoor memorial at Narberth Rugby Club for one of its most loyal supporters, the late Arthur Bates;
- at the Old Point House in Angle to celebrate the first National Laverbread Day;
- at a charity event in Wiston
- and at a gala concert, supporting British TV stars Got Talent, Richard and Adam, at Folly Farm, Begelly for Narberth and Whitland Rotary Club.
The Folly Farm gig presented a challenge for the choir as they had to maintain social distancing and spread out over most of the theater stage, but it was a very successful and well-received gig.
Mr Lewis added: “There have been many challenges during the unprecedented closures and over the two years we have canceled 17 events. Thanks to the dedication of our musical team, Hefina Jones, Owain Lewis and Heather Jenkins and our backup singers, we have bounced back and look forward to the next few months.
The return to rehearsing together began in a chorister’s garden, then in the stand of the Whitland Rugby Club and for a few weeks in a workshop at Tȃf Valley Coaches and Llanboidy Market Hall before the choir could meet in its regular rehearsal locations.
The choir was due to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2020 with special concerts and a gala dinner, but everything had to be cancelled.
The dinner finally took place two years late and the choir welcomed Wynne Evans – the ‘Go Compare man’ and BBC Radio Wales presenter – as guest speaker.
Choir President Brian Jones told members and their guests:
“In West Wales we are very lucky to be able to enjoy our way of life. We support our culture and the Whitland Choir is one such group that is central to preserving our own unique culture.
The choir is always looking to welcome new members and chairman Richard Lewis added: “We are a very friendly group and new singers find it easy to fit in. If you like to sing and be in good company, we invite you to come and join us. We can assure you of a warm welcome.
Whitland Male Choir meets at Ysgol Dyffryn Tȃf, North Road, Whitland every Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m.
The choir’s next concert will be at St Johns Church in Tenby on Tuesday 31st May at 8pm.