Joint Gala Concert
Dunvant and Morriston rugby clubs faced up to each other on Dunvant's pitch in the Swalec Plate competition last Saturday afternoon, but that evening their respective male voice choirs were collaborating in a much more friendly event the other side of Swansea at Morriston's Tabernacle chapel, in a combined Gala Concert.
As Morriston's Musical Director, D. Huw Rees, is also Joint Accompanist with Dunvant, and the two choirs share Accompanist Hywel Evans, it was a smooth transition on the night.
Dunvant's Musical Director, Jonathan Rogers, and Huw Rees alternated the conducting of the combined Choir of over 120 voices as they performed a selection of music which included Welsh hymns, a spiritual, sacred music, West End show songs, and Eric Jones's "Y Tangnefeddwyr". It was appropriate that on the anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas they sang his "Eli Jenkins' Prayer" from "Under Milk Wood", set to music by A.H.D. Troyte.
Huw Tregelles Williams OBE was at Tabernacle's recently refurbished organ, and his mastery of the fine instrument added another dimension to the choir's performance.
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Guest soloist for the evening was Welsh baritone Gary Griffiths, who has recently been touring with the Welsh National Opera, for which he has received many excellent reviews. His programme included operatic arias, part of a Handel oratorio, Welsh folk songs, "Stars" from "Les Miserables" and, as an encore, the cheeky "Foggy Foggy Dew". Gary's operatic training shone through as he not only sang, but also enacted the songs. His stage presence and rich baritone voice will surely stand him in good stead when he represents Wales in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Gary was accompanied by the excellent Hywel Evans.
As witnessed by the reactions of members of the audience as they reluctantly left the chapel at the end of the concert, it was an evening of the highest quality and power of Male Voice singing, which uplifted all those fortunate to have been present.
The rugby game? A close result; Dunvant 8 - Morriston 13.