Llangollen International Eisteddfod

“We are living under the same sun and we are one!”

Bore da (Good morning).

Would a Welsh crowd, so captivated by the recent performance of its football team, have room in its heart to welcome a choir from Manchester England at its Eisteddfod in Llangollen, a key part of Welsh culture? And for some reason, I felt more nervous than usual – well it was a big event after all. However, after a brief warm up in the glorious St Collen’s Church suddenly it seemed we were there on the Royal Mail Stage in front of a pretty full audience, with few familiar friends and family faces. But I kept my focus on Liz our conductor and was soon in the moment and singing. We did sound good and it was an appreciative audience and suddenly all my doubts disappeared. Liz, as ever, managed not only to get each of us to sing beyond our usual capacity but facilitated the choir as a whole to be greater than the sum of its parts. Tudor not only played a key role in organising our visit to the Eisteddfod but he also fluently translated Liz’s words to into Welsh twice to great applause!

There were choirs and dancers from many parts of the world there – Lithuania, New Zealand, Philippines, Estonia, USA etc to sing, listen and mingle. Suddenly our choir’s repertoire of songs from all over the world made a lot of sense. And in the afternoon, when we did two busking sessions which were great fun, some of our audience joined in singing along with us including a few native to Swahili and Hawaiian! Our Welsh hosts showed us that you can both honour your own culture and welcome and joyously engage with other cultures which I guess it was the International Eisteddfod is all about.

Hwyl fawr (Goodbye)

William West

About Manchester Community Choir

Manchester Community Choir exists to bring together and to encourage people from all sections of the community to sing together and share the joy of song.
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