Our performance at Caerphilly’s BIG CHEESE celebrations began in the Inner Ward of the castle. Watched by an enthralled crowd, a larger-than-life-size puppet of “Gwrach-y-Rhybin” (the Moat Hag) led a procession of drummers and dancers around the castle before dramatically arriving at the Inner Ward itself. As the drummers struck their last note the choir burst into song with an Aboriginal call-and-response chant which echoed back and forth between the walls of the Great Hall and the battlements.
What a wonderful way to complete the choir’s second season!
This song of welcome was immediately followed by a more gentle choral invitation to follow the choir into the Great Hall. Choir and audience wound their way from their positions around the castle grounds into the historic surroundings of the main meeting place of this 13th century monument.
The choir’s short programme began with a group of pieces that most aptly fitted the surroundings. “Ah Robyn”, “Pastyme With Good Company” and “Glory to thee, my God, this night” were all penned by composers who lived at a time when the castle was just two centuries old! A Welsh flavour was added with the beautiful folk song, “Ar Lan Y Môr” and Karl Jenkins’ energetic, “Mara Marakaya”. This was complemented with an arrangement of the American folk song, “The Gift To Be Simple” itself followed by John Rutter’s setting of the words to the old Victorian hymn, “All Things Bright And Beautiful”. The choir returned to America for Paul Simon’s folk classic, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” before ending with the lively gospel song, “Praise His Holy Name” with audience participation!!
What a wonderful way to complete the choir’s second season! Choristers and audience alike had enjoyed the special atmosphere and superb acoustics of our wonderful castle’s Great Hall.