I report as chairman on the choir’s activities for the year ending 30 June 2015. I apologise for not holding the meeting earlier but I hope you understand our time as officials was occupied primarily earlier this year with arrangements for the Royal Albert Hall concert.
As I said in opening the meeting, we have paid our respects following the passing of both Gareth Lewis from Cefneithin and Terry Evans from Tumble in September last year as well as Gethin Morgan from Penygroes in March this year.
Gareth was a valued member of the choir both as a chorister and committee member. He had been with some of us in Belgium just a month before his death for the World War 1 commemorations and his contribution to the choir is sadly missed. Terry had retired from the choir some years ago and had not been in the best of health while Gethin was a much respected 2nd Tenor during his long association with the choir and was choir marshall when I joined the choir several years ago.
Looking back in the diary, we performed at an open air service in Llannon Church in July last year and I believe our decision not to continue under the proposed open air arrangements as requested by the vicar to be a right and understandable one.
The following week we had the annual trip with an enjoyable visit to the Big Pit, Blaenavon followed by refreshments in the nearby Rhymney Brewery on the return journey which also included a comfort stop at Llandovery.
After the summer break, the choir resumed rehearsals which were mainly occupied with preparation of items for the Royal Albert Hall concert in May 2015 but we found the time to organise a Cheese & Wine Evening in Neuadd Fach, Porthyrhyd in October which some might not remember. My thanks to John Williams and Charlie Thomas for doing the bulk of the work involved with that event.
As we headed for Christmas we took part in concerts with Burry Port MVC at Greenfield Church, Llanelli and with the Royal Signals at St David’s Church, Dafen before making our usual annual visits to Bryntawel and Melbourne House. We ended 2014 with a well supported open committee meeting in the Prince of Wales, Porthyrhyd.
In the New Year we held our Annual Dinner at the Tumble Leisure Centre in January. It was an excellent night enjoyed by all. My thanks to Roger and Ken and especially to John for making all the arrangements.
The highlight for many in 2015 was the long weekend in London for the Albert Hall concert in May. I believe the decision to go from Thursday-Sunday was the right one as feedback has been very positive. Its a long time since the Mynydd Mawr Choir has had 3 coaches going to an event. My thanks again to John, Roger and everyone else who contributed to the success of that weekend.
In May this year, I was privileged to be elected Chairman of the Welsh Association of Male Choirs for the next 3 years and I thank the choir for the nomination. When I visit other choirs as part of my duties I’m always proud to say that I am from the Mynydd Mawr MVC – one that has a rich history.
Though looking back is fine, I would like to concentrate on the future and I am pleased that Paul Lewis, Laurence McKee and Wyn Edwards have volunteered to help with the arrangements for the 50th Anniversary celebrations which begin with a Cawl a Chân in in Llanddarog Village Hall in March next year.
Whilst we have lost some members through retirement and ill health we are more than pleased to have new members and if we as a choir give them all the help and support we can, I am sure that they will enjoy and remain with us. Recruitment of new members is vital for the future of the choir as is a choir diary that contains music events. I’m pleased that in the run up to Christmas this year, we have more engagements than last year.
In closing, none of what I have previously said would have happened had it not been for the continued hard work and dedication of our musical team – Jeff Thomas and Betsan Howell. Both show their commitment to the choir by rarely missing a practice.
Thanks also to my fellow officers, Charles, Roger and John whose work behind the scenes continues year on year. Thanks to the other committee members for giving their time in helping run the affairs of the choir and to every other chorister – thanks for your support of the choir in the last twelve months.
We need also to remember that we have an active Ladies Committee in the choir and I thank all its members for their support of the choir.
I hope we have an enjoyable year ahead. Diolch yn fawr i chi gyd.