Côr y Cwm - Un Ydym Ni
At the 2013 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Côr y Cwm celebrated its fifth anniversary. The choir was formed especially in 2008 to compete at this international festival of music and dance. Since its first appearance at that Eisteddfod, Côr y Cwm has established itself as a prominent part of the Rhondda Valley’s cultural scene. As musical directors, our aim has been to nurture young people who are proud of their heritage, their language and culture and to achieve this in an area that has witnessed a resurgence in Welsh pride and identity. As a choir, we have established a strong musical society that has grown to be one of the most successful children’s choirs in Wales. Côr y Cwm has a total of 40 members who rehearse twice a week at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn. The choir has participated in music festivals, competitions and concerts all over Wales and beyond.
Without a doubt, one of our highlights was winning the first prize in the Junior Children’s Choir category at the 2009 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Following this success, the choir has had many others, including reaching the final youth choir round of the 2012 Choir of the Year competition and appearing in the final round of the 2013 S4C Côr Cymru competition, where the choir won the “viewers’ vote” prize awarded during the live broadcast. Having secured several first place prizes at the Urdd Eisteddfod, in 2012 the choir made its debut appearance at the National Eisteddfod. The winning streak continued – Côr y Cwm took first place in the youth category for singers under 25. This was recognised as a major achievement by such a young choir.
At the 2011 Llandeilo Festival the choir had the honour of sharing the stage with the celebrated Welsh harpist Catrin Finch. Another highlight for the choir was to be selected for the first Welsh performance of Karl Jenkins’s The Peacemakers, conducted by the composer himself at the Llangollen International Pavilion. The choir has received several invitations to perform as part of official events at the National Welsh Assembly, including the official royal opening of the Assembly Government by the Queen. The choir also performs at an annual charity event held at St David’s Hall, and has shared the stage with renowned artists, brass bands and orchestras in a variety of concert venues throughout Wales.
To us, Côr y Cwm is much more than a choir: it’s a family. We feel privileged to share the company of so many talented and committed young performers and also their friends and families – the backbone support of the choir. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to them all for five happy years full of laughter, unforgettable experiences, kindness, priceless support and an everlasting bond of friendship.
This album is a summary of these experiences and memories, and it highlights specific stages during the choir’s five-year journey. We sincerely hope that you enjoy these performances as much as we have enjoyed recording them. The experience of recording, made at the school hall in Llwyncelyn, was pure pleasure from beginning to end. Thanks to everyone for their support over the past five years, and a special thanks to Mrs. Rhiannon Williams for her kind support and generous donation towards the cost of this recording. We look forward to an exciting future for Côr y Cwm!