Llandudno January 2004 New Mill Male Voice Choir
Llandudno in winter is ideal for a choir workshop – not too busy and reasonable hotel rates. Over forty from New Mill made the journey this year. Whilst we regularly travel long distances to perform, sometimes even staying overnight, the Llandudno weekend is the one trip without wives. Except for Eddie Hambleton, that is. He’s married to the musical director.
Llandudno is no concert tour. Performances are strictly informal. Take The Kings Head for example, next to the tram terminus at the bottom of Great Orme. The landlord got an extra barrel of Tram Driver in for us this year.
No, the comfortable ritual of Llandudno in January is all about learning. You learn a lot. Two new pieces to start with. American Trilogy and Aberystwyth. And old pieces, brought out of mothballs and heard as if for the first time. Fancy, all those years singing the wrong notes.
New and established choir members alike learn new words. Song lyrics for instance. And the name of that bald bloke way over in the baritones that you’ve been nodding at for five years.
During the morning following The Kings Head gig, the tenors discovered they could sing like basses and Clive Hetherington realized he could play the piano – if he pressed a key down hard enough with his index finger. His smile of achievement was magical.
Finally, we never go anywhere without learning more of the talents of Anne Levitt, our pianist, and Elizabeth Hambleton, our musical director.
There is of course a serious side to the weekend. At least four hours of rehearsal, a wealth of informal singing and a visit to Betwys-y-Coed to meet with The Choir of Choirs Cantorion Colin Jones. Colin’s choristers are the pick of the N. Wales choirs and make an awesome sound. We have been privileged to share a concert platform with them.