by Laura Bradshaw, Project Facilitator
This has been an interesting, fun and productive term for the choir. The AGM saw a couple of new choir members step up to take on committee roles. As well as singing we have done much talking – feeding back about how the previous terms have gone as well as planning our new term together. Our first performance was a joint performance at the Glanfa in the Wales Millennium Centre where we sang alongside the Cardiff Canton Singers, Chapter Singers and Barry Belles, also adding a couple of our own songs. This was a very well received performance by both the audience and the organisers and sound engineers at the Glanfa. People always seem to sit up and listen as these are not ‘traditional’ choirs but unique and very ‘human’ choirs with real heart and individuality.
Our next event that took place this summer was a fundraising idea brought to us by our amazing young choir member Katie. She wanted us to do a ‘Family Fun Day’ for the local community to help raise funds for the choir. Her inspiration and enthusiasm as well as the obvious work she had already put in in researching all the different aspects of this idea rubbed off on the choir in a really positive way and the choir also started to come up with ways we could add to the day and different stalls we could run. There was a raffle and Katie very kindly donated various prizes from many outlets at Bridgend Designer Outlet – as well as other gifts donated by the choir or their family and friends. There was a huge tombola, coconut shy, cake and tea stall, Bouncy Castle, jewelry-making workshop, white elephant stall, face painting, choir performance, and countless other stalls as well as a community Dog Show! I think there were around 14 dogs all waiting patiently for their turns with their owners on the village green – what an amazing sight! At one point the heavens opened and Alex, the Director of Valley and Vale, allowed the dogs to go into the Sardis Chapel to stay dry before the show. Of course this was a brilliant excuse for the choir to sing ‘Going to the Chapel’ with the new words ‘And we’re going to the Dog Show’! We also had huge support from Valley and Vale Community Arts and their staff team on the day. The choir were also joined by 8 Cardiff singing friends – which really helped as they could keep the singing and music going whilst all the Betws Community Choir members were busy helping with the stalls. Fairly regularly the Betws Community Choir sing at events with other choirs and have built up strong relationships with them over time.
The day was a huge success with people from the community having fun and saying that they had seen old friends they hadn’t seen for a long time, and they’d all had a lovely day. All the people from Cardiff really loved being a part of it and conveyed to me the huge respect they had for Katie and the whole choir for putting on such fabulous event in such a selfless way.
The Betws Community Choir would love to welcome new members in September. Please contact Valley and Vale Community Arts if you are interested in joining, on 01656 729246 or email [email protected]