The Guelph Chamber Choir will be visiting England and Wales on a 17-day performing tour, this July. The highlight of the tour will be experiencing and participating in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.
Each July around 4,000 competitors and as many as 50,000 visitors flock to witness the dazzling spectacle and experience the magic of Llangollen. For one week in July each year, choirs, musicians and dancers from around the world descend on this small Welsh town. During the day, international musicians and dancers compete in over 20 high quality competitions. Each evening renowned artists, many of whom started their careers in Llangollen, present concerts on the main stage.
The festival has taken place every summer since 1947 and is part of a uniquely Welsh tradition of Eisteddfod that can be traced back to 1176, under the auspices of Lord Rhys, at his castle in Cardigan.
Participation at the festival is by invitation only. The Guelph Chamber Choir will compete in the Mixed Choirs Class. Each choir presents a contrasting programme of up to 11 minutes of music, including at least one original composition composed after 1962. The winner will be invited to compete in the Pavarotti Choir of the World Competition during the Saturday evening concert of the Eisteddfod.
Members of the tour choir are already hard at work, learning and memorizing the competition repertoire, carefully selected by conductor Gerald Neufeld. The choir will perform Leonard Enns’s challenging Te Deum Brevis, the beautifully compelling Prayer of the Children by Kurt Bestor and the rollicking Ottawa valley folksong Les Raftsmen arranged by Ruth Watson Henderson.
Other tour highlights include a performance at Westminster Hall in London’s Houses of Parliament as part of the festival in honour of this year’s Royal Jubilee celebrations, and performances at notable cathedrals including Shewsbury Cathedral, Coventry Cathedral, Derby Cathedral and the Cathedral of the Peak in Buxton, England.
With busy lives and families, not every member of the regular choir is able to take time for the tour, the touring choir is complemented by guest singers from Toronto, London and as far away as Windsor.
The touring choir will give a Farewell Concert on Saturday June 23, 2012 at 7.30 p.m. in Harcourt Memorial United Church, one week before flying to London on June 30.
Tickets are $15 each. There are special priced tickets at $10 for those 30 and under and $5 for youth with the eyeGO programme. Single tickets are available through choir or board members, or at the door.
To discover more, please visit the choir website at www.guelphchamberchoir.ca or call 519-836-5103.
You can get a sneak peak at next season’s programme HERE.