Founded in 2004                                                                President - Lord Berkeley of Knighton

Llanfair Singers

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In The Bleak Mid-Winter

Founded in 2004                                                                President - Lord Berkeley of Knighton

Llanfair Singers

NEWS 2019

For previous year’s news, click here

And from before 2015

Front of Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey July 2016

Durham Cathedral July 2019 Durham Cathedral July 2019

Durham 2019

There is only one place to start this article and that is by saying a HUGE


 to everyone who supported the Llanfair Singers and Mig's Band charity concert and supper in December. Thanks to your efforts we raised well over £1400 and were able to round that amount up such that each of the three international charities was presented with a cheque for £500. Given that each charity was connected to a performer at the concert you will appreciate just how much that meant to us all. Thank you. Next Christmas, as part of our 3 year rotation between international, national, and local charities we shall be supporting a national charity.

With the Clun Concert on the 9th December, 2018 and the Everest Hall one on 15th December you could be forgiven for thinking that our singing for Christmas was over. However, no choir can enter the Christmas season without the wonderful abundance of Carol Services. So it was no surprise that we were still to be found singing -  at Heyope, Knighton Community Centre and, just two days before Christmas, at St Mary's, Llanfair.

The Llanfair Singers at Knighton Community Centre

‘Llanfair choir raise the roof for WasteAid’

From the Waste Aid website; read more…

After two weeks of relaxation it was time to return to the serious business of singing again, with a whole programme ahead of us and much new music to learn.  The arrival of St David's Day meant that, once again, the mastery of Welsh pronunciation was to the fore - particularly with the concert at the Community Centre on 2nd March, the Patronal Festival service at Heyope on the 3rd and, even though firmly in Shropshire, those same skills will be in use whilst singing at Bucknell Church on the 9th.  Plenty of opportunities for you to join us!

Once our other engagements have been completed, including a "meditation" at Llanfair Church on Good Friday, the choir heads off  to the Stour Valley, in Suffolk, to sing at a concert hosted by the Stour Valley Singers on 4th May. This is part of our biennial concert series with them.  Immediately upon our return - and before we've  even had time to draw breath - we head to Chapel Lawn on 11th May to introduce their new organ.  Whilst that concert begins at 7.30pm there will be canapés and cava served at 6.30 pm before the concert - a rather important feature I think you'll agree -  although not necessarily the best order of events for those of us singing!.

As we finally come up for air we head off to Durham to sing Choral Evensong in the Cathedral on the 1st July.  I suspect that, as always, there will be many other requests for us to sing in the interim and one thing is certain - we have learnt more than enough music recently to be able to do justice to any request!

Following on from the last time, I am delighted to report that all the money raised from the charity concert has now been received by the three charities - no mean feat for our treasurer who has had to negotiate overseas bank transfers with enough hurdles to make most give up!  Thank you, again, for all your support.

We received very appreciative letters from all of the charities but I shall let the words of Andrew Lewis suffice. He was able not only to take our gift to his charity with him but to do so in the form of the much needed books that the school were so desperate for: "This has been a huge success - the children benefit from having new text books where all the answers have not been repeatedly filled in by previous users. Nima (the teacher) has been empowered by being able to select the materials SHE wants. THANK YOU."  

Whilst many of us enjoyed an Easter break the rest of the choir were incredibly busy rehearsing for the Good Friday service of meditation at St Mary's, Llanfair. The performances (which included Haydn's Kyrie and Agnus Dei and John IV of Portugal's  Crux Fidelis) were most moving.

April 2019

With Easter over, it was off to Sudbury in Suffolk for the May Bank holiday weekend. There, the choir was royally hosted and entertained by the Stour Valley Singers in advance of our biennial concert together.  Each choir sang their own programme with two solo items by Graham Trew and Becky Sherman - both of which were hugely applauded. For the finale,  four items were sung by the two choirs jointly.  This was our travelling "Chamber Ensemble" comprising 19 Llanfair Singers covering all eight voice parts and it was good to be repeatedly told that "the quality of our performance was outstanding" and to receive so  much praise from the large audience afterwards. An ego boost now and again does one no harm!  If you missed it (or wish to make your own judgement on quality)  then there is a great recording available from choir members at £3 per copy with all proceeds going to choir funds.

In St Peter's Church, Sudbury

With only five days breathing space we were all off again, but this time to Chapel Lawn  for the concert to celebrate the new organ in St Mary's Church. In true Llanfair Singers' style we appreciated the canapés and champagne - but being required to sing afterwards meant significant self-control.

June 2019  West goes East

Like all choirs, Llanfair SIngers have a uniform and, like all choirs it is a constant source of debate.  Not surprisingly the hunt is on for a new uniform which meets with universal approval (if such a thing is possible!) and to that end a cat-walk style fashion show was held recently at which members were invited to model the uniform that they believed we should be aiming for.  This being Llanfair Singers you will not be surprised to learn that the event involved refreshments - starting with a glass of Prosecco and a table groaning  with delights provided by the members.  All present were invited to vote for their uniform of choice and it was with relief that we were able to announce two clear winning outfits - one for the men, one for the ladies.  Now we have the fun of fine tuning the two so that they blend and provide us with a sartorial elegance that befits our singing!

After all this excitement we started rehearsals  not only for singing Choral Evensong at Durham Cathedral on 1st July but in readiness for next year's series of performances ........... and then, exhausted, we shall break for the summer, but not until we have enjoyed a well earned rest after the essential choir party with, you've guessed it,  much good food and wine.

The wonderful 'snacks' after modelling uniforms

Uniform Debate June 2019

That reliance upon each other builds in a real dedication to the choir and our trip to Durham certainly demonstrated that: two members discovered that other commitments meant that they had no choice but to  make the return journey in one day; another member's partner had just had their passport and money stolen whilst abroad the previous evening - having stayed to sort that out said member then travelled by train to arrive in time for the rehearsal; another couple had driven up the day before only for their car to break down 30 miles from Durham. They returned home at 4am on the back of a recovery vehicle and set off again in another car at 7am to arrive in time for the rehearsal.  Such is the level of dedication that the choir engenders in its members!

Needless to say the service was a wonderful experience and the choir received fulsome praise for their contribution not least from the vice Dean who immediately gave us an open invitation to return and offered to recommend the choir to the next Cathedral that we are to sing at!

Spare a thought, though, for the pressure that such last minute arrivals place upon the Directors of music - poor Graham could only know that he had a full complement capable of singing the psalm at that moment when the rehearsal started!  Such things are not good for anyone's blood pressure. Knowing the level of dedication that all concerned have for the choir, though,  must have ameliorated some of the stress......? Somehow I doubt that!

This level of dedication was also evident the following Saturday when our Directors of Music, Graham Trew and Richard Lewis, hosted the choir party.  Where, you might say, was the dedication?  Apart from the phenomenal amount of work that hosting a party for 50 entails (Thank you Graham and Richard) there was the little matter of eating all of the food that members brought and sampling the many bottles of wonderful .......... refreshments... that were also brought.  This is Llanfair Singers...and NOTHING can be wasted.  Now that IS dedication! And so it was that our year ended

The first rehearsal of the Choir's new year is scheduled to start immediately following the AGM on 12th Sept. and new members are most welcome to join us.

This year, rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings 7.30pm - 9.30pm in the Everest Hall and our first engagement is one of real delight - we have been invited to sing at the wedding of one our members.

The annual concerts will be at Clun on 15th December and our Charity Concert at the Everest Hall on 22nd December and they will be true Christmas concerts.  Make sure that you have your tickets!  

The Llanfair Singers in Durham Cathedral

Anyone who has ever belonged to a team of any kind knows that every individual is important to the whole group - everyone relies upon everyone else doing their job properly.  The smaller the team the more importance each individual has to the group.  So when our chamber ensemble of 26 travelled to Durham to sing evensong the role of each individual became more important.  

26 may seem like a good number - but in a cathedral the choir is split in two - one on each side of the aisle; each side is split into four different voice sections. The higher version of each voice sit on the Dean's side (Decani) and the lower versions of each voice are on the Cantor's side (Cantoris)........ and each side sings alternate verses of the psalm.  Our choir was represented as:

Decani -  7 sopranos;3 altos; 2 tenors; 2 bass

Cantoris -  5 sopranos; 4 altos, 1 tenor 2 bass

Suddenly, the importance of each individual is obvious!

Durham Cathedral Evensong 1st July 2019