Celebrating

Great Welsh Hymns

and Ralph Vaughan Williams, b. 12/10/1872
A Llanddewi Rhydderch Festival Choir Event
Sing in Welsh or English

An afternoon singing Welsh hymns and commemmorating Ralph Vaughan Williams who did much to promote Welsh hymns, ending with an informal concert

Saturday 8 October 2022
2.00 pm - 6.00 pm

St David's Church, Church Lane
Llanddewi Rhydderch NP7 9TS

What?

During the afternoon, we rehearse ten great Welsh hymn tunes and from 5.00 pm present them in an informal concert. Also during the concert, there will be audio-visual presentations about the background to the hymns and the part that Ralph Vaughan Williams played in introducing Welsh tunes to England.

Obviously, Welsh hymns need to be sung in Welsh, but only about 10% of people in Monmouthshire actually speak Welsh (with 16% in Abergavenny). To get round this, we will sing from parallel texts (that is, in both Welsh and English at the same time). However, at least one hymn will be sung by everyone in Welsh.

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Who For?

This event is suitable for almost any type of singer:

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How?

From 2.00 - 4.30 pm we shall rehearse ten well know hymn tunes (Cwm Rhondda, Blaenwern, Hyfrydol, etc.) in unison, parts, and some with descants and then, from 5.00 pm, present our work in an informal concert. Interlaced with the hymns, organ music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, based on some of the tunes sung, will be played by Judith Pendrous.

As mentioned above, it's likely that most participants won't be Welsh speaking, but some will - so the hymns will be sung in both Welsh and English simultaneously - with one all in Welsh, if we can get to that point.

To help ensure that the afternoon runs smoothly, downloadable rehearsal tracks and copies of the hymns will be available from the beginning of September (see below) so that singers who wish can prepare themselves. It won't be necessary to print-off and staple together the music as bound copies will be available on the day.

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Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams was born on 12 October 1872 in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire (about 53 miles from Llanddewi Rhydderch). Principally, he is considered to be an English composer, but his name hints at something else. You can read about him HERE.

In 1906 he was music editor of the newly published English Hymnal. Having a fair degree of freedom about the musical content of this new hymn book, and wishing to free it from the "excesses" of sentimental Victorian hymn tunes, he delved deeply into the rich treasure of Welsh melodies to find music worthy of the words. In total, 32 different tunes from Wales were included. This meant that Welsh music has been in the mouths of English men, women, and children for well over a century, all thanks to RVW.

He didn't include a number of great favourites for a variety of reasons. For instance, Cwm Rhondda didn't appear until 1905, when the English Hymnal was close to publication. Similarly, Rachie wasn't written until about ten years after the hymn book was published. But we won't let this stop us singing them; if RVW had known about them, it's certain he would have chosen them.

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When?

Saturday 8 October (four days before Vaughan William's 150th birthday) from 2.00pm.

The event will be organised thus:

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Where?

St David's Church,
Church Lane,
Llanddewi Rhydderch
NP7 9TS.

Roadside parking is available up Church Lane and along the village's "main" road.

HERE is a map link.

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Leaders

The afternoon will be run by:

and

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Cost?

There will be a closing collection to cover costs. Please contribute as much or as little as you feel able. If you need a guide as to what may be appropriate: the book you will be given will cost £3.00 to produce, the church will be lit and heated as necessary, and refreshments are being provided. Any surplus will go to St David's Church.

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Last Date

We can take new registrations up to 2.00 pm on the day. HOWEVER!!! for the sake of good planning, it would be useful to have some idea of numbers by 1 October. If, at the last moment, a whole fleet of coaches park around the village green and dozens of unexpected participants turn up, we will have time before the refreshment break to buy in extra tea and biscuits etc. But, if you want to be guaranteed a copy of the music, we really will need to know you are coming by 1 October. There will be some spares - but not dozens.

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Downloads

From here you can download a copy of the music. At present, this is still a draft and will be checked for errors over the next few weeks, but it gives you some idea of what we are doing.

DOWNLOAD MUSIC

As mentioned above, bound copies of the music will be issued to each singer, so it's not necessary to print off copies yourself and staple them or put them in a folder.

And here are the rehearsal tracks. If you would prefer to just sing the melody at all times, follow the Soprano tracks and sing in whichever octave or pitch suits you best.

  1. Aberystwyth
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
  2. Blaenwern
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
    DESCANT
  3. Bryn Calfaria
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
    DESCANT
  4. Calon Lan
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
  5. Cwm Rhondda
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
    DESCANT
  6. Hyfrydol
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
    DESCANT
  7. Llanfair
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
    DESCANT
  8. Rachie
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
  9. Rhosymedre
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
  10. Rhuddlan
    Soprano - Alto - Tenor - Bass
    DESCANT

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Further Information

Any questions, please ask on the registration form or contact
Philip Norman: 01873 590 055 - pkn@pnms.co.uk.

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Register

Click HERE for an online form.

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