There’s nothing quite like going on tour with a choir, and for Caldy Valley Voices, this was our very first touring experience: a day in North Wales, taking part in the Three Taverns Tour (Taith Tair Tafarn).
The event centres around three pubs in and around Llanarmon Yn Ial and has been an annual event since 2011. Singers work their way around all three venues, singing (and drinking) in each one. The grand finale takes place at the Raven Inn where all choirs meet up for a big sing!
This year, the singers taking part were: Cor Dewi Sant, Canu Conwy, Contraband, Ar Y Gweill, Flint Ladies, Brymbo Male Choir and of course, ourselves, Caldy Valley Voices.
To get between pubs, the singers have the option to walk or drive. Most of us Caldy Valley singers opted to walk; and at around a six mile round trip, it was a rewarding, if maybe tiring experience, especially for those of us with beer in our legs!
The camaraderie between singers was plain to see during the day which kicked off with a warm up led by Ruth Evans, conductor of Cor Dewi Sant. We were invited to work our facial muscles with a scrunch and stretch exercise: all good fun!
The three pubs are the Raven, Llanarmon Yn Ial, the Rose & Crown, Graianrhyd and the Sun Inn, Eryrys which is the teeny tiniest pub in the world but we still managed to squeeze in and give a performance.
Our repertoire for the day included the ever popular California Dreamin’ , Chattanooga Choo Choo and, new for 2017, Rhythm of Life (which varied in speed depending on how much energy we had left!)
There were many memorable performances, including Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah from Cor Dewi Sant; the spiritual Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet from Brymbo Male Choir and a very moving version of The Rose from Flint Ladies Choir.
The finale at the Raven gave all choirs an excuse to join in with some enthusiastic singing of Calon Lan, Sospan Fach and of course the Welsh National Anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
I think we all left feeling that we had been a part of something very special.