About Us

HISTORY OF CWMDARE VOICES O.D.A

Our choir history is quite short but very successful. We hope this will carry on for many years to come. I had the idea of forming a choir for many years but only openly spoke of it in April 2012 .I discussed this with a few of my friends and now choristers in the local village pub the “TON GWLYD FAWR”. This led to our first practice in June 2012, which took place at Cwmdare Miners Welfare Club. Twenty two people turned up most stayed, some never returned. In the early days we kept practices going until we were lucky to come across Gwilym Jones a retired music teacher. Gwilym came and gave us direction and put us on the right track.

A little while later we found Jonathan Cooper a head teacher and music teacher. Jonathan took over as musical director, and with Gwilym as accompanist we moved forward quite quickly . Our numbers have grown to forty plus members all from the local area, whose occupations range from miners, council workers tradesmen, engineers and social workers along with a few retired gents.

The choir has performed in a number of events over the last 3 years, some we have arranged and some by invitation. We have been involved in many charity money raising evenings, for Cancer Research, Help for Heroes and MIND. In 2013 we performed at St Elvan’s church for the inauguration of mayor Ann Crimmins.

We have also sang at two events, sponsored by “Heineken”. One at Bridgend RFC and one at Caerphilly Social Club. Both evenings were very successful. We practice every Tuesday at 7.30pm at Cwmdare Club.

The choir is always looking to recruit new members, and in the past decided within the choir to practice at different venues throughout the Cynon Valley. Hopefully this would  attract new members. We have quite a busy calendar this year, so come along and watch a show you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

In early January 2015 we welcomed into our choir a new musical director Dr Mike Thomas as Jonathan had to step down due to work commitments.Since Mike has come on board we have been involved in many memorable and prestigious concerts,such as 160 voices at St Davids Church Neath 2016, followed by 140 voices in St Elvan’s church 2017 . Both concerts were superb evenings of entertainment these stand out but there are many i could mention.

Over the last few years our concerts have raised money for many causes and charities.We were involved with :Raising Money For Owes: Owen Williams rising welsh rugby international who was seriouly injured,The Rowan Tree and this years chosen charity is Riding for the disabled at Dare Valley Country Park.Whilst we do a lot of concerts for charity we also have agreat social side and have been on many tours, such as Newquay in Cornwall on 2 occasions last of which we sang at ST Michaels Church with Newquay Male Voice Choir raising money for a local charity.We have gained great friendships and one of our honourary patrons is Mike Crocker who often comes to our concerts and a great supporter of the choir.

In 2017 we went on our first overseas tour, where we visited a town called Wolfenbutel in Germany, We sang with a local mixed choir and performed in a spectacular venue Marienkirche Evangelical Church. We were given a wonderful welcome by our hosts who couldn’t do enough for us, and were truly grateful for their hospitality and have invited them to visit us in 2021 to be confirmed.

We followed our tour with local concerts such as Cwmfest in Cwmaman and a concert in Penrhiwchiber Church, then started rehearsing for Christmas concerts and our first ever Panto. This was a great success with a sell out evening performance and a children’s matinee performance in the afternoon at Cwmdare Club over the Christmas period, we hope to do this again in the near future.

Every year for the last 4 years we have sung in Nebo chapel in Cwmdare at Christmas and St Davids day. This is made more special by the involvement of of the children from Cwmdare infants school. We have developed a lovely relationship with the school and both concerts are a fantastic evening where the parents of the children and our Patrons and supporters come to listen. We never sell tickets for these concerts but all donations go to Nebo, the school and our chosen charity.

In 2018 we sang in many concerts, had many social events including a sponsored walk from Brecon to Talybont all proceed for the Rowan Tree charity. In the summer we performed in our first official wedding in the Guiltar Hotel in Tenby. This was a great day for us and the happy couple Simon and Emma, we enjoyed the local pubs carrying on our singing late into the night.

The choir has been very fortunate with our musical director Dr Mike Thomas and accompanist Gwilym Jones, but to boost this we have acquired the services of  Phil Juliff who is a music teacher in Aberdare Community High school, and formally musical director with Kenfig Hill Male Voice Choir. He is a great asset for the choir and i am pleased to welcome him. Also this year we invited David Young to be our Honorary President which he accepted.

Phill has been involved from the off and accompanied the choir at Haverfordwest Cricket Club where we had a great welcome and a great weekend raising money for a local charity.

2018 continues to be a special year for us as we were chosen to sing at the Principality Stadium for the Wales v South Africa autumn international. We had to learn 8 new song in 11 weeks 2 of which were the South African national anthem and a South African folk song, this all culminated in a fantastic experience and a very proud and memorable day for the choir.This was one of the choirs goals we set out to achieve from our early days. We ended a busy year with some fund raising concerts in Tesco , and Nebo with Cwmdare School.

2019 promises to be a great year as around 20 choristers and some wives are joining choristers from Pellena, Cwmbach and Wigston choirs on a tour to Australia. We will be performing 4 concerts including 1 in Singapore on the way home, i’m sure this will be a fantastic experience for all.

So to finish off i would personally like to thank Mike, Gwilym and Phill and all members of the choir for their hard work, special thanks to Mathew Burford, Bobby Jenkins and David Manning for all their hard work and all of the committee members who work hard behind the scenes for the last 6 years.

Membership is good but we are always looking for new choriters. I am looking forward to some great times and hope to meet new members and make new friendships.

Huw Jones (Chairman).

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Cyfieithu i'r Gymraeg