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Diary updated for 2013

As 2012 draws to a close, our engagements for 2013 are now available to view on the diary page.

A TRIUMPH IN DUNKIRK

Being in the right place at the right time has often paid great dividends for the choir. That’s how we ended up performing in the Millennium Dome on December 31st 1999 and, similarly, in the Stade De France rugby stadium in Paris in front of 80,000 people. On a slightly less heroic scale that’s also why we were in Loon Plage this July. Denez Prigent had asked that town’s festival organisers if they would arrange for Flint Male Voice Choir to be his backing group for a couple of items. We’d performed in our own right at other French Celtic festivals and he’d liked what he’d seen; especially our professionalism. This professionalism was seriously tested because we arrived in Normandy after ten hours on the coach with no idea what he wanted us to do. As it turned out, he wasn’t sure either.

I say this was a slightly less heroic event but that’s not quite true. Denez Prigent is essentially a French folk singer in the Breton tradition and in the UK he would be considered a relatively minor artist. In France, however, he is a megastar. Our cultures are so radically different. You could argue that our Royal National Eisteddfod is ample evidence that Welsh culture is pretty healthy but it doesn’t permeate day to day Welsh life as was clearly evident in Loon Plage. The three day event was paid for by the people of the town. On each day there were two concerts each with its own stars like Denez Prigent who was rumoured to have been paid €20.000 for his concert. Admission was completely free. The cost to the town must have been huge but the six thousand people of Loon Plage were happy to pay it through their rates. I can’t imagine how a typical UK town would respond to such a proposal.

On the day before our concert with Denez Prigent we spent several hours with him and his band of superb musicians. The double bass player and folk violinist were especially active as our supporting parts emerged from trial and error. The choir was patient and tried things out as Huw our M/D, Gareth our pianist, and the band developed new musical ideas. Eventually our four part harmonies evolved into existence and we performed them live the following night to a hugely appreciative audience. Our accompanist, Eirlys, was in the audience and she said that the effect was truly impressive. Sandwiched in between the two pieces with Denez Prigent, we sang Myfanwy and this also went down very well. Eirlys gave the whole thing a complete thumbs up. It was another result for Flint Male Voice choir.

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