We had a great time in Cardiff – a very enjoyable weekend.
It began early on Friday morning as the coach picked everyone up en route to the A30, slightly delayed by some scenic detours caused by a couple of road closures – and that was before the coach even arrived in Stithians!
Despite the usual half term traffic we made it in good time to Cardiff. It didn’t seem the mad panic rush to get ready and out of the hotel as expected (maybe that was just my perception!). We got to the concert venue, St Teilo’s Catholic Church, Whitchurch, with enough time to run through our pieces with Becky, one of Cardiff Male Choir’s accompanists. (We were grateful for her help, and very impressed with her playing, especially since she hadn’t had the music long or played with us before, and pieces such as Weep No More can be tricky.)
The concert was very enjoyable; I think the Welsh anthem went ok and everyone remembered the words. I particularly liked the men’s arrangement of the theme from tv’s Band of Brothers, done by a former MD. I heard that at one point members of the audience were moved to tears only a few bars into our The Lord Bless You and Keep You (hopefully in a good way!) Afterwards we were invited by Cardiff Male Choir to a local rugby club for something to eat, which was quite a spread, and it was great to meet members of the choir.
Saturday provided us with free time for all sorts of activities. For those who wanted there was a coach trip to the Physic Garden in Cowbridge, which apparently took in some of the sights of Cardiff (several times!). For others it was a chance ‘to shop till you drop’… (if anyone’s got anything to add about the Saturday trip please write in the comments below – I went shopping…!)
Before heading back to Cornwall on Sunday we visited St Fagans, which was lovely. It was very interesting to explore the old buildings, particularly impressive was the 1520s church with biblical wall paintings; in the Last Supper it looked like one person was holding a Cornish pasty! In a 16th century farmhouse, while talking to some costumed guides the subject of music came up and someone mentioned we were in a choir… half the group scarpered leaving two of us to be asked to sing something – being put on the spot we panicked and chickened out!
The return to Cornwall was uneventful and the coach was quite quiet after a busy weekend. Thanks to everyone who was involved in the organisation of the trip and concert. There’s already plans afoot for another trip next year, so we may have to brush up the Welsh anthem again in future!