Ynysowen Male Choir performed in the Speaker’s apartments on the invitation of local MP Gerald Jones.
Last week Labour MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Gerald Jones MP welcomed Ynysowen Male Choir, Aberfan & District to Parliament to perform for the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP and invited guests in the Speaker’s apartment. The performance was one of a series of concerts to mark the Choir’s forthcoming 50th anniversary next year, which will hopefully include a performance in Hamburg.
Ynysowen, a choir set up in the aftermath of the Aberfan tragedy, were joined by The Aberfan Wives Group, Council Leader Brendan Toomey and councillors Darren Roberts and Brian Mansbridge, alongside a host of Welsh MPs and dignitaries including Shadow Defence secretary Nia Griffith MP and Lord Ted Rowlands. The Choir performed some well-known songs, including a rendition of the Hymn Calon Lan.
There were also emotional scenes as Lord Rowlands praised both the Choir and the Aberfan Wives Club who will soon be marking their 50th anniversary, for their good work to strengthen the community of Aberfan after the tragedy.
Gerald was extremely pleased that the event was so successful and thanked Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, Gilbert James, who alongside Aberfan Wives and himself had contributed towards the cost of a coach to transport the choir and refreshments at the event.
“I thought the choir were fantastic and I’d like to thank the Musical director Jenny Jones and the accompanist Cheryl Kennedy for accompanying the choir. I know that both the Speaker and everyone present really enjoyed the performance and realise how special the event was. In his speech the Speaker paid special tribute to both the Choir and the Aberfan Wives Club for their good work in the community."
Gloria Davies from Aberfan Wives Club considered it an honour to visit the Palace of Westminster.
“What a wonderful experience we had at the Palace of Westminster on 21st March 2017. The Speaker John Bercow was there to welcomed to us, we had refreshments and then the Speaker invited the choir to sing and how well they sang. Lord Ted Rowlands was there and he gave us a tour of the Parliament buildings.
“It was both an honour and a privilege to have been there.”
Ray Jones from Ynysowen Male Choir described the event as one of the highlights in the Choirs 50 year history.
“I know I speak for everyone when I say how much we enjoyed the opportunity to perform in the Palace of Westminster. We’ve been extremely lucky to perform in some great venues over the last 50 years, but this is certainly one of the highlights.
"We’re very thankful to Gerald for the opportunity to perform and are very grateful for the generous donations from Gilbert James Funeral Directors and Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association that made the visit possible."
Council leader Brendan Toomey described the Choir as a credit to the constituency.
“I think they were a real credit to the whole of Merthyr Tydfil. They sang fantastically and I know I speak for everyone when I say I thoroughly enjoyed the event. On behalf of myself, Cllr Brian Mansbridge and Cllr Darren Roberts I want to thank Ynysowen Choir and the Aberfan Wives Club for letting us be a part of this special event”