On the 4th and 5th of October 2013, the Pinkies made the 150-mile journey from London to Cardiff to perform with the South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus to a sell-out crowd as part of their 5th Anniversary celebrations. In this post, Pete shares his four reasons to head back immediately!
#1. Croeso i Gaerdydd!
…or in Welsh, “Welcome to Cardiff!” My first time to Wales, I thought thought that I would drive over the bridge and be met by dragons, sitting on castles waving their leeks at me, chanting, “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!!” Alas, my fantasy was crushed by Gary, Paul and Ben (my trusty road-trippers), who, in between me trying to pronounce the road signs, took the responsibility of letting me know the truth. Wales is actually like most of the UK – but with its own special version of awesome. For instance, we walked to the venue via Cardiff Castle, we stayed opposite the Millenium Stadium and topped of the weekend brunching on Cardiff Bay (next to the Dr. Who experience).
In summary… Wales is an amazing place, even if it is lacking dragons.
My tip? Make sure you go for more than 24 hours and take time to look around.
#2. A phenomenal audience
…and the combination of the South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus (SWGMC) and The Pink Singers didn’t disappoint. The Pinkies began watching from the balcony and as the orchestra struck a number of sassy tones to the first number – a Chicago medley. In strides, the men of the SWGMC took to the stage and the concert began in the grandest of style! Chicago turned to Star Wars, we trumpeted William Tell and the choirs sang their respective commissions, including our own, I, Choir, written by Richard Thomas. A special highlight of the evening was when SWGMC was joined by the Forget-me-nots, a choir whose members are sufferers, or carers of those with dementia. Their rendition of What a Wonderful World brought the house to tears.
In summary… Such a delight to perform for a community who cares so much about how music can bring people together.
My tip? Drink water, especially during the interval.
#3. It is the land of song
Wales is ‘traditionally’ known as the land of song and I can certainly attest to that… In the 24 hours I was in Cardiff I think I sang for near on 6 hours or so – a 2 hour rehearsal, an hour performing and the rest during the after party (which went on until the wee hours of the morning). Meeting and spending time with another choir who has the same love for music that you do, is just plain fun. And to top it off, you end up walking down the street randomly harmonising with each other!
In summary… Performing (and partying) with a group of 35 Welsh singers will blow your mind!
My tip? Love every moment of your time away ie. sleep when you get home.
Given the celebrations of the SWGMC’s 5th birthday, it’s not surprising that it didn’t start until 1pm the next day. The company was fantastic, the food kept on coming and the entire afternoon was spent in the afternoon sun, looking over Cardiff Bay! I have to say, what a way to end a fabulous weekend!
In summary… The Welsh are fabulous hosts and will make you feel like you’re in a home away from home.
My tip? If you’re a bit pale, take sunscreen – according to two choristers you can get sunburnt, even in Wales. (surprising? I think so too…)